Disability Sport Conference 2018

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Monday 03 September 2018 to Saturday 15 September 2018

09:00 AM - 05:00 PM


TechnoCentre, Coventry University Technology Park, Puma Way, Coventry University, CV1 2TT

3rd - 5th September 2018, Coventry University Technology Park

Following on from the success of the first three conferences held in 2012, 2014 and 2016, the Centre for Business in Society will be hosting a further international, inter-disciplinary conference for academics and practitioners in the field.

The conference is aimed at anyone with an interest in using sport for people with disabilities as a tool for health, inclusion, peace and development etc.

Conference Themes

The conference is based around four main themes:

  • Sport and health for people with disabilities
  • Paralympic and disability sport Legacies
  • Disability sport for peace and development
  • Disability sport and social inclusion

Keynote speakers

Our two keynote speakers are:

Shinji Nakamae - Director of Paralympic Games Integration for the Tokyo 2020 Organisating Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Geoff Smedley - Presidents of the International Sports Union for Athletes with Down Syndrome

Read their biographies here

Below is the provisional programme:

Monday 3rd September 2018

  • Registration (Coffee/ Tea available) (8.45-9.30am)
  • Welcome and Introductions (9.30-10.00am)
  • Presentations 1 (10.00-11.15am)                              Chair: Verity Postlethwaite
  1. Inclusive activity: the perceptions of disabled people and their influencers (Elliott Johnson, Activity Alliance, UK (formerly English Federation of Disability Sport))
  2. Inclusive sports schools in Germany: breaking down the barriers. Perceptions and opinions of young Paralympic athletes, parents, coaches and headmasters (Sabine Radtke, University of Paderborn, Germany)
  3. Visualisation of Parasport Inclusion in International Federations: A Pilot study. (Martínez – Ferrer et al, Spain)
  • Coffee Break (11.15-11.45am)
  • Keynote 1 (11.45-12.45pm)                                       Geoff Smedley

The development of a World-Wide Sports Union, of eight International Sports Federations, providing competition opportunities for elite athletes with Down syndrome.

Geoff Smedley, President, International Sports Union for athletes with Down syndrome (SUDS)

  • Lunch (12-45-2.00pm)
  • Presentations 2 (2.00-3.15pm)                                  Chair: Shauna Kearney
  1. Finding a hobby with the PAPAI (Aija Saari, Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU), Finland)
  2. Demystifying India: A Disability Sport Perspective (SriPadmini Chennapragada, The APA Initiative, India & Sunil Jain, ASTHA, India)
  3. Building a Legacy in Disability Sport through Play (Brandi Heather, AMPED2PLAY, Canada)
  • Coffee Break (3.15-3.45pm)
  • Presentations 3 (3.45-5.00pm)                                  Chair: Tom Weir
  1. Disability, Sport and Identity: A personal perspective (Candace Cable, USA Social Cohesion Resources, USA)
  2. The Activity Trap – Benefits or Being Fit: Disabled people’s fear of being active (Elliott Johnson, Activity Alliance, UK (formerly English Federation of Disability Sport))
  3. The everyday realities of sport and physical activity for non-sporting disabled people: An initial exploratory study (Ben Clayton and Ben Ives, Buckinghamshire New University, UK)

Tuesday 4th September 2018

  • Tea/ Coffee (8.30-9.00am)
  •  Presentations 4 (9.00-10.15am)                                Chair: Natalie Bilynsky
  1. Cognitive Function and Physical Fitness; A Community Approach to Group Exercise for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (Caleb Coppock, Mona Sayedul Huq, Ali M. Yurasek, & Julia R. Varnes, University of Florida, USA)
  2. The Impact of Aquatic Exercises on Physical Fitness Levels of Intellectually Disabled Children (Yeşim Albayrak Kuruoglu (1), Dilek Uzuncayir (1) & Elif Camekan (2), Nişantaşı (1) and Okan (2) University, Turkey)
  3. Cognitive function development during childhood and adolescence in typically developed and intellectually impaired individuals (Ingi Þór Einarsson, Stephan Bandelow, Sigurbjörn Árni Arngrímsson, Iceland)
  • Coffee Break (10.15-10.45am)
  • Presentations 5 (10.45-11.35am)                              Chair: Shauna Kearney
  1. The Entanglement of Legacy from London 2012: Paralympic and Olympic reflections around the ‘Inspire a Generation’ aim (Verity Postlethwaite, University of Worcester, UK)
  2. Public Policy and Disability Sport: A UK regional case study of County Sports Partnership engagement. (Aaron Beacom, University of St Mark and St John, UK)
  • Keynote 2 (11.35-12.35pm)                                       Shinji Nakamae

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games: the vision for an abundance of legacy opportunities.

(Shinji Nakamae, Director, Paralympic Games Integration for the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games)

  • Group Photo (12.35 -12.50pm)
  •  Lunch Break (12.50-2.05pm)
  • Presentations 6 (2.05-3.20pm)                                  Chair: Caleb Coppock
  1. Why “Understanding Disability” education is a critical component to drive adapted sport participation and social inclusion. (Candace Cable, US International Council on Disabilities, USA)
  2. SKI4ALL – A World Para-Alpine Skiing (WPAS) Para-Sport Public & Corporate Engagement Strategy – Building the Brand (Ozzie Sawicki, AMPED2PLAY, Canada)
  3. The Rugby League World Cup 2021: Creating opportunities for inclusion through the hosting of the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup. (Jon Dutton, CEO - Rugby League World Cup 2021 and James Simpson, RLWC2021 Ambassador,UK)
  • Coffee Break (3.20-3.50pm)
  • Presentations 7 (3.50-5.05pm)                                  Chair: Verity Postlethwaite
  1. Perceived Competencies of Adaptive Sports Professionals: A Delphi Study (Natalie Bilynsky, Patti Craig, Bob Barcelona, Jessie Bennett, Jill Gravink, Crystal Skahan, Matt McGilvray, University of New Hampshire, USA)
  2. From disability-based to sport-based organizations: boundaries and practices at play during institutional change. (Simon Gerard, Coventry University, UK)
  3. Patients or athletes? A History of Down Syndrome Sport in Britain (Tom Weir, DMU Leicester, UK)

Wednesday 5th September 2018

  • Tea/ Coffee (9.00-9.30am)
  •  Presentations 8 (9.30-10.45am)                                Chair: SriPadmini Chennapragada
  1. Undergraduate PE students’ journeys; developing knowledge, perceptions and attitudes towards SEND in PE (Rebecca Foster, University of Worcester, UK)
  2. Can mixed ability sailing change attitudes towards disability? (Grace Brown and James Moncrieff, Hult International Business School, UK)
  3. The Legacy of London 2012 on the sport of goalball in the UK and the National Governing Body:  Goalball UK (Mark Winder and Becky Ashworth, GoalballUK)
  • Coffee Break (10.45-11.15am)
  • Presentations 9 (11.15-12.05pm)                              Chair: Dr Ian Brittain
  1. ‘What's in it for me? Assessing the legacy of para sport events upon the lived experience of people with disabilities in host locations: A critical spatial marketplace inclusion/exclusion approach (Shauna Kearney (1), Ian Brittain (1) & Eva Kipnis (2), Coventry (1) and Sheffield University (2), UK)
  2. Legacy, Education and Disability: a reflective piece on policy based research (Verity Postlethwaite, University of Worcester, UK)
  • Wrap Up and Closing (12.05-12.15pm)
  • Lunch (12.15-1.30pm)
  • Departure

Registration for the the Disability Sport Conference is now open. 

Registration Fees:

Full Registration Fee:                                                              £325

Student Registration Fee (Presenting Paper)                         £225

Student Registration Fee (Not Presenting Paper)                   £275

Not included in the fees.

Please note that the registration fee does not include travel to and from Coventry for the conference or accommodation whilst in Coventry. It is anticipated that hotel costs will be between £35 and £75 per night depending upon your choice of hotel.

If you are unable to attend the Conference you may request a refund of your conference registration fee. Please see our cancellations and refunds policy for more details 

VISA or invitation letters

Anyone requiring an invitation letter or letter to support a visa application can request one upon payment of the full registration fee. However, all enquiries or questions regarding VISAs should be directed to your relevant local government, embassy or immigration office.


For enquiries please contact Dr Ian Brittain