“Young people all over the state in urban and remote areas can now see how their natural ability stacks up against elite athletes which is a bit of fun for them, but is invaluable for us.”
Young South Australians can now test their sporting ability against the talents of their Paralympic heroes thanks to a new online tool developed through a joint partnership between the South Australian Government, Office for Recreation and Sport, the South Australian Sports Institute, and the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC).
The Rate Yourself app is accessible through Facebook and allows budding athletes to enter their results from a series of basic sporting tests and compare them to the likes of Paralympians Matt Cowdrey, Felicity Johnson, Grace Bowman and Gabriel Cole.
Participants with an impairment are then contacted by the APC in what South Australian Manager for Participation and Pathways Cathy Lambert said is like a digitised version of the APC’s traditional talent search days.
“Young people all over the state in urban and remote areas can now see how their natural ability stacks up against elite athletes which is a bit of fun for them, but is invaluable for us,” Lambert said.
“This tool has the potential to bring more people to Paralympic sports who may not have ever attended a physical talent search day.
“The APC has been a partner in the technology since the early days of its development and we see the value in embracing technology to get ahead with our para-sport programmes and help more people with a disability take up sport.
“It is important though that participants aren’t disillusioned with their own results when comparing with the likes of Paralympic gold medallists Matt Cowdrey and Felicity Johnson. Instead, we hope people are inspired to take up the sport they are best at or enjoy most.”
Participants can watch Paralympians explain how to perform a series of tests that allow talent scouts and coaches to determine which sport may best suit the participant.
“Rate Yourself is also set up to accommodate many disabilities eligible for classification at the Paralympic Games, and as a state that’s had great success through the APC’s Paralympic Talent Search program with athletes such as sprinter Gabriel Cole and wheelchair racer Nathan Arkley going on to compete at the Paralympic Games, I’m excited by what the future holds for Rio, Tokyo and beyond thanks to this tool,” Lambert said.