13 March 2019

UK Paralympic Performance Conference to build towards Tokyo and beyond

To Tokyo 2020

Over two hundred leading Paralympic sport specialists and practitioners convened in Manchester this week (March 12-13) to support preparations for British athletes at future Paralympic Games.

The UK Paralympic Performance Conference, hosted in collaboration between UK Sport, the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA), with support from the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University, is the fourth of its kind to be developed for Para sport practitioners across the high-performance system since London 2012.

The agenda for this year’s conference featured a blend of keynotes, workshops and poster presentations focused specifically on preparations for Tokyo 2020, covering a range of crucial topics that will support the continued development of the UK Paralympic high-performance system into the Paris 2024 cycle and beyond.

This year Paralympians including Stephen Miller, Stephanie Slater and Matt Wylie, shared their insights and joined delegates in conversation around topics such as classification, Japanese culture and the experience of an athlete preparing for their very first Games.

UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger said:

“The UK Paralympic Performance Conference has provided a fantastic platform for the high-performance system to come together at an important time in the Tokyo 2020 Cycle. We are very fortunate to have so many world-leading experts across Paralympic sport here and it was brilliant to see UK Sport, the English Institute of Sport, the British Paralympic Association and our close partners under one roof, working together towards a common goal.”

Nik Diaper, Head of Performance at the BPA, said:

“Collaboration across the UK High Performance system has been instrumental in supporting the continued success of ParalympicsGB. The last two days have demonstrated not only the level of research, planning and insight that has been achieved to date, but also the shared ambitions for Tokyo 2020 both in terms of performance and the joint commitment to create the best possible environment for athletes and staff at Games-time.

“Tokyo 2020 will present a number of challenges for our team and competition will be intense, but I am confident that our preparations are in a very positive place at this point in the cycle.”

Tom Paulson, Head of Paralympic Performance Support at the EIS added:

“The conference was a great opportunity to have the whole UK Paralympic high-performance system under one roof and to utilise the power of our network. Connecting the system at this time helps to focus our attention on the challenges of Tokyo 2020, but also to begin looking ahead to Paris 2024 and how we can develop our support for athletes and coaches in the next Paralympic cycle. Much of the content shared throughout the conference isn’t available anywhere else in the world and reflects the pioneering work of the EIS’ practitioners who have contributed over half of the sessions across the past two days.“

“I’m delighted with how the conference has gone and am looking forward to seeing how the knowledge and information shared is used to maintain our momentum as we collectively prepare for Tokyo.”

ParalympicsGB returned from Rio 2016 with the third highest medal haul in British Paralympic history after a series of historic performances helped the team to secure second place on the medal table.

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