Background to Vista

In 1993, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) felt that there was an urgent need to increase knowledge pertaining to elite sport for athletes with an impairment in the international arena. As a result, the concept of VISTA, which means a long succession of events, emerged.

The first VISTA Conference was held in Jasper, Alberta, Canada at the Jasper Park Lodge in May 1993. At this Conference, 163 international authorities convened to discuss issues pertinent to sport for athletes with an impairment. The delegates included researchers, administrators, trainers, coaches and athletes. A variety of plenary and interactive sessions were organised in the areas of performance. These included: exercise physiology, advances in training techniques, technical developments, sports medicine, classification, integration, ethics, organisation and administration.

The second VISTA Conference was hosted by the German Sport University in Köln, Germany in September 1999. In this Conference, the overall concept of the VISTA ’93 Congress was retained. Once again researchers, administrators, coaches and athletes discussed optimal ways of implementing “theory into practice” in the areas identified above.

The third VISTA Conference was held in September 2003 at the Swedish Development Centre for Sport in Bollnäs, Sweden. The theme of this Conference was “Youth in Disability Sport” and was deemed a great success by all attendees.

The fourth VISTA Conference was held in Bonn, Germany, home of the IPC Headquarters, on 6-7 May 2006. The theme of this Conference was “Classification – Solutions for the Future”. For two days, 210 participants discussed the future of classification in the Paralympic Movement.

The fifth VISTA Conference was held in Bonn, Germany on 31 August – 3 September 2011. The theme of this edition was “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Paralympic Success”. Over 200 participants engaged in a highly effective dialogue between scientific and professional experts, coaches, administrators and athletes.