What is it?
GAPS is a sport for development and peace programme that supports the development of inclusive sport pathways throughout the Commonwealth. Developed by the Commonwealth Games Federation and Griffith University, GAPS has expanded into a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship with other partners joining on this exciting but challenging journey. The expansion of the programme is ongoing as we work towards bringing GAPS to Africa with Stellenbosch University, Americas and Caribbean with University of Western Ontario and Europe with the University of Birmingham. Oceania and Asia’s expansion will be led by Griffith University.
Who is it for?
GAPS is for emerging athletes and coaches from the Commonwealth. It aims to support the development of inclusive sport pathways, removing barriers to participation for people with a disability and for women & girls to become actively involved in sport. The development of coaches is fundamental, but so is tackling many of barriers and constraints that prevents participation. The programme involves multi-stakeholder partnerships and the building of long-term collaborations with universities, sport organisations and government agencies. Through these partnerships we can begin to shift mindsets and start to have a positive influence on communities to believe that it is a fundamental human right for women, girls, and people with a disability to be included in their sport pathways.
How does the programme achieve its goals?
The goal of GAPS is to offer emerging athletes and coaches from the Commonwealth access to additional skills, knowledge, and resources. This is driven by advancing education and supporting the development of inclusive sport pathways that promotes positive social change in sport and communities.
To achieve this goal the following five measurable objectives have been identified:
- Create effective, long-term, collaborative stakeholder partnerships
- Ensure inclusion and diverse participant representation
- Deliver a fully-funded GAPS programme in each region of the Commonwealth
- Lead and undertake world-class research
- Raise awareness through effective story telling
What does success look like?
Success is best summarised by Chris Nunn, GAPS Oceania development support (Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games):
“What’s happening in the Pacific Islands is we’re changing people's lives; we’re changing community perception and we’re changing acceptance of disability and I don’t know what can be more powerful than that…having athletes go back proud that they've been involved in the movement, proud that they've gone to a Paralympic Games, a Commonwealth Games, a national championship, all add up and make a huge difference to the acceptance of people with a disability and people with impairments getting involved in sport. That's what we are looking, creating the opportunity for people to grow and develop through sport.”
Chris was instrumental in identifying and getting Friana Kwevira to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Friana went on to win Vanuatu’s first ever Commonwealth Games medal with a bronze in the in the F46 women's javelin throw event.