Participants in the GAPS camp at Birmingham University ©CGF

Para athletes and coaches have attended a special training camp at Birmingham University designed to help them prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The camp was part of GAPS (Gather, Adjust, Prepare, Sustain,) a scheme created to enhance knowledge of disability sport across the Commonwealth.

It was attended by 100 athletes and coaches and had "a specific focus on preparations, classifications and qualification for the 2022 Commonwealth Games," organisers said.

"I am delighted that the GAPS programme is back for Birmingham 2022," said Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Dame Louise Martin.

"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."

CGF vice-president Chris Jenkins added: "The goal of GAPS is to offer emerging athletes and coaches from the Commonwealth access to additional skills, knowledge, and resources so they can make a real difference in their own communities."

GAPS had been devised by the CGF in conjunction with Griffith University in Queensland and was launched before the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.

It has been described as a "sport for social purpose" programme and is also supported by Western University in Canada and Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

It has also received the backing of the Australian Government funded PacificAus Sport and British high performance agency UK Sport. 

Some 40 volunteers had taken part in the event in Birmingham.

"Having the opportunity to support the developmental journeys of so many athletes and coaches from around the Commonwealth is amazing," said University of Birmingham graduate school of sport and professional practice director Barry Drust.

"I have no doubt that this is not just changing the lives of individuals who are participating on the camp but also impacting the way that we here at the university think about the barriers to participation and how they can be removed."