The WCPT Congress ended with a joyful communal dance

Congress ends in a celebration of friendship and professional pride

It started with a mass drumming session, and it ended with a joyful communal dance. WCPT Congress 2017 in Cape Town drew to a close in a crescendo of professional pride.

“You are amazing,” said WCPT President Emma Stokes, at the closing ceremony. “You made this congress so fantastic.”

“Most importantly, we created lasting friends, that will take us through the next two years, the next 10 years, the next 20 years and beyond. And I believe we are better because of that.”

This was the first WCPT Congress on African soil, and Ina Diener, President of the South African Society of Physiotherapy, expressed her satisfaction that the long-held ambition to host the event had finally been fulfilled. “It was wonderful, and the journey absolutely worthwhile,” she said.

WCPT Chief Executive Jonathon Kruger said that the congress had been “held in the loving embrace of the Mother City” over three days, and that the promise of an enriching experience had been delivered.

But the congress will also leave a legacy for South Africa, in its support for the WoW! (WesternCape on Wellness) initiative, which promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent, reduce and manage common chronic diseases.

At the closing ceremony, awards were presented to three Western Cape primary schools for the BrainBreak exercise initiative. And Ina Dina presented a cheque for ZAR 13,000 to the Shoes2Move project, encouraging healthy living by providing sports shoes to those who cannot afford them.

It was these projects that provided the closing ceremony with its dance class, as more than 1,000 physical therapists joined in with the “Big WoW! dance”, designed to encourage activity, and led from the stage by WoW! representatives.

Awards for outstanding platforms and posters were also presented at the closing ceremony. Outstanding platform presentation awards went to Maxi Miciak from Canada, for “Demonstrating physiotherapy research makes a difference”, and Wendy Bower from Australia for “The development of Tango, a novel screening tool to identify co-existing causes of nocturia”.

The winners of the outstanding poster award went to Isabele Demers from Canada for “Current recommended practices for teaching and adapting physical activity for children with developmental coordination disorder: a scoping review”; and Elizabeth Westerdahl from Sweden for “Inspiratory muscle training in high-risk patients following lung cancer surgery”.

And it was announced that the location for the next WCPT Congress in 2019 will be Geneva, Switzerland.

 “We’re counting on you being there,” said Emma Stokes, “because we’re better when we’re together.”

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