A course designed to increase the number of national classifiers who can work with Visually Impaired (VI) athletes is being delivered throughout May by the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) and the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA).
Over 20 Ophthalmologists and Optometrists from across the region will take part in the online course which consists of four online theory sessions after which, subject to successfully completing a test, they will receive a certificate to show that they have completed part 1 of the course. The course is being delivered by Dr Rokiah Omar who is the Head of the APC’s Classification Committee and IBSA Head Classifier Jose L Doria.
The second part will consist of practical experience as a trainee, attending appointed VI International Classification opportunities when the pandemic situation allows. Following this, successful participants will receive the IBSA Diploma enabling them to classify VI athletes at national level.
APC President Majid Rashed said; “We’re delighted that to join with IBSA to promote this course. If the Paralympic Movement in Asia is to grow and meet its full potential, then we need to increase the number of national classifiers. This course and the great response to it is a very positive step in the right direction and we are really pleased to work with IBSA on this.”
IBSA President Jannie Hammershoi commented; “We are delighted to partner with the Asian Paralympic Committee to advance and improve visual impairment classification in Asia at such an important time for Para sports in the region. Demand for this course has been so high that we are offering two sessions, which is great to see.
“IBSA remains committed to being a world leader in classification for athletes with visual impairments. By offering these sessions online we are now able to reach many more people, making the expertise of our leading classifiers more accessible and creating greater awareness of this fascinating and rapidly evolving area.”
VI Classifiers are used to classify athletes in sports such as Judo, Goalball, Football 5-a-side, swimming and athletics.