Asian Paralympic Committee
Asian Paralympic Committee Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) has announced the final speakers for the inaugural Athetes’ Forum for para-athletes from Asia that is scheduled to take place virtually in the first week of next month.

Athlete representatives from all 44 Asian National Paralympic Committees as well as representatives from International Federations are scheduled to attend the virtual conference to be held on December 2-3 with support from the Korea Paralympic Committee.

Leading the panel of invited speakers will be the renowned Professor Dr Jeffrey Martin from Wayne State University as he delves on the psychology of the Paralympics and training management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martin is currently a full professor at Wayne State University since the past 28 years. He has published over 200 research articles on disability sport, running performance, body image, measurement and statistics.

He was the founding Editor for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology and he is also the current editor of the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Martin competed for Canada at the 1985 and 1987 World Cup Marathons.

Prof Datuk Dr Rokiah Omar and Dr Badrul Amini Abd Rashid, both members of the APC’s Medical and Sport Science Committee, will lead sessions on increasing the athletes’ understanding of the classification process while touching upon the latest anti-doping rules.

Adding to the session on Athlete Career Management, Airbnb and the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) will join Adecco on outlining opportunities for athletes to build a career post-competing. Airbnb will expand on the opportunities available for athletes to get involved in their online experiences and the IWRF will present on how to build a career in sport post-competition.

The final session of the two-day forum will be led by Jae Jin Park, Director of the International Sports Department of the Korea Paralympic Committee who will outline the journey that the Paralympic Movement in Korea starting from Seoul 1988 to Pyeongchang 2018. This will then be followed by a panel discussion to explore the impact on athletes of their own countries hosting major events and the legacy and opportunities this affords.

APC President Majid Rashid Al Usaimi was pleased the committee has been able to put up a truly strong list of speakers to educate the athletes. “We are delighted that such a high quality line-up has been assembled for our first Athletes’ Forum. The list of speakers and the topics that they will cover will make this a really useful two days for the athletes and help them be better prepared not just for upcoming major events, but for life after competing,” he said.

“Of course, we are looking forward to hearing the athletes’ voice on the issues facing them and the Paralympic Movement to ensure that they are at the forefront of our future planning,” Al Usaimi added.