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Professor's crucial classification role at the IBSA World Games

20 October 2023

Professor Joy Myint from the school of Optometry at the Blind Games standing at a podium with a colleague

Prof. Joy Myint, Director of Learning and Teaching at the School of Optometry played a key role in the organisation and delivery of all athlete classifications at the recent International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games held in Birmingham.

The IBSA World Games is a major world championship and multi-sport event for visually impaired athletes. It is staged every four years and is the high point of the international sporting calendar outside of The Paralympic Games. For some athletes, it is the highest level of competition.

The 2023 IBSA World Games had more than 1250 athletes from 70 nations across the world. Classification is the foundation of the Paralympic Movement, as it determines an athlete’s eligibility to compete.

Prof. Myint was one of two classification managers volunteering as part of the organising committee and was also appointed as one of two Chief Classifiers for the event. This involved responsibility for all classification relating to these games including protests, appeals, direct liaison with IBSA, the national and international sports federations, clinic venues, and the international ophthalmology and optometry classifiers.

“I am incredibly proud to have been part of these international games, from organising the clinic, classifying the athletes, and observing the sporting excellence competing at this major event."

Prof. Joy Myint, Director of Learning and Teaching, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

The 2023 IBSA World Games was one of the largest visual impairment (VI) classification events ever to be organised in the UK. Approximately 350 athletes were classified with 7 panels of classifiers and a panel of electrophysiologists.

Prof. Myint also had the honour of reading part of the Official’s Oath at the Opening Ceremony and a radio interview for Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Connect.

The 2023 IBSA World Games will be remembered for its fair play, with Prof. Myint playing a central role in ensuring a level playing field for all athletes - highlighting the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences' broader civic mission.