Background & History

The organisation was established in 1962 as the South African Paraplegic Games Association and catered only for persons with spinal cord injuries.   After the Paralympic Games in Toronto in 1976, the association changed its name to the South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled (SASAPD) and its scope changed to include sports for people with visual impairments, amputees, cerebral palsy and les autres.   The National Paralympic Committee of South Africa (NAPCOSA) was formed in 1994 at the request of the International Paralympic Committee and the South African Department of Sport and Recreation who indicated that they only wanted to work with one disability sports structure in each country.   The three affiliates of NAPCOSA were SASAPD, South African Deaf Sports Federation (SADSF) and South African Sports Association for Severely Mentally Handicapped (SASASMH) now known as the South African Sports Association for Intellectually Impaired (SASAII).   Disability Sport South Africa (DISSA), a section 21 Company with the same three affiliates, replaced NAPCOSA in 2001 and the functions of NAPCOSA were incorporated into the High-Performance Program of DISSA.  DISSA had three focus areas: (1) High performance program preparing elite athletes for World Championships and Paralympics, (2) Talent Identification and (3) Development and Administration.  Following the formation of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) in 2005, the three affiliates of DISSA became members of SASCOC in their own right.  SASCOC is responsible for the delivery of Team South Africa to all multi-sport coded events including, Olympics, Paralympics, Deaflympics, Global Games, All Africa Games, Zone VI Games and Commonwealth Games.  SASCOC has taken on the high-performance functions formerly performed by DISSA, and it currently operates as the National Paralympic Committee (NPC).  SASAPD has retained its responsibility to provide sport at a mass participation and development level to all potential Para-athletes and to create a pathway for high performance Para-athletes as they strive to represent South Africa at the highest levels.

As a multi-sport federation, SASAPD currently caters for 9 sporting codes in 9 provinces throughout South Africa and for 5 different disability groups: spinal cord injuries, amputations, cerebral palsy, visual impairments & blind and les autres (others with Paralympic-eligible impairments).  In order to provide our para-athletes the best opportunities to develop their potential, we promote good relationships with those South African Sport Federations who cater for athletes with impairments in their codes as well as hold memberships in several international sporting federations.