Keynote Speakers

Prof. Jan Blecharz, University of Physical Education in Krakow, Poland, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport

Lecture title: The role of mental preparation in elite athletes' training

Prof. Jan Blecharz is an associate professor at the University of Physical Education in Krakow, in the Department of Psychology. He has over 30 years of experience as a researcher in the field of sport psychology, the psychology of physical injuries in sports, mental preparation for the highest rank competitions, psychosomatic regeneration and techniques of coping with stress. He is a certified Master Class Sport Psychologist of Polish Psychological Association. He was a psychologist of Polish team at the Olympic Games in Albertville and Salt Lake City. From 1998 to 2003 he was a psychologist of Polish team in ski jumping. He also collaborated with champions of many individual sport disciplines. Member of the Board of Sport Psychology Section of the Polish Society of Physical Culture, the Polish Psychological Association and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology.

 Prof. David Howe, Loughborough University School of Sport, UK, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Lecture title: Parasport: an antidote for inclusive practice?

Prof. David Howe is a social anthropology of sport in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University with research interests in disability sport and leisure cultures. David's ethnographic research focuses on unpacking the embodied socio-cultural milieu surrounding inclusive physical activity and disability sport. His publications on the co-constitution of disability and medicine in sport mark him out as the leader in the socio-cultural investigation of disability sport. With reference to the culture of disability, ethics of Paralympism, health and disability and medical discourse surrounding the Paralympic Games, David is concerned with his research highlighting ways and means of making sport and physical activity more empowering for marginalised populations. David holds a guest professorship at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium and adjunct Professorships at Queen's University and Western University both in Canada.

Prof. Vesa Linnamo, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Lecture title: Online monitoring and feedback for athletes and coaches

Professor Vesa Linnamo received his Ph.D. in biomechanics from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland in 2002. His research interests involve motor control and neuromuscular adaptation along with sports biomechanics, especially in Nordic winter sports. He has published over 60 original articles, over 30 books or book chapters and 140 congress abstracts of which the majority in recent years have been related to elite sports. His main co-operation international Universities at present are University of Salzburg (Austria), University of Freiburg (Germany), Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Mid Sweden University (Sweden) and Jozef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw (Poland). In addition to scientific careeer, he has almost 30 years of experience in basketball, including 8 years in top league player and over 20 years as a coach in different adult and junior series. Prof Linnamo is currently working in the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences (Biology of Physical Activity), University of Jyväskylä as a professor in sports technology in Vuokatti, Finland.

Prof. Vladimir Platonow, National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine

Lecture title: The modern system of periodization in long-term athletes' preparation

Vladimir Platonov, Professor of the Department of History and Theory of Olympic Sports of the National University of Physical Education and Sports of Ukraine, Editor in Chief of the journal "Science in Olympic Sport", Doctor of pedagogical sciences, Professor, Honored Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine, Laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology. Vladimir Platonov has authored more than 500 scientific publications in the field of the theory of sport, theory and methodology of preparation of highly qualified athletes, and adaptation of the athlete's body to the training and competitive loads of the modern sports. His scientific publications has included more than 30 textbooks, monographs and encyclopaedic works published in many countries of the world: Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Romania, Poland, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria, Romania, China, Japan, Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR. Vladimir Platonov work has been awarded numerous national awards and the Olympic Order, the highest award of the International Olympic Committee.

Prof. Mikhail Shestakov, Training Center of Russian National Team 

Lecture title: Muscle-tendon mechanics and energetics with a view to enhancing sports performance of top sportsmen.

Professor Mikhail Shestakov has scientific interests in the field of biomechanics, motor control, computer simulation of learning processes. He published more than 120 scientific papers, 12 textbooks for institutes of physical culture. For more than 30 years, he has been involved in the training of athletes of national teams of Russia in various sports as a research fellow. From 1996 to 2000 he took part to trainees and testing the crewmembers of the International Space Station "MIR" 21-27 in a joint work with NASA specialists. For the last 8 years, he heads the Analytical Center of the Ministry of Sport of Russia, which carries out methodological work with athletes and coaches of the Russian national team to prepare for participation in the Olympic Games. Twice in 2000 and 2008 he was awarded by the European Association of Athletics for the best scientific work. Prof. Shestakov is a member of the Russian and European Association for Artificial Intelligence.