Beginning on Saturday, 1 November, ICSSPE President Prof. Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper opened the seminar, with an official welcome from the Mayor of the host city, Manfred Richter. The participants, representing 28 different countries, bring diverse professional backgrounds to the seminar, including social work, psychology, sport science and humanitarian aid.
Many of the workshops that have already taken place have proven to be beneficial to the participants. The first workshop session on Sunday, presented by Mr. Wilhelm Hensen from the German Red Cross, focussed on the immediate actions of humanitarian organizations when a disaster has struck. The session raised interesting discussions with regards to the best timing for sport and physical activity programmes in a disaster context.
Other sessions were presented by Dr. Claire Colliard from the Centre for Humanitarian Psychology in Switzerland, Christoph Schwager from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Ian Pickup from Roehampton University in Great Britain, and Ken Black from Loughborough University also in Great Britain.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has also incorporated the theme of the ICSSPE seminar into development programmes that provide rehabilitation through Paralympic Sport. One example of the initiative is in Sri Lanka, where the IPC addressed the needs specific to persons with a disability following the devastating Tsunami that hit Southeast Asia in December 2004.
The ICSSPE seminar will officially close on Thursday, 6 November at the Haus Rheinsberg Hotel am See. The seminar is financed in part by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Germany, and held in co-operation with the German Red Cross, Kennesaw State University (USA), the Fuerst Donnersmarck Foundation, and the Freie Universität Berlin.
For more information about ICSSPE, please visit www.icsspe.org.