Lack of Paralympics Coverage a Cause For Concern

The push for equal recognition and exposure between the Olympics and the Paralympics remains an uphill battle, according to Wheelchair Sports NSW (WSNSW).

WSNSW Regional Sports Coordinator Todd Parker points to the younger generation as the target audience for the Paralympics, saying the children of Australia deserve to enjoy competitions with equal coverage.

“We would’ve liked to have seen a highlights package at after school time for school kids to be able to watch, rather than showing the events live in the middle of the night, which is great, but kids can’t watch it,” Parker said.

Wollongong Roller Hawks player Nick Taylor said international success has translated to increased interest in competitions on our shores.

“It’s pretty well organised, not only in basketball and tennis, but for all sports… and while interest is growing locally, there’s also many more athletes coming through that make the competition stronger,” Taylor said.

Illawarra Academy of Sport project manager Andy Brendt said that it is disillusioning to see increasing and innovative coverage on the Olympics, but virtually no change for the Paralympics.

“It was odd watching the first week of the Olympics, the one that everyone generally tunes into, and get bombarded with advertisements on Adriano Zumbo’s dessert show, and then in the middle of coverage every now and then you’d see that the Paralympics are being shown on the secondary Channel Seven,” Brendt said.

“It speaks volumes to the status that networks regard these athletes with disabilities in.”