Professor Neil Armstrong

Expert takes part in Olympic symposium

A world-leading expert in children's health and exercise has been taking part in an international conference ahead of the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.  

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Armstrong, also Director of the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC) at the University of Exeter, has been attending the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) in Scotland. 

He was one of the leading contributors to symposia on: The Fitness and Health of Children through Sport and From Playground to Podium – The Journey of Elite Young Athletes. Professor Armstrong is a recognised authority in these fields.

International experts from around the world have been taking part in the event considering a wide range of subjects including the performances of elite athletes, the impact of genetics, exercise biochemistry, violence in sport, and gender, identity and ethics.

Professor Armstrong said: “With all eyes on the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, there is no better time to highlight issues surrounding exercise and health.

“This event is also very important in bringing together sports scientists and medical experts from around the world, allowing them to share research and establish new collaborations.”

ICSEMIS aims to celebrate sports sciences, act as an information exchange, promote education and encourage multi-disciplinary approaches. The first ICSEMIS event was held in China ahead of the opening ceremony for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

Professor Armstrong has also been asked by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be part of a scientific working group under the umbrella of the IOC Youth Strategy. The projects undertaken will culminate in the Summer Youth Olympic Games in China in 2014. Professor Armstrong will work alongside just a handful of other leading experts from around the world.

He said: “I’m delighted to serve on such an important group. The Olympic and Paralympic Games have huge potential to improve the exercise levels and health of the wider population. We really want to seize this fantastic opportunity to help the well-being of society at large.”

Professor Armstrong established CHERC, which is part of Sport and Health Sciences, 25 years ago. The implications of the Centre’s research for children’s health and well-being have attracted both royal and ministerial interest and resulted in invited private briefing meetings with Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace and with UK Government Ministers. 

The Centre won the Queen‘s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for its research in paediatric physiology in 1999.

Date: 24 July 2012