Plenary Session on ”Inclusion in Sport”

The plenary session will focus on inclusion in sport and the ambiguous role of sport technology in disability sports: on the one hand, the disabled athletes are socially constructed as “super-crips”, on the other hand, their performances are often explained as technological enhancement rather than as individual effort.

There are two outstanding talks given by Prof. Dr. Gert-Peter Brüggemann (Germany) and Dr. David Howe (UK).

Gert-Peter Brüggemann has been professor and chair of the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics at the German Sport University Cologne since 2000. His main research areas are musculoskeletal biomechanics, adaptation and plasticity, neuromechanics, movement control and applied biomechanics. In addition, he has been a member of the Medical Commission of the IOC, was president of the German Society of Biomechanics and became a honorary professor at the University of Shanghai in 2008. He is the author of more than 150 international publications and his expertise in the field of biomechanics is asked in many international congresses, orthopaedics, trauma surgery, medical engineering and sports industry.

In his lecture Prostheses and Orthoses – How do they effect load management and sports performance, Gert-Peter Brüggemann talks about the benefits and advantages that athletes can gain by using technology aka prostheses and orthoses. As a fact: a double transtibial amputee spends 35% less time in the air between steps in sprinting. He takes 20% less time to swing his legs between his steps. His metabolic cost of running is 15-20% lower than that of able-bodied sprinters at the same level of performance. All factors that contribute to a slight advantage for the disabled sprinter. focuses on the potential of prostheses and orthoses and he will make some speculations on future technical development as well as its impact to performance enhancement and load management.

David Howe has been a reader in the Social Anthropology of Sport in Loughborough, UK, since 2006. His research focuses on culture and policy and their relation to sport and leisure. He has a predilection for the social theories of Bourdieu, Foucault and Merleau-Ponty which are used in his research. His research includes Adapted Physical Activity (APA), the relationship between the body in culture and leisure, and the body in relation to pain and injury, running bodies and the body in different leisure environments. Howe is a member of the Editorial Board of Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly and European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity.

In his lecture The Business of Inclusive Sport: A Philosophical Anthropology of Utopia, Howe argues that instead of focusing on inclusion, we should rather highlight and celebrate differences. Inclusion has gained in importance in all areas, including sports. Policies are made in order to form one society with equal members. However, rather than including everyone, awareness for the differences in people should be raised. The way it is done currently, inclusion in sport can be used as a tool to enhance segregation rather than eliminating it. The long-advocated “sport for all” can rarely be found in practice if one dares to scrutinise it.

You will be able to hear more about this topic in the plenary session [PL-PS03] “Inclusion in Sport” on Friday, 7th July 2017 at 11:30 in Lecture room “Europa/West”.

Session will be livestreamed on ECSS YouTube Channel.