Invited Speakers

Kwok Ng

Kwok Ng, holds the docent title (Adjunct Professor) of Health Promotion and Adapted Physical Activity from the University of Jyväskylä, and has multiple affiliations with the Faculty of Education, University of Turku, a member of the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, Department of physical education and sport sciences (PESS), University of Limerick as well as with the Centre of Innovation and Sports Science at Lithuanian Sports University.  He is Vice-President of both the European Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (EUFAPA – and the International Federation in Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA – He is also the assistant editor of the European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity.

Lecture Title: The Para in the Para Report Cards? Potential and Applications

About his Lecutre: When the Physical Activity Reports Cards were being produced around the world, few research teams had committed to reporting data on disabilities. The Para Report Cards were the first of its kind to bring APA researchers into discussions with the Physical Activity Report Card researchers. Findings from the Global Matrix were promising, but yet large data gaps still exist. The potential of report cards depends greatly on the availability of data. Examples of applications in data source and reporting are discussed in this presentation.

Alba Roldán Romero

I am professor in Sports Sciences and Occupational Therapy at Miguel Hernández University of Elche (Spain). I am holding a doctoral degree in Sports Sciences, and a European Master’s in Adapted Physical Activity from the University of Leuven (Belgium).Since 2016, I complement my main teaching with another university programme for young students with intellectual disabilities, where I teach a subject called Applied Physical Activity. My research endeavours focus on two primary areas. First and foremost, I am trying to identify how engagement in physical activity can enhance employability skills among young people with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, my focus extends to the exploration of efficacious strategies for the professional development of physical education teachers, aimed at cultivating inclusive environments conducive to the successful academic and social inclusion of students with disabilities.

Lecture Title: Including physical activity into university curricula for young individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: A strategy to enhance employability

About her Lecture: People with intellectual disabilities consistently face higher unemployment rates within the disability community in general. Numerous research studies indicate that physical activity contributes to improved physical fitness, social skills, cognitive abilities, and psychological well-being, which are essential factors in gaining and maintaining employment over time. This presentation aims to highlight the importance of incorporating physical activity as a specific subject in university curricula for young people with intellectual disabilities

Caroline van Lindert

Caroline van Lindert, senior researcher Mulier Institute, Utrecht, the Netherlands. c.vanlindert@mulierinstituut.nlCaroline (MSc) works as a senior researcher at the Mulier Institute, a non-profit, scientific sport-research institute in the Netherlands that monitors developments within the Dutch sport sector. As a cultural anthropologist, Caroline is interested in the underlying preferences, motivations and obstacles that influence sport participation of, specifically, persons with a disability, and how their inclusion in sport and PA can be stimulated through policy measures and interventions. Caroline is seen as an expert in disability sport (research) in the Netherlands. At the Mulier Institute, Caroline co-leads a research team on inclusion and diversity issues in sport. She coordinates large and small-scale research projects on various aspects of disability sport in the Netherlands, e.g. sport policy evaluation studies, sport participation surveys and studies on the mechanisms behind inclusion (or exclusion) in sport. Caroline has been a critical friend for policymakers and practitioners on disability sport at the national and local level for more than 10 years and is a valued expert in meetings on the subject. Caroline has coordinated two large-scale surveys on disability sport policy and participation in 2008 and 2013, commissioned by the national government, with follow-ups in the following years. With her team, she recently started monitoring the new long-term national policy strategy on the inclusion of persons with a disability in sport that should lead to a level playing field for all involved in 2030. Based on the principle ‘nothing about us without us’, experts by experience are involved in the design and implementation of the new monitor. At international level, Caroline was the leading editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Disability Sport In Europe. This handbook was published in the summer of 2023, in close collaboration with her co-editors and 35 contributing authors from 19 countries in Europe.

 Lecture Title: Disability Sport in Europe: participation, policies and opportunities

About her Lecture: Caroline will highlight the key findings of the ‘Palgrave Handbook of Disability Sport in Europe: policies, structures and participation’. In her presentation, she will show the various ways in which disability sport is governed and organised across Europe and to what extent countries in Europe adopt policies to promote inclusion in sport in this population. Caroline will explain the challenges in examining and comparing the extent to which persons with a disability participate in sport across Europe. She will demonstrate why it’s important to draw attention to the underrepresentation of persons with a disability in sport (research). She advocates more collaboration between policymakers, researchers and practitioners within Europe to enable the sharing of knowledge about what is needed to improve the position of persons with a disability in sport and PA.

Javier Pinilla Arbex

Professor in the joint degree in physical activity and sport sciences and degree in primary education at Universidad Pontificia Comillas. Since 2013, he has collaborated with the Chair of Studies on Inclusive Sport (INEF-UPM) as a researcher evaluating the impact of intellectual disability on performance in basketball at international championships organized by Virtus.

Likewise, he has been a coach of wheelchair basketball in the top category in Spain and has participated in projects related to inclusive sport and adapted sport in the Community of Madrid. One of his lines of work is also training and research in the application of Universal Design for Learning in Physical Education.

Lecture title: How science can help in Disability sport development: applications from basketball as sport for people with intellectual impairment

About his Lecture: This presentation aims to offer a perspective on how, in recent years, the impact of intellectual disability on basketball performance has been researched, the knowledge that has been generated, and how these evidences can help coaches to plan and optimize their training as well as develop evidence-based eligibility systems.