The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Griffith University have developed an initiative named The GAPS Programme. This initiative has brought over 120 para athletes, coaches and experts from 21 Commonwealth nations to the 2022 Commonwealth Games which is being held in the city of Birmingham this summer.
GAPS is a unique programme which sole purpose is to support the development of of new emerging para athletes and coaches from the Commonwealth. This programme will help many unrepresented countries to get the resources they need.
This programme fundamentally will gives opportunities to coaches to support their emerging athletes and the development of sport pathways across the Commonwealth.
When the para athletes and coaches arrived at the camp, the programme connected peers in a holistic approach which allowed the peers to gain knowledge through shared experiences and expert sessions.
Additionally, the athletes were challenged to try out new training methods whilst at the camp. This was done to push the athletes boundaries, which would hopefully gain the goal of self belief towards the athletes to give a mindset that they can achieve anything which placed in front of them.
This programme was made possible through the University of Birmingham and the 40 students who volunteered their spare time to help the camp deliver it's best potential resources.
Since GAPS was created in the lead up of the Gold coast Commonwealth Games in 2018. GAPS has built multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaborations with universities, sport organisations and government agencies. In addition to Griffith University in Australia and the University of Birmingham, it includes Western University in Canada, Stellenbosch University in South Africa, who have expanded the reach of GAPS across the Commonwealth.
The CGF President Dame Louise Martin explained what the programme was in her own words: " The GAPS programme ensures that the athletes and coaches participating have an opportunity to get to the upcoming Commonwealth Games successfully, are able to enjoy themselves and go back to their nations to showcase what they were able to achieve at a Games to inspire others to do the same."
Additionally, The UK Sport Head of External Affairs and International Relations Clare Barrell expressed her feelings towards this programme: “We are delighted to partner with the CGF to support the delivery of GAPS – Gather, Adjust, Prepare, Sustain, and fully believe in its’ mission to increase the participation of para-athletes from underrepresented countries at B2022 and future Commonwealth Games."