British_Paralympic_Association_logo.svgApproximately 200 leading specialists and practitioners from across the UK have come together for a two day Paralympic, Sport Science and Sport Medicine Conference (starting yesterday and continuing today, Friday March 13) to share knowledge and experience from the fields of sport science and sport medicine, in order to support the preparations of ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016.

On the agenda for the conference is a combination of keynote, workshop and discipline specific sessions. It is attended by a wide range of science and medicine practitioners as well as coaches and performance directors from within the UK high performance system. The spread of delegates from a host of backgrounds reflects very well on the increasing maturity and sophistication of the Paralympic High Performance network in the UK.

The conference aims to support the preparations of the ParalympicsGB team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as well as supporting the wider development of the Paralympic High Performance system.

The event has been attended by Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, who addressed conference delegates after dinner on the first night.

The conference is an important aspect of the British Paralympic Association’s preparation strategy. The event is co-funded by UK Sport and supported by the English Institute of Sport, in recognition of the ever-increasing standards of performance and increasingly sophisticated performance support required to compete and win medals at a Paralympic Games.

Georgina Sharples, Senior Performance Manager at the BPA and part of the Conference organisation team, said of the event:

“At the BPA we are very aware that standards of competition at the Paralympic Games are constantly advancing and winning margins are decreasing. Therefore we have to explore all areas of athlete preparation, of which sport science and sport medicine is a key component, in order to maximise our chances of winning as many medals as possible at the Games.”

Nik Diaper, Head of Paralympic Sport Science and Sport Medicine for the English Institute of Sport, said:

“Through our Sport Science and Sport Medicine Conference, we have a unique opportunity to bring together the very best individuals working in Paralympic sport in this country in one place, to share knowledge and expertise and collectively reflect on our progress to date and the performance factors that could make the difference to optimising performance when it counts in Rio 2016.”

Michele Hammond, Senior Performance Advisor, UK Sport said:

“UK Sport is investing a record amount of National Lottery and government funding into Paralympic sports on the Road to Rio, and in an increasingly competitive Paralympic environment, we have to be right on top of our game. With 545 days to go, the Paralympic Sport Science and Sport Medicine Conference will provide us with a fantastic opportunity for experts in Paralympic sport to come together and share best practice to help us find those crucial winning margins for medal success in Rio.”

The conference runs from Thursday March 12 to Friday March 13.