At the last Paralympic Games in Tokyo our athletes and alumni secured an impressive total of 35 medals, including 18 golds, meaning BUCS would’ve finished in 9th place if it was a country.

British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), the National University Sports Federation for international university sport and ParalympicsGB will collaborate long-term on the Paralympic Potential project to provide increased opportunities and access to sporting pathways for students with an impairment studying within higher education. 

With a mutual endeavour to deliver real and sustainable improvements to the lives of disabled people across the UK through sport; future initiatives will aim to provide new and inspirational talent identification related opportunities for students. In recognition of the importance of equity of opportunity, the increased connectivity will also support the enhancement of BUCS and NGB pathways leading to international university sport and Paralympic Games whilst helping to shape the long-term expansion of high-quality para-sport provision. Primary purposes of the international university programme are to enhance student experiences and to aid the formative development of talented student-athletes and athlete support personnel (ASP) for Olympic, Paralympic and world-level success.

BUCS are the sanctioning body for the representative team, GB Students, at major world-level international university sport competitions including the FISU Winter World University Games and FISU Summer World University Games, whilst ParalympicsGB are responsible for the sanctioning of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team that compete at the Paralympic Winter and Summer Games. ParalympicsGB’s 10-year strategy 2022-2032, Championing Change, aligns with the ambition of the new BUCS 2023-2027 strategy to deliver exceptional student sport experiences that inspire, develop and unite whilst advocating for and striving to create inclusive culture.

Later this year, as part of the Paralympic Potential Programme, host days will be held for all Paralympic sports included as part of the Paralympic Games for those with a visual impairment including: judo, football, goalball, rowing, swimming, cycling, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, athletics and triathlon. For any students with a visual impairment keen to explore and take advantage of this incredible opportunity they can do so by completing the form provided, Discover Your Potential. 

The dates for the Paralympic Potential Programme days are as follows: 

  • Day 1 - 4 November, Middlesborough Sports Village 

  • Day 2 - 25 November, London Olympic Park 

  • Day 3 - 10 December, Birmingham University 

In addition, we are keen to uncover and empower 'hidden talents' from within the BUCS membership including those that may have an impairment that is not immediately obvious, formally diagnosed or widely known about. By providing bespoke support and signposting with ParalympicsGB, students will be able to discover their potential and explore the competitive opportunities available to them.

If you are a student with an impairment studying in higher education and want to take your first step to discovering your potential, you can contact our International Performance Manager, Marc Forrest.

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