In Brief: Fife's international injury research seeks to prevent contact-sport injury

By Carl Clark
Office of Media Relations
October 21, 2015

Gabriel Fife, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Texas State University, has presented international research into injury surveillance at the International Paralympic Committee's VISTA 2015 Conference in Girona, Spain.

Fife gathered data for his research from Turkey and Ecuador over the summer. His research into injury surveillance seeks to uncover an effective disability and injury assessment process. The research could benefit a number of public health areas.

“Potentially, if our work is good, we could use the methods to help determine which people might learn best together based on their physical abilities and not so much their disability," Fife said. "There has been a movement to acknowledge the abilities of people rather than what they cannot do.

“If you can imagine, there are various people who come to compete at these events and they come with a whole bunch of different disabilities.” he said. “Not all physical impairments are the same and our hope is to develop a methodology that allows for the fair grouping of athletes so they can compete against athletes with similar disabilities as themselves.”

As a faculty member at Texas State, Fife conducted his research at the World Para-Taekwondo Championships in Turkey where he was recognized for his work on the new Taekwondo events, which will be included at the 2020 Paralympic Games.  In Ecuador, Fife continued his observations at the 2015 INAS Global Games Taekwondo events. These helped Fife understand how to better prevent debilitating injures caused from contact sports like Taekwondo.  

“As these athletes already work against a great deal of adversity, my colleagues and I are aiming to catch injuries that pose a high risk of additional disability and recommend prevention programs to uphold their health," said Fife.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) serves to organize and include people disabilities of all backgrounds into athletic completions around the world. This inspires people to believe anything is possible.