The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has finalised the programme for the seventh edition of the VISTA 2015 conference, which will be held 7-10 October in Girona, Spain, attracting a record number of attendees from around the world.
The full programme can be found at the VISTA 2015 website.
This year’s four-day long sports science conference has the theme “Securing the future for young para-athletes” and will see a number of world class academics, specialists and athletes discussing one of the key issues relating to the growth of the Paralympic Movement.
The Opening Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 7 October and feature a panel discussion on the subject of “youth and development”. The panel will be made up of Spanish Paralympic swimmer Teresa Perales; Mariona Masdemont, International Project Manager for Play & Train; Professor Yves Vanlandewijck, Chairperson of the IPC Sports Science Committee and professor Celia Brackenridge OBE, the former Director for Youth Sport and Athlete Welfare at Brunel University, Great Britain.
Prior to Wednesday’s opening panel discussion, Jennifer Mactavish will be presented with the 2015 IPC Paralympic Scientific Award by IPC President Sir Philip Craven.
Keynote speaker Margo Mountjoy of the Faculty of Family Medicine, McMaster University in Canada, will begin the first day of sessions on Thursday, 8 October. Mountjoy is a Member of the FINA Executive Board, as well as the IOC Medical Commission Games Group. She will present on “Youth Athlete Development: Recommendations from the IOC.”
The following morning, Jennifer Mactavish will present on “How to Engage Youth in Disability Sport: Reflections of an Accidental Academic.”
David Sanz Rivas, Scientific Director Royal Spanish Tennis Federation, will round out the final day of the conference on Friday by discussing “Athlete Career Pathways in Wheelchair Tennis: From Grassroots to Elite.”
Following each keynote speaker’s presentation, the attendees will break off into sessions that include a number of invited symposia, oral presentations and poster sessions. The sessions will cover a range of topics, including classification in new sports in the Paralympic programme such as triathlon and badminton; sports medicine and athlete training among others.
The final day of the conference will conclude with a round-table discussion amongst athletes, International Federation representatives and academics about the conference theme.
VISTA is designed to promote and advance the mission, goals, objectives and reputation of the IPC and provides a platform for the academic world to meet with athletes and professional experts in the field of sport for athletes with an impairment.
It provides a forum for exchange on the latest information, research and expertise related to the Paralympic Movement and promotes cross-disciplinary interaction among sport scientists, athletes, coaches, administrators and the media.
It was first held in 1993 and has since developed a global reputation for acting as a platform for debate, discussion and dialogue on key issues relating to the growth of the Paralympic Movement.
For more information on the VISTA 2015 conference, please visit the VISTA website.