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World Intellectual Impairment Sport—the International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments—celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016, being founded in 1986. It is the recognized International Federation for sport for athletes with an intellectual disability providing a programme of 14 Paralympic and non-Paralympic sports and has membership from 79 nations around the World. The organization was one of the 4 founding members of the International Paralympic Committee.


       The principal activities of World Intellectual Impairment Sport include:

  1. The organization and management of around 12 World or Regional Championships events each year, providing the competitive pathway for elite athletes with an intellectual disability and a pathway to the Paralympic Games (in some sports).

  2. Managing the eligibility checking process that determines the criteria an athlete must meet to compete within the ID classification group.

  3. Providing training, education and partnership support to member organisations, sports federations and disability sport organizations.

Nick Parr

WP Coordinator, Work Package 5
World Intellectual Impairment Sport


The IPC is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes (through organising commitees) the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games and owns all the sporting and commercial rights thereto. The IPC currently serves as the International Sport Federation for nine sports for which it supervises and co-ordinates the sport technical rules, classification rules, and the major events such as World and Regional Championships. All the other sports on the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games programmes are governed by sport federations that are formal members of the IPC.


       The IPC’s vision is to enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence to inspire ad excite the World.


       The Paralympic Movement is a global network of individuals and organizations brought together through their commitment to provide sporting opportunities for all para-athletes—from grassroots to elite—and the belief to contribute to a better world with equal opportunities for all. The commitment and obligations of those members is codified in the IPC Handbook as the Movement’s ultimate reference document and framework.


       Founded on 22 September 1989 as a non-profit organisation, it is based in Bonn, Germany and employs more than 80 people from 20 countries and is composed of a General Assembly (highest decision making body), a Governing Board (executive body), a Management Team and various Standing Committees and Councils.

Peter Van De Vliet

WP Coordinator, Work Package 5 (IPC)


The mission of CCCU (UK) is to pursue excellence in higher education: transforming individuals, creating knowledge, enriching communities and building a sustainable future. CCCU has 17,000 students, including 1,000 international and EU students, supported by 2,000 staff. The University has a tradition of vocational training and is one of the country’s main providers of training, education and skills to the public services.


       The Faculty of Social Applied Sciences has four Schools and a number of research centres which will be linked to this project. The School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology contains the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, which has over 100 Doctorate students and is one of the leading training centres for mental health practitioners in the UK. The School of Human and Life Sciences has the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research (SPEAR) and offers degrees in Sports and Exercise Science, Sport Coaching Science and Sport and Exercise Psychology. CCCU was one of the original collaborators with KU Leuven in the research on the re-inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities funded jointly by the IPC and INAS. CCCU has also worked closely through the link with Prof Jan Burns with INAS to further develop research into athletes with intellectual disabilities and the pathways into sport. SPEAR has a long history of working with the International Olympic Committee, the World Health Organisation, the Department of Health, UK Sport, Sport England, the Youth Sport Trust and Sport Leaders UK, and the English Federation of Disability Sport. The Salomons Centre has a recognised reputation for research within mental health and disability and has worked onprojects with the Special Olympics and many youth and disability organisations. Together these Schools and research centres bring both clinical and sports science expertise to this project and are well placed to translate the findings from working with elite athletes with intellectual disabilities to be applicable in the broader context, develop pathways and widen participation opportunities in physical activities and sport.


       Prof. Jan Burns is Head of School for Psychology, Politics and Sociology, in which the Salomons Centre sits, and is an associate within SPEAR, in addition to being on the Board of Special Olympics UK and being Head of Eligibility for INAS, so she is ideally placed to lead this institutional partnership.

Prof. Jan Burns

WP Coordinator, Work Package 2b


Situated in Spain, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) was founded in 1971 through the integration of the Higher Technical Schools which up until then made up the Higher Technical Institutes. Nowadays, it is composed of 18 different schools and faculties and it is ranked in the top 150 of universities worldwide and the top 5 universities in Spain. As set out in its statures, the UPM has, among its objectives, the creation, development, transmission and criticism of science, technology, and culture. To this end it also works from its Institutes and Research Centres, assimilating the changes taking place in our society and maintaining its vocation for excellence, which is why it has both national and international recognition. The UPM holds double recognition as a Campus of International Excellence, a distinction that refers to the quality of its research and teaching activity.


       For the academic year 2016-2017, the UPM hosts more than 35,000 undergraduate students, 2226 masters´ degree students and 2,484 PhD candidates. In addition, the UPM receives almost 2,000 national and international students from Erasmus mobility programs. The UPM supported 201 research groups, 541 projects, 292 PhD Theses and there were published 1,860 indexed scientific publications. Total financial was 293,7 M euros.


       The Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (INEF) was the first center in Spain that offered studies in Physical Education. Its trajectory and continuous evolution since 1967 has situated this faculty in the best ranked university in Spain in this field. Nowadays, this faculty offers undergraduate, master and PhD studies in physical activity and sport sciences; hosting around 780 students each year. This faculty consists of three departments: sports, social sciences and health and human performance; composed by a total of 83 professors and teaching assistants. The Centre for Inclusive Sport Studies (CEDI) is located within INEF since 2009, directed by Prof. Javier Pérez-Tejero (PhD). This center has been extensively collaborating in the recent years in research and sport promotion of sport for persons with disabilities in Spain, leading research projects at national level different fields, also in basketball for persons with ID, like the project “Tools development for sport intelligence assessment: applications to the international basketball eligibility system for players with ID (SELBADI, DEP2012-33649, 2013-2015). Finally, this centre has a fluent and collaborative link with Spanish disability representatives and Paralympic and adapted sport organizations.

Foto. Ignacio Polo.jpg

Prof. Dr. Javier Pérez-Tejero

Field Coordinator (Spain)

Ignacio Polo Más
WP Coordinator

Work Package 4


Háskólann í Reykjavík was established in 1998 in Iceland. RU is focused on research, excellence in teaching, entrepreneurship, technology development and co-operation with the active business community. The School of Science and Engineering (SSE) at RU will be partner in this project.


       SSE started in 2005 when Reykjavik University and the Technological University of Iceland merged. The aim of the SSE is to provide outstanding university education in the fields of engineering with a special emphasis on research, development and innovation. The School offers degree programs in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, financial engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering and engineering management and sport science and a range of continuing education programs for professionals. In addition to acquiring a broad theoretical basis, students participate extensively in hands-on, practical projects in close co-operation with local and international businesses and research institutions. Eight research centres are active within SSE, and the School also has collaborative agreements with several overseas universities for research and/or student and faculty exchange. SSE emphasizes excellent teaching, ground breaking research and strong ties to industry and institutions working in the relevant fields. Languages of instruction are Icelandic and English. SSE has close collaboration with many universities in EU and has taken part in a number of European projects as well as Nordic projects.

Ingi Þór Einarsson

WP Coordinator, Work Package 3

WP Coordinator, Work Package 4c

Field Coordinator (Iceland)


Northumbria University is a reserch-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumbria is one of the largest higher education establishments in the United Kingdom, with 36,000 students from over 130 countries across four faculties. It has over 2,000 academic staff and some 500 PhD students and. With origins dating back to 1880 and independent of any other organisation, the University has a campus in London as well as Newcastle


       The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences comprises of five successful academic departments across our City and Coach Lane Campuses. The academic departments are: Applied Sciences, Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Psychology, Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing, Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation. The departments have built up an excellent reputation for research and consultancy activity and a portfolio of high quality undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. An exciting research culture thrives within the Faculty. We deliver regional, national and international research projects, working collaboratively with many external organisations including the NHS and other government agencies and funding bodies, multinational companies, community groups, regional agencies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


       Northumbria University has substantial experience as coordinator and partner in international research projects, including over 30 projects from European Commission (EC) programmes Framework Programme 5 to Horizon 2020. As well as, a further 30 projects from other EC funding sources (e.g. Erasmus, Tempus, ERDF and Interreg). The total value to the University of these projects is approximately £25M. The University currently coordinates or participates in 26 Horizon 2020/FP7 projects, including 13 MSCs and 13 other collaborative research projects (e.g. research and innovation actions, coordination and support actions).

Dr. Florentina Hettinga

WP Coordinator, Work Package 2a

Field Coordinator (UK)​


Högskolan i Gävle (Sweden) was founded in 1997 and has approximately 14.500 students, more than 50 study programs and second-cycle programs, about 500 courses in humanities, social and natural sciences and technology. Built Environment and Health-promoting of Working Life are the general research profiles of the higher education institution. Important parts included are Spatial Planning with a specialisation in Sustainable Built Environment and Musculoskeletal Disorders with the purpose to prevent work-related injuries. The Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies has an education and research profile for health-promoting working life. Interesting research is being conducted in several areas: musculoskeletal injuries, public health, care and health, psychology and social work. The sport science program is a broad, interdisciplinary field that focuses on links between lifestyle, living environment and health among other factors with a special attention on adapted physical activity for people with disabilities.

Dr. Sven Blomqvist

WP Coordinator, Work Package 4b

WP Coordinator, Work Package 6

Field Coordinator (Sweden)

AWF Warsaw

The Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw (Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego Józefa Piłsudskiego w Warszawie, AWF Warsaw) was founded in 1929. AWF Warsaw is a leading academic center in Poland in research and expertise crucial for development of sport and rehabilitation sciences. The University has very strong study programs in the fields of sport, physical education, tourism and recreation, physiotherapy, nursing, occupational therapy and cosmetology. AWF Warsaw has 5.391 students, including doctoral students, supported by 365 staff. The University implements scientific and educational project in the fields of sport, physical education, sports medicine, adapted physical activity (including disability sport and adapted physical education) and rehabilitation sciences through collaborative international projects, European thematic networks, national scientific grants, student exchange programmes and conferences.


       Since the beginning of the Faculty of Rehabilitation (1984), disability sport has been part of the original programs for physiotherapists. In the last 10 years the importance of the adapted physical activity (APA) area in the curriculum increased with 8 compulsory ECTS at the bachelor program offered in 4 courses as well as at the master program with 11 compulsory ECTS in 6 courses.

Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz

Field Coordinator (Poland)

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