Loughborough University Professor Vicky Tolfrey-Goosey has been named the winner of the 2017 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Paralympic Scientific Award, due to be presented at this year’s VISTA Conference in Canadian city Toronto.
For nearly two decades, Tolfrey-Goosey has sought ways to apply sports science to Para-athletes who have been training for the international stage.
At Beijing 2008 she led a team of sports scientists and healthcare experts, known as the Beijing Acclimatisation Group, in an attempt to ensure athletes were prepared.
Tolfrey-Goosey is due to deliver a keynote address at the VISTA Conference, scheduled to take place from September 20 to 23.
"Considering the caliber of person that falls into this category, I am truly honored to be following in the footsteps of Professors Lucas van der Woude, Rory Cooper, and Gudrum Doll-Tepper, who have inspired me in many ways," Tolfrey-Goosey said.
"It is a magnificent achievement and I am privileged to be the recipient of this award in 2017."
Tolfrey-Goosey’s keynote address is titled "Pushing from Atlanta to Rio: Reflections of my Practitioner and Research Journey".
Loughborough University Prof Makes Keynote Speech
She will reflect on her professional activities since attending Atlanta 1996, highlighting key individuals who have supported the development of her research portfolio since then.
"The academic record of Professor Tolfrey-Goosey covers a wide range of disciplines that all contribute to optimising Para-athlete performances," Peter Van de Vliet, the IPC’s medical and scientific director, said.
"Her answers to very concrete demands of athletes in different sports are appreciated by both athletes and their support staff and are widely recognized by the academic community.
"I want to congratulate Vicky on the award, which serves as both a recognition and an incentive for further work in an ever-growing scientific domain, in partnership with the IPC."
Team Acknowledged At Loughborough University
Tolfrey-Goosey was a member of the IPC Medical and Scientific Committee from 2005 to 2010, and currently, acts as a sports science consultant for both Great Britain wheelchair rugby and triathlon.
She acknowledged her team at Loughborough University’s Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport and the support of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences for her achievements.
"Most importantly our work is not just undertaken in isolation and we collaborate with the coaches and athletes themselves to understand their needs and what may impact their performance," Tolfrey-Goosey said.
"It is very important that a coach-driven and athlete-centered approach are adopted and this has been made possible by my close working relationship with both the English Institute of Sport and the British Paralympic Association.
"I am also fortunate that I have experience attending the Paralympic Games as a sports practitioner and this definitely has deepened my understanding of the sporting environment."
First presented in 2005, the biennial IPC Paralympic Scientific Award recognizes the work of one academic researcher for their contribution to research in the field of sports for persons with an impairment.
The accolade acknowledges and rewards the work of researchers and serves to promote and encourage further study and enhance the quality of work in this area.
Those who submit nominations are IPC members, IPC Governing Board members, Sports Technical Committees, IPC Standing Committees and Councils.
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.
Professor Jennifer Mactavish of Canada was the 2015 winner in recognition of her work that helped get athletes with an intellectual impairment back into the Paralympic Games at London 2012 after a 12-year absence.
The VISTA Conference was first held in 1993 and aims to provide a forum for the exchange of current information, research, and expertise related to Paralympic sport and the Paralympic Movement.
The theme of this year’s event - organized through a partnership between the IPC, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and the Canadian Sports Institute Ontario - is "Opportunities and Challenges in Paralympic Sports Science and Sports Medicine Support".