The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that Professor Vicky Tolfrey-Goosey has received the 2017 IPC Paralympic Scientific Award, which will be presented at September’s VISTA Conference in Toronto, Canada. She will deliver a keynote address at the scientific conference, which will take place from 20-23 September.
For nearly two decades, the Loughborough University professor has sought ways to apply sports science to Para athletes who have been training for the international stage. For example, at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Tolfrey-Goosey led a team of sports scientists and healthcare experts, the Beijing Acclimatisation Group, to ensure athletes were prepared.
“Considering the calibre of person that falls into this category, I am truly honoured to be following the in the footsteps of Professors Lucas van der Woude, Rory Cooper and Gudrun Doll-Tepper, who have inspired me in many ways. It is a magnificent achievement and I am privileged to be the recipient of this award in 2017,” Tolfrey-Goosey said.
Tolfrey-Goosey’s keynote speech is titled “Pushing from Atlanta to Rio: Reflections of my Practitioner and Research Journey.”
She will reflect on her professional activities since attending Atlanta 1996, and will highlight how key individuals have supported the development of her research portfolio since then.
“The academic record of Professor Tolfrey-Goosey covers a wide range of disciplines that all contribute to optimising Para athlete performances,” said IPC Medical and Scientific Director Dr. Peter Van de Vliet. “Her answers to very concrete demands of athletes in different sports are appreciated by both athletes and their support staff, and are widely recognised by the academic community. I want to congratulate Vicky on the award, which serves as both a recognition and an incentive for further work in an ever-growing scientific domain, in partnership with the IPC.”
Tolfrey-Goosey was a member of the IPC Medical & Scientific Committee from 2005-2010, and currently acts as a sport science consultant for both the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Association and Para triathlon, overseeing the delivery of a support programme that led to Rio 2016.
She credits her accomplishments to her team at the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University.
“Most importantly our work is not just undertaken in isolation and we collaborate with the coaches and athletes themselves to understand their needs and what may impact their performance,” she said. “It is very important that a coach-driven and athlete-centred approach is adopted and this has been made possible by my close working relationship with both the English Institute of Sport and the British Paralympic Association.
“I am also fortunate that I have experience attending the Paralympic Games as a Sports Practitioner and this definitely has deepened my understanding of the sporting environment.”
First presented in 2005, the biennial award recognises the work of one academic researcher for their contribution to research in the field of sports for persons with an impairment. The award acknowledges and rewards the work of researchers and serves to promote and encourage further study and enhance the quality of work in this area. IPC members, IPC Governing Board members, Sport Technical Committees, IPC Standing Committees and Councils submit nominations. The IPC can also accept additional candidates outside of nominations received from its membership, and therefore may call for nominations from the wider academic, scientific community.
VISTA was first held in 1993 and aims to provide a forum for exchange on current information, research and expertise related to Paralympic sport and the Paralympic Movement.
Organised through a partnership between the International Paralympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, the theme of the event is “Opportunities and Challenges in Paralympic Sport Science and Sport Medicine Support.”