In 1962 The South African Paraplegic Games Association was founded by the Rotary Club of Orange Grove in Johannesburg which catered 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) where it included sports for people with visual impairment, amputees, cerebral palsied and les autres.
Between 1994 and 1988 South Africa was not allowed to participate in the Paralympic Games due to political bans. SASAPD sent a team of 11 athletes to the Paralympics in Barcelona in 1992. The team brought home 4 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 3 bronze medals, and was 27th on the medal table.
In 1994, NAPCOSA was formed (National Paralympic Committee of South Africa) – this was brought about largely as a result of a request from the International Paralympic Committee and the then Department of Sport and Recreation who indicated that they only wanted to work with 1 disability sports structure in each country.
The 3 affiliates of NAPCOSA were South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled (SASAPD), South African Deaf Sports Federation (SADSF), South African Sports Association for Severely Mentally Handicapped (SASASMH) now known as the South African Sports Association for Intellectually Impaired (SASAII).
In 1996 NAPCOSA sent a team of 45 athletes to the Paralympics in Atlanta and they brought home 10 Gold medals, 8 silver medals and 10 bronze medals, finishing 15th on the medal table. NAPCOSA sent a team of 61 athletes to the Paralympics in Sydney who brought home 13 gold medals, 13 bronze and 12 silver medals, and finishing in 13th position on the medal table.
2001 Disability Sport South Africa (DISSA) was formed and the functions of NAPCOSA were incorporated into the High Performance program of DISSA.
DISSA had 3 departments being the High Performance Program – Elite Athletes preparation for World Championships and Paralympics, Talent Identification and Development and Administration. DISSA was a Section 21 Company and was formed by the same 3 affiliates who formed NAPCOSA.
2004 DISSA sent a team of 52 athletes to the Paralympics in Athens where they brought home 15 gold, 13 silver and 7 bronze medals. Again the team was 13th on the final medal table.
2005 – With the formation of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) the 3 affiliates of DISSA became members of SASCOC in their own right and SASCOC is now the recognised National Paralympic Committee (NPC) which 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. In addition, having taken on the high performance functions of DISSA, SASCOC is also responsible for the delivery of our athletes to Paralympic qualifying events such as World Championships.
SASAPD retains its responsibility to provide sport at a mass participation and development level to all disabled athletes and to assist high performance athletes to represent SA at the highest level. SASAPD hold their Nedbank National Championships on an Annual basis for the various sports codes.
SASAPD currently caters for some 9 sports in 12 regions throughout the country and for 5 disability groups including – spinal cord injuries, amputees, cerebral palsied, visually impaired & blind, les autres (the others).