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Research project success

World Para Swimming classification research data collection continued with resounding success in the Czech Republic with KONTAKT bB from the 11th to the 14th of July 2017.

Friday 28 July, 2017

This research project funded by World Para Swimming and UK sport aims to understand the effect a physical impairment has on an athlete’s ability to swim and use that information to develop a brand new Para Swimming classification system.

The research partners from Manchester Metropolitan University (Dr Carl Payton, Dr Hannah Jarvis, Miss Ana-Carolina Maia and Mr Alex Dallaway) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (Prof Brendan Burkett and Dr Luke Hogarth) worked with 30 swimmers over three days in Strakonice, home of the KONTAKT bB summer camp. Data collection included drag analysis, tethered swimming, 3D motion analysis, strength testing, range of motion and co-ordination, all of which will be instrumental in informing the new or revised classification system.

KONNTAKT bB stands for "contact beyond barriers." It is a unique project aimed at encouraging individuals with physical impairments to learn how to swim and train together. For more information on this inspirational project see www.kontaktbb.cz or https://www.facebook.com/kontaktbb.cz/

Dr Hannah Jarvis said "We had an absolutely brilliant time in the Czech Republic with KONTAKT bB. I cannot thank the team and the athlete’s enough for participating in our research project. They were all fantastic to work with and we were all so impressed and humbled by the great work of KONTAKT bB."

"We appreciate very much the World Para Swimming research project to improve the classification system. We are also pleased that Professor Brendan Burket´s and Dr. Carl Payton´s team participated in our Summer Camp and impressed us by their effort and sophisticated analysis. It was really motivating for our swimmers and prestigious part of 25th annual Swim Summer Camp" added Jan Nevrkla, director and chief coach of KONTAKT Bb.

"It was very interesting to take part in the research and I am curious especially of the results from 3D analysis" said Anezka Floriankova, youngest athlete in the Czech Paralympic Team in Rio (class S8). "I have been swimming for 20 years and I am happy that something is in progress with classification. Coordination test was really challenging for me" said Jan Vacek, swimmer with CP (class S3).

The research team have also recently visited Spain as part of their National Paralympic Championships in Cadiz, and will hopefully be heading off to other global nations in the near future. National Paralympic Committees interested in taking part in World Para Swimming classification research project can contact the research team at Hannah.Jarvis@mmu.ac.uk