GAPS (Gather, Adjust, Prepare, Sustain) is Commonwealth Sport’s Para-sport, development and inclusion pathway programme, designed to provide Para-athletes and coaches with access to skills, knowledge, and resources that aid their personal development and training as they prepare for competition, while driving hope and motivation and building pride and a strong sense of identity amongst the Para-athletes and Coaches.

Hosted by the University of Birmingham and supported by UK Sport, the camp takes place between 8-17 June 2024, and is a direct legacy of the impact and partnerships created at Birmingham 2022.  Para-athletes from all over the Commonwealth will come together in the sports of Para Powerlifting and Para Table Tennis for an intense week of training, competition and personal development.

Global GAPS camp Birmingham 2024
Para-athletes and coaches building connections and sharing stories

While this isn’t the first global GAPS camp to take place, it is the largest regional representation, with 21 nations and territories from: Barbados, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, England, Fiji, The Gambia, Guyana, Jersey, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Scotland, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Tonga, Uganda and Zambia.

The programme was initiated in 2016 through a collaboration between Griffith University and the Commonwealth Games Federation, aimed at preparing Pacific Island athletes for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Since the inaugural camp, GAPS has expanded to other Commonwealth regions allowing more than 240 individuals to benefit from the programme. Training camps have been hosted at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, the University of Birmingham in the UK, on Australia's Gold Coast for Oceania participants and most recently at the University of West Indies in Jamaica for Americas and Caribbean athletes and coaches. 

The outcomes achieved at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were remarkable, with the programme delivering its first Gold Medal when Nigeria’s Goodness Chiemerie Nwachukwu threw a Para Discus world record GAPS athletes setting world records in Birmingham, and other successful athletes secured gold, silver, and bronze medals, alongside numerous personal bests. Overall, more Commonwealth countries than ever fielded Para athletes; Gold Coast 2018 hosted Para athletes from 21 nations compared to 31 Nations in Birmingham 2022, an increase of 48%. 

The programme delivered further success in 2023 when GAPS athlete Destiny Agbo of Nigeria won the first-ever Para gold medal in the Women’s Discus Throw - F42-44 / F61-64 at the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games.

Despite these successes, athletes and coaches from Commonwealth nations continue to face significant challenges, including issues related to classification, the scarcity of accessible facilities and equipment, transportation, coaching, discrimination and access to competition, all of which hinder the development of the Para sport pathway to the Commonwealth Games and beyond.

Commonwealth Sport's development programmes, are designed to engage communities, transform lives and unite the Commonwealth through sport. The GAPS Programme is the embodiment of this commitment to help facilitate social change through the power of sport. The hosting of the Global camp and the participation of the 21 nations will ensuring these Para-athletes and coaches, no matter their circumstances, feel empowered to reach their full sporting potential.