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ParaSport News is a project launched in July 2014 by Laura Hale, who has served as a Wikimedian in Residence at the Australian Paralympic Committee and Comité Paralímpico Español.   She’s contributed over 500 articles to English Wikipedia about Paralympic sport, classification, disability sport organizations and individual athletes.  As an accredited journalist affiliated with the Wikimedia movement, she has covered three Paralympic Games, the 2012 Rollers and Gliders World Challenge, the 2012 IPC NorAm Cup, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships and a few other events.  She’s shared over 300 images related to disability sport on Commons.  She also holds a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra, writing her thesis about Australian sport and social media data analysis.

 

She also interviewed a number of Paralympians, disability sport athletes and others with knowledge about the movement.  This list includes academic Simon Ličen about attitudes towards US Paralympics,  Amber Merritt Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketballer,  Australian blind Paralympic skier Melissa Perrine,  Australian disability standing skier Jonty O’Callaghan,  Australian Gliders Leanne Del Toso, Sarah Vinci, Amber Merritt, Clare Nott,  Australian Paralympic skier Andrew Bor,  Australian Paralympic skiers Jessica Gallagher and Eric Bickerton,  Australian Paralympic skiers Toby Kane, Cameron Rahles Rahbula, and Mitchell Gourley,  Australian sit skier Lincoln Budge,  Australian sit skier Victoria Pendergast,  Canadian Paralympic skier Vanessa Knight,  Chilean Paralympic skier Jorge Migueles,  Duncan Campbell, co-founder of wheelchair rugby,  Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Ade Oregembe,  Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Joni Pollock,  Greg Smith, Australian Paralympic flag bearer,  Irene Villa,  Katie Hill, Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketball medallist,  Michael Hartung, the Australian Deputy Chef de Mission,  New Zealand Paralympic skier Adam Hall,  Oceania Paralympic Committee President Paul Bird,  Spain’s most decorated Paralympian, Teresa Perales,  Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font,  Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez,  Spanish Paralympic swimmer María Delgado,  Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Alberto Suárez Laso,  Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete David Casinos,  Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Elena Congost Mohedano,  Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Gustavo Nieves Campello,  Spanish shooter Paulo Fontán,  Tyan Taylor, Australian goalball player,  United States disability skier Jasmin Bambur, US Congresswoman Jackie Speier about the Paralympics, and USA wheelchair curler David Palmer.  These interviews can be found on English Wikinews.

 

ParaSport News is dedicated to trying to provide a greater diversity of media coverage related to disability sport, on all levels and for all types of sport.  This includes the big stories, the important under-reported stories and stories of local interest.  It was created because the current structures inside the Wikimedia movement just do not allow for better real time reporting, and because most other sport news sites have limited coverage of Paralympic and disability sport.

 

Many articles are very short, only three small paragraphs long.  This is because at the present time, there is a goal of pushing out more news and news about topics not being covered by the rest of the media.  Longer articles require much more time to write, and result in fewer stories being published.  When we get more contributors, as we cover more events in person and as we improve our contacts, we will try to increase our article length.

 

Another issue regarding article source length is that many articles are written based on very little information.  In many cases, disability event organizers do not update their websites with results.  The available results are available only through Facebook or Twitter, and are often published by participants who are focusing on their own results.  Some official organization sites are better at others in terms of answering what event took place, what sport was played, when and where it was played, who participated and the results of people they are interested in.  In other cases, people and organizations announce participation in an event but do not follow up on the results in a timely manner. Add to the mix language issues, and reporting can be very difficult.  If there was a cycling race in Denmark and Paralympic cyclists from Italy took place where they won eight medals, this isn’t enough to write an article about.  The name of event, when it took place, who was involved, etc. were not answered.  If supplemental information can be found, it may be possible to write a short article.  Some sport organizations appear to be better at writing timely information for reporting than others.  Deaf sport organizations appear particularly good at this, so there may at times be an over representation of deaf sports relative to other sports.

 

Sport organizations that are the subject of an article have permission to syndicate content published here on their own websites provided the article’s author is properly attributed and that the article was published by ParaSport-News.  For example, if you are Paralympijské Motivačné Centrum and wish to republish “Slovak sledge hockey announces Sledge Hockey B World Championships“, it would need a byline of “Laura Hale, ParaSport-News”.

 

ParaSport News is physically based at: 17 Ashford Court, Swedesboro, New Jersey 08085, USA. It is run by Spacial Anamoly, an limited liability corporation, who can be reached at sockii@spacial-anomaly.com. The editorial staff is based in Spain, and can be reached at laura@parasport-news.com .

 

You can find us on Twitter @ParaSport_News and on Facebook at ParaSportNewsSite.