As the VISTA 2015 Scientific Conference gets underway this week in Girona, Spain, Canadians are well-represented as speakers, panellists and delegates. Approximately 260 experts and sport specialists have gathered from around the world to explore the theme of “securing the future of young para-athletes.”
Following the Opening Ceremony last night, the keynote speaker today was IOC Medical Commission Games Group member Margo Mountjoy, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. Mountjoy presented on “Youth Athlete Development: Recommendations from the IOC.”
Friday’s keynote speaker will be Jennifer Mactavish, the winner of the 2015 IPC Scientific Award. The Canadian has been chosen for the award in recognition of her role in the successful re-inclusion of athletes with an intellectual impairment into the Paralympic Games. Mactavish’s keynote address is titled, “How to engage youth in disability sport: reflections of an accidental academic.”
Classification is another topic meriting attention at VISTA, as CPC’s Executive Director, Sport, Catherine Gosselin-Després and colleagues held consultations focusing on the new classification code.
“The meetings in the past two days were very valuable to learn from International Federations and plans to comply with the new classification code as well as to share best practices with other NPCs,” said Després. “These meetings and the VISTA conference create invaluable opportunities to share ideas and network to grow our movement globally.”
Canadians onsite also include Canadian Sport Institute Ontario CEO Debbie Low, former CPC President and Mount Royal University professor David Legg, Western University associate professor Laura Misener, and Para-Nordic ski guide and research associate at the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University (UK), Andrea Bundon.