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Dr. Chris Napier PT, PhD, Sport Physiotherapy Canada

Sport Physiotherapy Canada (SPC) has a long history of actively educating, training and certifying its members to work with high performance athletes. Working with teams, individual athletes, or performing medical assistance at Major Games, SPC certificate and diploma holders are highly regarded by stakeholder groups and athletes alike. Many of our members are on the cutting edge of sport-related research. In our fold are internationally recognized physiotherapists creating policy from their research on concussion and injury prevention. Hosting an annual Concussion Symposium and working towards a certification for physiotherapists who treat concussed individuals is one of SPC’s top priorities.

In October 2017, a small delegation from Sport Physiotherapy Canada travelled to Belfast, Northern Ireland to represent our division at the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy (IFSPT) Meetings at the 2nd World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy. Our goal was two-fold: to meet and introduce our organization to our sister organizations from around the world and to promote our bid for the third edition of the World Congress to be held in two years’ time. We had been working hard since joining the IFSPT to have our credentialing process recognized internationally and were excited to receive the news shortly before leaving for Belfast that our Sport Physiotherapy Diploma holders would now be recognized internationally as Registered International Sports Physical Therapists. At the conference, we were accepted with open arms into the international community of sport physiotherapists and were thrilled to be named the hosts for the 3rd World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy! October 4th-5th 2019 marks the date that the international community will be coming to Canada as we showcase some of the world’s top sport physiotherapy clinicians and researchers in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The 3rd World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy, or #SPC2019, will also be the first biannual Sport Physiotherapy Canada Congress. Bringing an international calibre conference to Vancouver was one of the main goals of the current SPC Board of Directors. Conferences of this scale offer an opportunity not only to listen and interact with international leaders, but also for Canadian sport physiotherapists to connect and network with each other and their peers from around the world. Our objective was to kick off a biannual Canadian Sport Physiotherapy conference with a bang by first hosting the world here at home.



Our aim at #SPC2019 is to connect “High Performance to Clinical Practice.” This can be thought of as linking those working in elite sport with those working with weekend warriors, or those working at the top levels of our profession (either clinically or academically) with those in the clinic. Either way, it is about building a connection and transferring knowledge of the best evidence-based practice to date. Clinicians and researchers don’t rub elbows often enough, which is a shame as we have so much to learn from each other. As Chair of the Organizing Committee and a clinician-researcher myself, it was important to me to build a conference that could help bridge the gap and open communication between these two constituents of our profession. In fact, one of the early sessions on day one of #SPC2019 will feature social media queen, Dr. Karen Litzy, along with Dr. Christian Barton and Dr. Rod Whitely. In this highly anticipated session, these heavy hitters will be speaking about ways to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice. For a sneak peek at some of what is in store for this session, see the British Journal of Sports Medicine editorial (free access for SPC members!) penned by myself and Scientific Committee co-Chair, Dr. Jean-Francois Esculier, along with Drs. Barton and Whiteley, in which we discuss strategies to increase clinician engagement in research and ensure effective translation of research to patient care using a ‘design thinking’ approach.

There is sure to be something for everyone at #SPC2019: Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Management of the Athlete (featuring Drs. Ewa Roos, Lars Engebretsen, Clare Ardern, and Bob McCormack); How Did They Get Better? What Different Exercises Actually Do (Drs. Ebonie Rio, Keith Baar, and Christian Barton); Screening for Return-to-Play (Drs. Roald Bahr and Clare Ardern); Leadership in Sport (World Congress of Physical Therapy President, Dr. Emma Stokes, Drs. Jane Thornton and Bob McCormack, and Ms. Sarah Smith); as well as sessions on Technology in Sport, Upper and Lower Extremity Rehabilitation, Science of Pain in Sport, Women’s Health in the Athlete, and more. We also have two pre-conference courses on tap to add value for those attending the Congress: The Athlete Lifespan and a Concussion Workshop.



We invite all of you to follow #SPC2019 on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Visit our website for more information on speakers, registration, accommodation, and more. Visit the registration page to see rates and packages. For a preview of some of the speakers and topics to be covered at #SPC2019, check out the SPC special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. As a Scientific conference, we expect to have a large poster session to display the most cutting-edge original research in Sport Physiotherapy. Submit an abstract to present at the conference! The top five abstracts will present their research in a plenary session competition with questions from the editors-in-chief of three top clinical sports medicine journals. Prizes will be awarded for best-scoring abstracts.

This conference will nourish and challenge your mind and give you the perfect canvas to be physically active. Vancouver welcomed the world for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and now we are ready for you! Vancouver has breathtaking scenery that fosters an outdoor active lifestyle. Where the mountains meet the sea, you can ski in the local mountains in the morning and paddle through the inlets in the afternoon. Come for the conference and stay for the city and its surrounds—a run around Stanley Park, a cycle at Whistler, a hike through the North Shore mountains. Or venture to the west coast of Vancouver Island where the edge of the continent falls into the Pacific Ocean. This is a trip you will never forget.

Please join us to celebrate Sport Physiotherapy at the 3rd World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy. #GlobalPT President, Dr. Emma Stokes will be there – hear her as she calls for physiotherapists the world over to Collaborate, Communicate, Be Coherent, and Connect. Let’s do it all at #SPC2019, October 4-5, 2019 in Vancouver!


Chris Napier PT, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor
Faculty of Medicine | Department of Physical Therapy
The University of British Columbia | @runnerphysio

Chair, Third World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy

Vancouver, Canada

October 4-5, 2019


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