Improving the Power of Dutch wheelchair athletes,

 through innovative measurements, (data)science and feedback

Mission and vision

WheelPower is all about Paralympic wheelchair sports. The Netherlands is one of the leading countries in wheelchair sports science. In WheelPower sports practice and science are blended by years of cooperation between athletes, coaches and academics. Sports practice requests are transformed into more fundamental scientific research, of which outcomes in turn are fed back into sports. WheelPower is more than a good cooperation, it is the mutual ambition of athletes, coaches, companies, medical staff, researchers, lecturers and students, to attain high quality sports directed research. There is a blend of sports and science, of lab and the sports venue, of community level and elite level athlete. .

- WheelPower consortium

The objective of WheelPower is to improve the internal and external power output of athletes in their sport-specific wheelchair to perform better in competition. To achieve this objective the current project systematically combines the three Dutch measurement innovations (WMPM, wheelchair ergometer, PitchPerfect system) to monitor a large population of athletes from different wheelchair sports resulting in optimal power production by wheelchair athletes during competition. The data will be directly implemented in feedback tools accessible to athletes, trainers and coaches which gives them the unique opportunity to adapt their training and wheelchair settings for optimal performance.

The main research question is: what are the performance indicators for optimal power production by wheelchair athletes during competition and how are they improved using continuous performance monitoring, combined with direct feedback? The sub-questions are:
1: How do the power demands, monitored during training and competition, compare to the maximum measured power production capabilities of wheelchair athletes?
2: What is the biomechanically optimal technique for efficient power transfer of the upper-body for the wheelchair-sport specific goals? For instance, how does timing of subsequent rotation of (upper-)body segments affect the efficiency of power transfer when pushing the hand rims, or when hitting the ball with the racket during wheelchair tennis?
3: How does direct feedback on the performance indicators for power production in wheelchair sports actions affect improve the competition performance of wheelchair athletes ?

Marit van Dijk

Marit van Dijk, active in WP 1, measuring wheelchair mobility performance on court, using IMU sensors. Investigating ways to estimate excerted power based on IMU measurements.

Marit van Dijk
WP 1

Rowie Janssen

Rowie Janssen, active in WP 2 investigating the applications of the wheelchair ergometer to evaluate wheelchair mobility performance and power in wheelchair propulsion.

Rowie Janssen
WP 2

Rienk vd Slikke

Dr. Rienk van der Slikke, active in WP 1 and WP 3. Measuring with IMU sensors in wheelchair sports and investigating the effect of feedback on mobility performance.

Rienk vd Slikke
WP 1 & WP 3

Work packages

Work package 1 On-court Power
On-court power demands: The objective is to connect wheelchair athletes to the Wheelchair Mobility Performance Monitor (WMPM) and meanwhile extend the WMPM with more athlete activity-based power output. This project allows for a direct start with data collection, combined with lab-based measurements, so that individual performance portfolios are filled immediately. Subsequently a big data approach, using neural networks and predictive analytics, will be applied to identify the performance indicators and performance killers.

Work package 2 Wheelchair Ergometer Power
Wheelchair power analyzed: The objective is to perform detailed standardized lab measurements of power output on the wheelchair ergometer and add these data to the performance portfolio. Next to standardized tests for aerobic and anaerobic power output, also detailed biomechanical analyses on the kinetic chain will be performed to optimize the power flow for producing high power outputs.

Workpackage 3 Power Feedback
The power of feedback: The objective is to integrate WP1 & WP2 and further develop and implement feedback systems to provide athletes and coaches of essential information on their performance. Special focus will be direct feedback on timing within the kinetic chain to achieve an optimal power transfer during relevant wheelchair sports actions.


WheelPower Newsletters

Summer 2020

The first edition!
Dutch only!

Newsletter autumn 2021

Read all recent updates

Newsletter 2022

Up to our final year...

Newsletters to come


Newsletters to come


Newsletters to come



WheelPower projects on display

Wheelchair Mobility
Performance Monitor

The WMPM-app with Movesense sensors

Movesense sensors

The WMPM uses Movesense sensors

Sensors in wheelchair sports 

BNR radio (dutch only)

Smart sports wheelchair

TU Delft (Dutch only)

FOCUS: De ideale rolstoel

NPO (Dutch only)

Measurements in wheelchair sports

Dutch radio podcast

Get in touch....

We are very pasionate about moving forward in wheelchair sports performance.
So if you have questions or see opportunities for joined projects, feel free to contact us.

Get in touch
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