The European Conference of Adapted Physical Activity (EUCAPA) 2016 was held for the 2nd time in the beautiful city of Olomouc. The three day conference held between the 15th and 17th June 2016 consisted of 3 keynote speeches, 139 workshops, oral and poster presentations with over 180 participants from all around the world. The event was hosted by the University of Palacky’s, Adapted Physical Activity centre in the Faculty of physical culture and was supported by the European Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (EUFAPA) as its official biennial conference.
The opening keynote by Aija Klavina titled, “Health and Social indicators of participation in physical activities for children with disabilities” set the scene for expanding the scientific field beyond inclusion pedagogy by detailing a study on physical activity and its indicators of physical and social health. The second keynote was on the day 2 of the conference by Mike McNamee titled, “Paralympism, disability and everyday life”. This gave the EUCAPA audience the possibility to think about the concepts of disability through the lens of elite sport. The final day’s keynote was from Yves Vanlandewijck titled, “A Paralympic Sport unravelled: a 20 years scientific retrospective on the Belgian Wheelchair rugby squad”. It was a detailed overview of the history of wheelchair rugby in Belgium and the science in the sport, highlighting the need to invest more into research into parasports in general.
The conference had a perfect blend of science, activity and socialising activities in a beautiful city. This was supported by a number of young volunteers helping to make the event happen. Some of them had the opportunity to take part in the scientific conference for the first time and some others had common grounds through the European Diploma in Adapted Physical Activity (EUDAPA) programme.
In addition to the scientific programme, there were pre-conference sessions on Aqua therapy as well as a Special Olympics sport festival. Furthermore, the EUCAPA board met and approved the hosts of the next EUCAPA2018 to be held on the 3rd-5th July 2018 at the University of Worcester, United Kingdom. More details about the meeting will be posted later and information about the 2018 conference to follow.