Towards an evidence-based and fair classification system for athletes with Cerebral Palsy

Project Leader

  • Yves Vanlandewijck


  • Department of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics

Research Funders

  • Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports


Below you can read summaries about the project in English and/or Swedish. The information is taken from the publication database DiVA.

Athletes with Cerebral Palsy competing in International Paralympic Committee sanctioned events are unfairly classified in competitions with athletes with other impairments (e.g. swimming, wheelchair basketball). This is mainly due to the neglect of the multi-impairment aspect of the health disorder.

Recent literature fails to demonstrate a strong relationship between the coordination impairment in athletes with Cerebral Palsy and sport specific performance determinants. It is hypothesized that this is caused by (i) neglecting, amongst other, the cognitive component of the health disorder, and (ii) the methodology app lied in measuring the coordination impairment. The latter aspect is the focus of the current project. Most of the coordination impairment test applied in recent studies on classification of athletes, with Cerebral Palsy operate open; kinetic chain measurements to explain (quasi-) closed kinetic chain performances (e.g., wheelchair propulsion [quasi-closed chain], hand cycling [closed chain]),

The aim of the current project is to develop a reliable and valid coordination test instrument measuring and analyzing open and closed kinetic chain movements. It is hypothesized that the coordination impairment of the athlete with Cerebral Palsy will relate stronger with sport performance determinants when comparison between components is made between comparable kinetic chain modes.

The creativity and originality of this project originates in three aspects:
(i) the project is run by an international research group of experts;
(ii) this project is the first study considering the modus of operation (closed versus open kinetic chain) in explaining coordination impairment in athletes with cerebral palsy; and
(iii), this project is the first step of a two-steps umbrella project aiming at developing a composite assessment of coordination impairment and cognitive impairment in athletes with Cerebral Palsy.

Funding period

  • 2021 - 2022

Project type

  • Project grant

National Research Field

  • Sport and Fitness Sciences