20 Mar 2017

Organised under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and staged in the presence His Serene Highness Albert II, Prince of Monaco; the sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera was the recent home for the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in sport.

Proceedings commenced on Thursday 16th March and concluded on Saturday 18th March; the International Table Tennis Federation was represented by Professor Miran Kondric, Chair of ITTF Sports Science and Medical Committee.

by Professor Miran Kondric, Chair of ITTF Sports Science and Medical Committee

It is the premier international conference for those interested in the clinical aspects of sport and exercise medicine.

During three days more than 215 participants attended diverse sessions and workshops, where eminent international authorities on injury and illness prevention delivered speeches and conducted workshops.

The triennial conference was a unique opportunity, not only for the global sport and exercise medicine community, but also for individual international federations, to meet face to face in the ideal Monaco environment.

“Injury and illness represents for any athlete periods of doubt and decline during which he cannot achieve his ultimate goal of performing and enhancing his performance. The protection and preservation of their physical integrity are priorities for the Olympic Movement and all National Olympic Committees. I am thrilled that the principality will host once again theIOC World Conference on Prevention of injury and Illness in Sport from 16 to 18 March 2017. My sincere thanks to the organizers, who have taken the decision to come back to Monaco after the 2011 and 2014 editions”, foreword by Albert II, Prince of Monaco

Notably the Congress was organized at the Grimaldi Forum, one of the first congress centres in Europe to have successfully obtained the ISO 14001: 2004 international standard in environmental management.

A permanent team of 150 professionals, representing 46 professions, accompanies event organizers in their projects. Designed to accommodate major conferences; the logistically designed premises, which include full catering facilities, excellent hospitality and most efficient internal communications, provides the perfect environment for international federations to meet.

During three days, 33 symposia, five keynote lectures, 122 speakers, 82 workshops and 318 abstracts were presented. Experts, team physicians from National Olympic Committees and International Federations plus students exchanged news of the latest research and advances in the prevention of injury and illness in athletes.

“We went into the Conference with high expectations and these were exceeded on every front. From the opening session with H.S.H. Prince Albert II, all participants threw themselves into the workshops, keynotes, symposia and poster sessions delivered by inspirational researchers and practitioners”, Dr Richard Budgett, IOC Medical Director

Table tennis is less risky sport, but prevention must never be regarded as unnecessary; the International Table Tennis Federation has to work alongside other international federations, who already provide injury and illness surveillance among their athletes.

It is a most important task to provide coaches and players appropriate information regarding possible dangers; for example prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, information was delivered on the Zika virus.

The effect was that coaches and support staff were able to prepare athletes better for competition; it is policy we must promote and enhance.

Sports Science Professor Miran Kondrič