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FINA World Aquatics Convention
17th FINA World Sports Medicine Congress

The FINA World Sports Medicine Congress reviews scientific innovation in aquatic health and performance. The two-day Congress gathers physicians, sports scientists, health professionals, team doctors and coaches.

In 2016, the 18th FINA World Sports Medicine Congress takes place as part of the 4th FINA World Aquatics Convention – run by FINA and supported by the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM).

Here Dawn Haworth, Executive Director of CASEM, discusses CASEM’s role in the Medicine Congress, and how its involvement adds value to the event.

Why did CASEM decide to take on the responsibility of organising the 2016 Medicine Congress?

CASEM has partnered with world leaders in the field of sport and sports medicine in the past. As hosts of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, we held our pre-Olympic conference in 2009 in Vancouver for all Olympic medical personnel.

More recently in 2014, CASEM hosted the FIMS World Congress of Sports Medicine in Quebec City. Hosting such events is of benefit to CASEM as our membership learns from the international expertise that is presented at world congresses such as the FINA World Sports Medicine Congress.

What experience can CASEM offer the Medicine Congress?

CASEM implements world class international sports medicine congresses. The expertise in the logistical arrangements are appreciated by FINA. In addition, CASEM is providing expertise through the promotion of Canadian speakers. Finally, CASEM will promote the Medicine Congress to its membership, to enhance participation and to improve the quality of aquatic sport medicine and sports science expertise in Canada.

What are the benefits of holding the Medicine Congress and the FINA Swimming Coaches Golden Clinic as part of the FINA World Aquatics Convention?

The 2016 edition is the first time where there will be overlap of the Medicine Congress and Coaches Clinic. This is an exciting new feature, as coaches, team doctors and sports scientists can benefit from the collaboration and translation of knowledge to the practical application in the pool with the athlete.

What are the key discussion topics on the Medicine Congress agenda?

Under the general theme ‘Swimming for Gold, Swimming for Life’, numerous topics will be discussed, including: Protecting the Aquatic Athlete, Preserving Athlete Health and Performance, Sports Science: ‘The Cutting Edge: the latest in aquatic sports science!’, The Science and Medicine of Anti-doping, and Improving Aquatic Athlete Performance: recent innovations in sports medicine.

Who are the key Medicine Congress speakers and why have they been selected?

The Bleasdale Keynote Lecturer is Dr. Alan Vernec, one of CASEM’s key leaders in sports medicine and the current Medical Director of WADA. Dr. Vernec is a world leader in the field, and his keynote speech will address the latest developments in the field of anti-doping.

Other key note speakers include: Dr. Louise Burke, Australian Institute of Sport, (AUS); Dr. Saul Marks, University of Toronto, (CAN); Dr Cees van den Hoogenband, Chair, FINA Sports Medicine Committee, (NLD); Prof David Gerrard, Chair, WADA TUE, (NZL); and Dr. Bob Sallis, American College of Sports Medicine, (USA).

Where is the sport of Aquatics in regards to sports medicine innovation?

FINA has an advanced sports medicine programme of prevention. FINA is keen to improve our athlete health and experience, and look to the experiences of other sports. In particular, FINA collaborated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Triathlon Union to determine safe water temperatures in Open Water Swimming.

In addition, FINA implements an Injury and Illness Surveillance programme based on the IOC protocol. FINA recently held an Aquatic Injury and Illness Methodology Consensus meeting where experts in the field from FIFA, Tennis, IAAF, Canada, Qatar and Norway were consulted.


The theme of the 18th FINA World Sports Medicine Congress is ‘Swimming for Gold, Swimming for Life’. See the full programme.