ParaSport Data is a a project dedicated to providing disability sport data, along with other disability data, in order to assist stakeholders in these communities to accomplish their goals.
ParaSport Data is a Project created by Laura Hale, a two time Wikipedian in Residence for two different National Paralympic Committees, a sport journalist who has covered three different Paralympic Games and a sport researcher who graduated with her PhD from the University of Canberra with a thesis focused on developing understanding of sports culture using social media data.
The purpose of ParaSport Data is to create the largest database of Paralympic, Deaflympic and disability sport data in existence. This data will include basic biographical data, sportspeople rankings, individual and completion results, classification information, disability prevalence data by country, and information about many disability sport organizations around the globe.
Paralympic, Deaflympic and other disability sport data exists in a fragmented form across various parts of the Internet. In many cases, this information is also either offline or in scanned PDFs of hand written notes. No large scale attempts have been made to normalize this data and present it in a similar fashion to that of these sportspeople's Olympic counter parts. ParaSport Data has the objective of addressing this lack.
In doing so, ParaSport Data works towards several important goals. The first is to provide a research tool for academics working in this space. This data can provide numerous insights that can allow real world actions to be taken to better the lives of people with disabilities around the globe, and to better assist sports scientists in improving sportsperson performance.
The second goal is to provide a comprehensive data source for government organizations, grant giving organizations and sport administrators to assist in the delivery of disability sports and disability services to areas most in need. This can be done by identifying clusters of sportspeople in funding deserts, identifying clusters of specific disability groups being underserved or overserved because of cultural biases towards certain disability type groups.
A third goal is to provide a platform that enables sports fans to get a large amount of data and other information about elite sportspeople with disabilities. This is an important component towards the integration of people with disability in society, and creating a more inclusive culture through the high level of visibility sportspeople tend to enjoy.
ParaSport Data uses the open source projects MediaWiki and Wikibase for the software. While developing tools to meet the needs of ParaSport Data , these tools will be released open source for use by the Wikimedia community. One such tool developed so far is a tool to more easily upload data to a Wikibase install using Microsoft Excel.