Long-term parasport development

Save favourite 22 Aug August 2019
Parasport

Research and development in para-alpine skiing and para-canoeing will contribute to long-term parasport development together with IPC, the International Paralympic Committee.

Background

Mid Sweden University has previously run projects for people with impairment together with Parasport Jämtland Härjedalen, which also became the starting point for collaboration between different parties to make sports and outdoor activities in the region more accessible to everyone.

This also resulted in a cooperation between Parasport Sweden and Mid Sweden University, with the research centers Sports Tech Research Centre and the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre as the national node for research and development in winter sports. Mid Sweden University has also received a request from the IPC regarding the development of the Winter Paralympic sports. The first step is about research for para-alpine skiing with the main purpose of improving the classification system.

In alpine para-sports at the competition level, it is crucial to understand which factors affect performance and then use this knowledge to make a fair comparison of the final result for individuals with different levels of impairment, so-called classification. Today this is done with a recalculation of the end time based on the impairment that the athlete has, where using a conversion factor calibrated on the basis of history of competition. Research in this area has been limited, so it is partly unknown how different physical impairments, such as reduced function or lack of muscle strength in different parts of the body, affect performance.

At Mid Sweden University, 3D measurement technology is used in combination with advanced computer-aided simulation methods to study the impact of different physical impairments in various para-sports in a computer simulated environment. It is hoped that the methodology combined with current methods can contribute to the development of classification and a more equitable sport.

Objectives

Develop collaboration and carry out research and development with IPC, Parasport Sweden,Mid Sweden University and other partners, and act as an international center for R&D in parasport and indirectly contribute to creating additional competition opportunities in the region and travel opportunities.

Researcher

Jonas Danvind and Marie Ohlsson, project managers. 

Project period

September 2017 – August 2019

Funding

500 000 SEK

Funders

The project is funded by the Rolf and Gunilla Enström Foundation for Research and Development.

Partners

Sports Tech Research Centre and the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University