“We are asking for the support of the athletes and teams here in Tarvisio so we can fulfil our aim of keeping the classification systems up to date.”
World Para Alpine Skiing is inviting visually impaired skiers to take part in a research study at the 2017 World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, aiming to improve and develop the classification system between 26-29 January.
Researchers from the School of Optometry & Vision Science from the University of Waterloo in Canada are asking athletes to come forward to help with the development and validation of novel visual function tasks for the classification of Para alpine skiers.
The study is being conducted with the support of the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The novel visual function tasks to be undertaken by athletes during one 45 minute session are dynamic visual acuity; motion perception; contrast sensitivity; visual field screening; glare sensitivity; glare recovery and light sensitivity.
Researchers will also ask some questions about the athletes’ background and training and will use classification data from the IPC’s database.
The athlete assessments will be supported by race footage from Tarvisio 2017 for biomechanical analysis, and researchers are also seeking permission to record races for the same purpose.
The Head of Classification on World Para Alpine Skiing’s Sport Technical Committee, Sandra Titulaer, said: “We are asking for the support of the athletes and teams here in Tarvisio so we can fulfil our aim of keeping the classification systems up to date.
“It is important research which will help us to keep progressing visually impaired classification, as well as assessing if the current system is working well.
“World Para Alpine Skiing is committed to these aims but we cannot achieve them without the help of the skiing community. Please get in touch with the researchers to help with the development and future of the sport.”
Teams can book a slot for their athletes between 26-29 January by contacting Marieke Creese firstname.lastname@example.org of the University of Waterloo.
The Tarvisio 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships run until 31 January, featuring more than 100 of the world’s best skiers from 30 countries.
All races are being shown live, alongside live results, at Tarvisio2017.com.
The competition can also be followed on World Para Alpine Skiing’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@ParaAlpine).