Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 09:30
Dr Sean Tweedy
Dr Sean Tweedy

A Paralympic athlete classifier has been highly commended at the 2015 University of Queensland Faculty of Health and Behavioural Science Research Awards.

Dr Sean Tweedy from the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences was recognised in the category of Research Translation.

Faculty Associate Dean (Research) Professor Christina Lee said there were numerous instances where Dr Tweedy brought his research on physical activity and disability into community settings.

“He has been a Motor Accident Insurance Commission Research Fellow in Physical Activity since 1997,” Professor Lee said.

“Previously, he was also an exercise physiologist for the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association for 10 years.

“One of his main interest areas is evaluating the efficacy of interventions that promote physical activity in people with disabilities.

“Sean established and continues to coordinate the Adapted Physical Activity Program, a novel specialised service that promotes physical activity for people with disabilities in the Brisbane area.”

Dr Tweedy has both a Master of Human Movement Studies and a Doctor of Philosophy and, through his research program, aims to empower people with impairment.

By allowing participants to engage in physical activities of their choice, he improves their long-term health, fitness and functioning.

Sports fans would be interested to know Dr Tweedy is the Principal Investigator of the International Paralympic Committee Classification Research and Development Centre.

“Systems of classification that are fair are critical for all levels of disability sport, particularly encouraging participation from novices,” Dr Tweedy said.

“Ensuring integrity of competition at the elite level sets an attitude that filters down to the levels below and gives a positive representation of sport.”

Dr Tweedy has led scientific initiatives to improve the evidence behind Paralympic classification systems.

He authored the official International Paralympic Committee Position Stand on the scientific principles of classification.

Based on outcomes from his research, the eligibility criteria for the sport of athletics were reviewed (then implemented at the London 2012 Paralympic Games) so that they were more credible and defensible.

In addition to his scientific contributions, he has been a classifier at the last four Paralympic Games.