Within the context of this collaborative framework there is a natural tendency to cooperate between Nordic countries and as highlighted above a need to develop cross border exchanges in Parasport. Therefore, formal cooperation frameworks were established when The Nordic Sports Association for the disabled, known as Nord-HIF was founded in 1976 in order to improve the overall situation of Parasport in the region. NORDHIF brings together Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Faroe Islands (self-governing member of the kingdom of Denmark). Member organisations work from international to local levels; they represent different structural orientation towards physical activity and sports for people with a disability and cover a broad range of disability sports (leisure and grassroots disability sports, Special Olympics and Paralympic Sports) but also from mainstream sports as Sports Confederation, Olympic Committee and Sports Federations.
NordHIF’s vision is to: “create and develop the best sports cooperation environment among parasport organizations worldwide.” With the stated mission to, “join forces among parasport organizations in the Nordic Region. By acting as 6 Nations and 1 Team we want to improve sports performance, increase political influence and maximize social impact.”
Currently NordHIF seeks to achieve this by collaborating on a number of levels, cooperating at both at the political and practical level, sharing resources, knowledge and developing joint activities.
In collaboration with a strong partnership including Parasport Denmark, the Finnish Paralympic Committee, the Finnish Sports Association for Persons with Disabilities, Laajasalo Folk School (FI), the Icelandic Sport Organisation for the Disabled and Paralympic Committee, the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports, the Norwegian Ski Federation, Paralympic Committee Faroe Islands, the City of Östersund (SE), Mid-Sweden University, the Swedish Confederation of Sport, the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (FR), the European Paralympic Committee (AT) and SPIN Sport Innovation (DE) have cooperated to develop 5 distinct areas of Parasport in the Nordic region, Marketing, Recruitment, Competition, Classification and Governance. Participation pathways were created in order to increase day-to-day participation of people with a disability in physical activity and sports. The project addressed both solutions for current weakness in super ordinated governance in disability sports and elaborated practice-based creative solutions for individual, but highly connected challenges.