WFH 16th MSK Congress: “Nurturing the Athlete with Hemophilia”

The WFH 16th International Musculoskeletal Congress is less than a month away! From a fantastic host city—high-energy Madrid, Spain—to a program that covers the important topics in the field today, the Congress is sure to be a rewarding event for all attendees. In the last several weeks, we have featured stories on a session on obesity, and a panel on “Ultrasound and Hemophilia”. Today, we look at a panel discussion titled, “Nurturing the Athlete with Hemophilia”.

Sport selection has been a source of debate among Musculoskeletal (MSK) professionals for many years. While the discussions have carried on, people with hemophilia have continued to dream about, pursue, and realize athletic accomplishments far beyond what might have been thought possible for someone with an inherited bleeding disorder. Our community includes marathon runners, Ironman competitors, professional cyclists, and a conqueror of Mount Everest.

In an era characterized by the individualization of care, where the value of inter-disciplinary care is well-respected, this session will explore how the needs of the athlete with hemophilia have been supported—or could have been better supported—by the treatment team model. A panel of patients—including a weightlifter who went from being in a wheelchair and dealing with inhibitors to becoming a personal trainer and fitness advocate, an Ironman competitor, and a professional cyclist—will join an expert physiotherapist with extensive knowledge on the impact of sporting activity and motion analysis to discuss the role of sports and physical activity in the context of bleeding disorders.

Don’t miss this unique and original session never before included in an MSK Congress program, tailored to provide not only the viewpoints of the expert panel but also to allow for audience debate.

The following experts will be part of the panel:

Andrew Selvaggi is a personal trainer and hemophilia advocate from Melbourne, Australia. From childhood through his teen years, Selvaggi was in a wheelchair because of his struggle to manage his weight. After recognizing the detrimental effects of his lack of exercise, Selvaggi found a passion for fitness, got fit and lost more than 35 kilograms! For most of his life, Selvaggi has worked toward achieving balance, which involves truly listening to one’s body and taking advantage of the times when it positively responds to an active lifestyle. Selvaggi attended the Australian Institute of Fitness where he received his personal training accreditation. He understands first-hand that staying active and healthy is essential for all-around happiness.

The youngest of three brothers, all with severe hemophilia A, Clive Smith brings legal expertise to the panel as a qualified barrister who has practiced criminal law for 11 years. In 2014 Smith left full-time practice and now works part-time, teaching and training solicitors and barristers. This arrangement gives him the time to volunteer as a trustee. Despite arthritis in his ankle, Smith stays very active, has run the Brighton Marathon, competed in triathlons and completed four Ironman competitions in the last five years. Smith is also the Youth Ambassador for the European Haemophilia Consortium. Smith is a passionate patient advocate and has used his sport as a platform to speak about what he believes is possible for people with hemophilia. In 2018, Smith spoke at both the World Federation of Hemophilia Congress and the European Hemophilia Consortium Conference about hemophilia and sport.

On the advice of his doctor, Pau Salva Martinez, PhD took up playing table tennis at the age of ten. After nine years playing at a senior level, Martinez moved cities to start a degree in sports science. His interest in planning and sports training began at this time when he began to provide guidance to athletes from a range of disciplines. During his college years, Martinez took up cycling which quickly became a passion. In 2011, he founded Training4Bike, which specializes in the development of customised training programmes in endurance sports, particularly cycling, allowing athletes to maximise their potential while minimizing the risk of injury. Despite spending much of the last five years training and racing around Europe, Martinez completed a PhD in sports science from the University of Valencia in 2015.

 Sébastien Lobet is a Physiotherapist and Researcher at the Haemostasis and Thrombosis Unit at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels, Belgium. He is currently the chairman of the physiotherapy group for EAHAD. Lobet completed his Masters in Sport Physiotherapy in 1999 and completed his PhD thesis in 2012 at the Institute of Neurosciences, Catholic University of Louvain. His research focuses on the functional assessment of hemophilic arthropathy. In 2009, Lobet received the Henri Horoszowski Memorial Award from the WFH, established to encourage musculoskeletal specialists to become involved in hemophilia care. This year, Lobet was awarded the EAHAD Research Grant Award with Professors N. Roussel and T. Hilberg. He also received the WFH 2018 Hemophilia Treatment Centre Twins of the Year Award. This award recognizes the 5-year collaboration between the Brussels hemophilia treatment centre and the Yopougon University Hospital in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire).

The WFH 16th International Musculoskeletal Congress takes place from May 10 to 12, 2019 at the Novotel Madrid Center in Madrid, Spain. Register online today using our easy, efficient, and secure online registration form.