Whenever we receive a new inquiry our first thoughts turn to classification – will this person classify; if so, what category; are they on the border of two categories and even more importantly will the classifiers understand the medical issue.
There are so many medical issues that allow for classification and a vast number of them are not ones readily understood or identified by anyone other than a medically trained person, i.e. a doctor. Physiotherapists are amazing professionals but even they will acknowledge there are medical issues that allow for classification that they are not familiar with which makes it even more important when dealing with classification that everyone involved not only works together but relies on the professional knowledge of the expert in that particular field.
We have been involved in matters of classification for the length of this Program which is many many years and for us, whenever we have a medical query we head straight to our expert doctor and physiotherapist who not only do an amazing and full assessment but if unclear themselves then contact FISA directly to ensure the report given to us is not only accurate but allows us to know exactly that the classification category we apply under is the exact and right one. We don’t believe in proposing athletes for categories that they don’t make nor do we provide hope to expectant athletes where no hope exists.
So it is with relief that we read the article below and hope that the changes welcomed and introduced in the UK follow suit wherever classification of athletes with disability happen. That there was no provision for challenging an athlete’s classification is not only an oddity but lacks any supporting arguments.
We followed with interest the UK inquiry and read the transcripts of evidence given, summing up and report. That the inquiry came about as a result of dissatisfaction and negative comment about certain athletes is unfortunate but hopefully the new rules and regulations will allow for a more transparent and understandable classification system and one that allows all athletes to know they were classified in a manner that allows for understanding of the process by all and will, in time lead to an equal playing field.