VISTA 2019: Yves Vanlandewijck named Scientific Award Winner

Professor at KU Leuven Belgium honoured for contributions to Movement

Group photo of participants at the VISTA 2017 conference Yves Vanlandewijck (top left) has led the IPC Classification Research & Development Centre for athletes with an intellectual impairment since 2013 © • IPC

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that Professor Yves Vanlandewyck has been named the 2019 IPC Paralympic Scientific Award winner, which will be presented at September’s VISTA Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

He will deliver a keynote address at the scientific conference, which will take place from 4-7 September.

Vanlandewijck is a professor in rehabilitation sciences at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium.

He has been committed to improving the quality of life for individuals with a disability since his early career as a physiotherapist in the 1980s, and later on as a wheelchair basketball player and coach.

“From 1994 to 2018, I had the opportunity to learn from Paralympic athletes and their entourage,” Vanlandewijck said. “I learned to think multi-disciplinary and to look holistic to every single person with unique individual abilities. The past quarter of a century has been extraordinary, and the journey continues. A massive thank you to everybody in the Paralympic Movement who contributed to this amazing feeling.”

Professor Vanlandewijck was one of the pioneers and a leading lecturer on the International Masters degree in adapted physical activity at KU Leuven.

In 1995, he became a member of the IPC Sport Science Committee. From 2004 to 2018, he was the Chairperson of this Committee, where he initiated and led major projects in the scope of science within the Paralympic Movement.

“Many people contribute to the quality of life of people with a disability,” Vanlandewijck said. “My personal contribution was easy to spot because all my activities took place in the spotlights as a member of the IPC Sport Science Committee for 24 years, the last 16 years as chairperson.

“This position has given me insight in the many multi-disciplinary questions the Paralympic Movement is facing and some lever to initiate change. As an academic professor, I had the opportunity to broaden the scope of my research unit at KU Leuven from rehabilitation science to active lifestyle and Paralympic sport.”

Vanlandewijck has led the IPC Classification Research & Development Centre for athletes with an intellectual impairment since 2013, which ties in to his keynote speech on 4 September.

“Having written a review paper in 1996 on Classification in Paralympic Sport, I am working on a new review on evidence-based classification. In my keynote in Amsterdam, I will critically analyse the concept of evidence-based classification and review the road we walked in the past 20 years,” he said.

“I would like to dedicate this award to all professionals and volunteers contributing to the Paralympic Movement outside of the spotlights.”

About the IPC Paralympic Scientific Award

First presented in 2005, the biennial award recognises the work of one academic researcher for their contribution to research in the field of sports for persons with an impairment.

The award acknowledges and rewards the work of researchers and serves to promote and encourage further study and enhance the quality of work in this area.

IPC members, IPC Governing Board members, Sport Technical Committees, IPC Standing Committees and Councils submit nominations. The IPC can also accept additional candidates outside of nominations received from its membership, and therefore may call for nominations from the wider academic, scientific community.

VISTA was first held in 1993 and aims to provide a forum for exchange on current information, research and expertise related to Paralympic sport and the Paralympic Movement.

More information on VISTA 2019 is available on the event website.