For the first time, Newcastle University is hosting the annual event, which will hear from applied practitioners and academics who have worked with some of the biggest names in sport.
It is the seventh year of the conference, and it has evolved so that it focuses on three crucial and inter-related areas: sports medicine, sports physiotherapy, strength and conditioning.
The three-day event began today and speakers will cover topics such as the medical challenge of collision sports, exercise-associated muscle cramp, and drug use in amateur and recreational sports participants.
Key speakers include Dr Paul Catterson, head of sports science and medicine at Newcastle United Football Club, and Dr Stephen McGregor who has over 20 years’ experience of working in elite sport and integrating sports science into effective support systems for world-class athletes.
Dr Catterson, who was recently appointed to Senior Clinical Fellow at Newcastle University’s Institute of Cellular Medicine, will discuss the challenges for a team doctor working in elite football.
Meanwhile, Dr McGregor, director of the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance, will focus on the priorities and pitfalls in running an integrated sports medicine/sports science programme.
Emma Stevenson, professor of sport and exercise science at Newcastle University, who arranged the conference, said: “It is great Newcastle University is hosting this world-renowned event, bringing together top sports science and sports medicine specialists from over 24 countries.
“National and international experts will review issues that are relevant to anyone who plays sport – from the world of elite sport through to those who just want to improve their health through an active lifestyle.”
BSc Sports and Exercise Science degree
Last month, Newcastle University announced that it was investing more than £30m in modern sports facilities and launching a new sports and exercise science degree to further enhance its position among the top sporting universities in the country.
The new undergraduate BSc Sports and Exercise Science degree programme, the first in the country to be delivered from a Medical Faculty, will be led by Professor Stevenson and applicants are already being received for the first intake in September 2017.
Professor Stevenson said: “Drawing on our expertise in Newcastle University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, the degree has a strong science focus. We cover the disciplines that underpin human health and exercise performance, including exercise physiology, nutrition, psychology and biomechanics.
“The practical application of the science is also an extremely important part of the degree programme. The new facilities will provide students with the opportunity to work with top athletes applying their knowledge to enhance performance in a professional setting.
“Uniquely, as a National Centre of Excellence in biomedical research, we will be able to provide expert teaching at the cutting edge of our subject.”
New sports facilities
The planned development of the existing sports centre at Richardson Road includes an eight court sports hall, four squash courts, a strength and conditioning suite and two exercise studios providing more opportunities for all students to both train and play.
The exercise physiology and biomechanics laboratories, environmental chamber and gait track will ensure that students on the BSc Sports and Exercise Science Programme have access to the best teaching and research sports science facilities.
At the Cochrane Park Sports Ground, it is planned to create two artificial turf pitches, update and extend existing changing facilities and provide flexible social, meeting and office space.
Colin Blackburn, Director of Sport at Newcastle University, said: “Our vision is to build Newcastle into one of the top sporting universities in the UK.
“Our sports teams under the banner ‘Team Newcastle’ performed well across the board in all sport in the last year, with outstanding performances from our basketball, fencing, rowing, Rugby Union, squash and water polo clubs. This ensured that Newcastle University finished 9th in the British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) rankings.”
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