Cracking the code
Classification in para-sports creates a framework that enables competitive sport by placing athletes with affected movement, coordination, vision or intellect together in groups called classes.
Audiences have a short space of time in which to understand why athletes who appear to be affected in different ways, are grouped together.
The quickest way to do this is with a picture and that is LEXI.
When an audience understands what class is they engage with the sport at a more profound level.
The inspiration for LEXI came at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. Many TV viewers felt that some athletes were at an advantage because their impairment type meant they had a greater amount of available movement or coordination when compared with other competitors.
Racing was fair but confusion around why athletes were placed together was getting in the way of people enjoying the sport.
Giles Long had the idea to explain para-sport classification using a simple illustration graphic. It would tell people what they needed to know, when they needed to know it.
LEXI was born.
LEXI explains the rules of para-sport in a language the audience understands.
A traffic-light system of four colours allows information to be shown intuitively whilst giving the flexibility to accurately represent different impairment types.
There were many re-draws before the final design emerged, which is unisex and conveys a ‘state of readiness,’ to capture the feeling of being sporty, whilst at the same time standing square-on so that information can be easily displayed.
Developing the system in motion
LEXI tells you:
What the class is
Who is in it
Why the athletes are grouped together
…after that, it’s on to the sport!
The aim of LEXI is not to create experts but instead to prevent people asking basic questions like: “Why is the swimmer with one arm racing against the swimmer with one leg?” – simple questions like this are answered before the sport starts.
Sport is centre stage
LEXI takes up a small part of the broadcast that unlocks the true potential of para-sport to captivate audiences around the world.