The ‘Para-Limits’ European Project is a collaborative project between the University of Limerick and a number of EU partners. It is funded through an Erasmus+ Sport Collaborative Partnership grant and is led by Prof Antonio Sanchez Pato from the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM, Spain).
The aim of the project is to enable high-level sportsmen and women with some kind of disability to successfully complete their sports and university careers without undermining one over the other. The central focus and objective of the project is the development of an innovative online course aimed at university mentors/ lecturers. This course aims to enhance these university staffs’ ability to support the dual career of athletes with a disability and to help them to become expert sports mentors who will support and guide student-athletes with disabilities in their sports and academic careers.
This project is timely for UL as this academic year UL launched their High Performance Athlete policy (https://www.ul.ie/media/8734/download?inline). This policy document sets out the University of Limerick’s policy and associated procedures relating to the award of high performance athlete (HPA) status on elite athlete students of the University. Once a student has been awarded HPA status, the student is eligible to be in receipt of reasonable accommodations from the University to assist them to meet the requirements of both their degree programme and their outside sporting commitments. The Para-Limits project will align to this policy and enhance the university lecturers’ ability to effectively support the dual career of athletes with a disability.
As part of the Para-Limits project each partner hosts a transnational project meeting. On May 25th 2022 UL hosted the 3rd Para-Limits transnational meeting in the PESS department. In total 17 visiting researchers from across Europe (Spain, Norway, Romania, France, Italy and Portugal) attended the meeting in Limerick, which focused on the development phase of the curriculum for the online course that will be used to train the university lecturers. The Para-Limits research group are a passionate group of individuals who work hard to improve the Dual Career of student athletes with a disability. We look forward to meeting our partners once again in Romania and Portugal towards the end of the year.