Professor Jennifer Mactavish, winner of the 2015 IPC Paralympic Scientific Award, has been announced as a keynote speaker at October’s VISTA 2015 Conference in Girona, Spain.
The Canadian, who has been recognised with the award for the role she played in the re-inclusion of athletes with an intellectual impairment into the Paralympic programme, will give a talk on “How to engage youth in disability sport: Reflections of an accidental academic.”
This year’s VISTA theme between 7-10 October is “securing the future of young para-athletes,” and Mactavish will present a series of strategies based on collaborative research that practioners and coaches need to consider when trying to secure future participation for youngsters in para-sport.
Mactavish, who will deliver her keynote on Friday 9 October, said: “At VISTA 2015 I will give a brief overview of the collaborative research that informed the evidence based classification system for athletes with intellectual impairment. This will serve as an introduction to addressing the question of how we get more youngsters involved in para-sport?
“During the 50 minute long talk, I will highlight a number of considerations essential for enabling broad based sport participation. These are based on a career studying sport and recreation as a catalyst for individual and collective life quality, well-being, social change and community development.”
The two other keynote speakers confirmed for VISTA 2015 are Margo Mountjoy, IOC Medical Commission Member, who will talk about “Youth Athlete Development: Recommendations from the IOC” and David Sanz Rivas, captain of the Spanish wheelchair tennis at the last five Paralympic Games. Rivas, who is also Scientific Director Royal Spanish Tennis Federation, will give a talk titled “Athlete Career Pathways in Wheelchair Tennis: From Grassroots to Elite Performance.”
A record number of people have registered for VISTA 2015, including experts and sports specialists from around the world.
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.