Keynote Speaker - Shinji Nakamae

Portrait of Shinji Nakamae with plain backgroundShinji Nakamae is Director of Paralympic Games Integration for the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has attended the last five summer Paralympic Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio. He started his work in Parasport in 1998, when he joined “Japan Sun Industries”, an organisation that has provided the chance to work and supported the independent living of people with disabilities in Japan since 1965. Sun Industries were founded by Dr. Yutaka Nakamura, who studied in Stoke Mandeville under Sir Ludwig Guttmann and was influenced to promote Parasport in Japan and contributed heavily to the organisation of the 1964 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

In 10 years at Japan Sun Industries, Shinji worked for social inclusion through sport. He was the coordinator or project manager for several projects, including international coordinator for the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon, communication manager for the FESPIC Games Federation secretariat, and the project manager of wheelchair manufacturing and wheelchair basketball workshops in Malaysia with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on the occasion of the 9th FESPIC Games in Kuala Lumpur 2006. 

With such rich experience and skills, he moved to the Japanese Paralympic Committee in 2007 to work on the nationwide promotion of Parasport.  Within the NPC of Japan, he was responsible for the development of the national federation of individual sport and the preparation of the Japanese contingency to the major Games including, but not limited to, the summer and winter Paralympic Games.  He also worked with non-Paralympic groups and organisations such as Deaflympics and Special Olympics.  During his time at the NPC he was also an eager contributor to the Tokyo bids for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the main coordinator from the Japanese Paralympic Committee. Finally, in 2014 joined the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee with the feeling of having been “destined” to contribute to the Tokyo 2020 Games success and realisation of the Games Vision.

Keynote Speaker - Geoff Smedley

Geoff Smedley portrait

Geoff Smedley has spent 30 years in Special Education, with the majority of that time spent being a Head Teacher.  When he left education, he went on to work on Sports Council projects as a Disability Sport Advisor to a number of UK Sports governing bodies.  He was a founder officer with the English Federation of Disability Sport.  He was the CEO of the UK Sports Association for people with Learning Disability. He has held major Executive Board roles with INAS, the International Paralympic Sports Association for Intellectual Disability, and the European Paralympic Committee.  

He is the author of several books on Disability Sport and the Coaching of Disabled People in Sport.  As the chair of the Disability Committee of the National Coaching Foundation, he initiated courses bringing disability awareness to many sports coaches. He has delivered sport-coaching programmes in Europe and Russia encouraging the inclusion of athletes with Down syndrome. He holds an M.Ed. from Warwick University. 

He is now President of SUDS, the international Sports Union for athletes with Down syndrome. We are delighted to have Geoff joining us for this conference, and he will be delivering a presentation:

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

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