The International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) medical and scientific director Peter Van de Vliet has visited Aspetar hospital as part of a short stay in Doha for the opening days of the IPC Athletics World Championships.
Van de Vliet was greeted at Aspetar, a world leading orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, by director general Mohamed Ghaith Al-Kuwari.
It marked a first-ever trip to Qatar for Van de Vliet, a physiotherapist by training who has been leading the IPC medical and scientific department for nine years.
The participants held a discussion focusing on their experiences of working with Paralympic athletes and the potential for the promotion of sports and physical activity for people with impairments in Qatar.
Van de Vliet claimed Paralympic athletes do not need help on the field of play, least from able-bodied people, and described their competitive skills as outstanding.
He did say help is needed however to take down barriers in society and give equal opportunities to impaired persons.
There was unanimous agreement that Aspetar and the IPC will explore a close collaboration in the future to help benefit athletes and people without and with impairments, the sports medicine profession and Qatar as a nation.
Aspetar is the first hospital of its kind in the Middle East, providing top-level medical treatment to all athletes in a state-of-the-art facility which they say sets new standards internationally.
During last year's Asian Games in Incheon, Aspetar and the Qatar Medical Committee were awarded the Sheikh Ahmed Al Fahad Hiroshima Asia Fund Science Award at a special ceremony attended by a representative from each of the 45 countries which took part in the quadrennial continental event.
Aspetar was officially accredited as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence by world football's governing body's Medical and Research Centre in 2009.
Five years later, it was recognised by the International Olympic Committee's Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health.
Aspetar is a member organisation of Aspire Zone Foundation, Qatar’s innovative sports and healthy lifestyle destination, and this year has been recognised as the International Handball Federation's Reference Centre for Athlete and Referee Health.
The IPC Athletics World Championships, currently being hosted by the Qatar Sports Club, are scheduled to conclude on Saturday (October 31).
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