School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


24 December 2014

WHEELCHAIR SPORT: Pushing from Atlanta to Rio

Presented By Professor Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey
  • 5pm
  • Lecture Theatre J.1.04 (Edward Herbert Building)
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About this event

High-performance athletes are high performance whether they have a disability or not. However, the evidence-based practice in Paralympic sports science remains in its infancy. The development and implementation of safe and effective exercise and technical programmes for wheelchair athletes are often based on theory for nondisabled athletes.

Yet after appreciating the many differences between nondisabled and wheelchair athletes, the knowledge gleaned from the literature may not be directly applicable to the wheelchair athlete. Clearly there are two major components of wheelchair sports performance, these being the athlete and the chair. Therefore, the athlete and sports wheelchair must be considered as one integrated unit or performance will be affected; and for this an understanding of the physiological consequences of the physical impairment is a necessity.

In this lecture, Professor Goosey-Tolfrey will reflect on her professional activities since attending the Atlanta Paralympic Games in 1996 as a PhD student and sport science support officer to Wheelchair Racing (working with the likes of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and David Weir). She will highlight how key individuals have supported the development of her research portfolio thereafter when she worked with wheelchair basketball under the leadership of Sir Phillip Craven and consulted for wheelchair tennis, wheelchair rugby and for the British Paralympic Association through to London 2012.

As her capacity as the Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University, current projects leading into Rio 2016 will be outlined. She will illustrate the very broad areas where the evidence-based practice is being used and developed, particularly using her experiences from the ‘real world’ of preparing athletes for the Paralympic Games, where ParalympicsGB has notably been very successful.