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3 February 2009 - PR 09/12

Loughborough Professor gains audience with Olympic Chief

A Loughborough University Professor has met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge to discuss how the world’s largest sporting movement can encourage more young people to take up physical activity.

Professor Stuart Biddle of the University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences (SSES) was personally invited for an audience with Rogge after impressing at the IOC Word Sport for All Congress in Kuala Lumpur last November, where he presented on physical activity and new technologies.

Biddle, whose academic interests lie in physical inactivity, activity and health, sedentary behaviour and the motivational aspects of physical activity and exercise, met with Rogge at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne on Wednesday last week (28 January).

The pair’s discussion centred on the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, the role of sedentary behaviours in young people’s lifestyles and the role of the family and peers.

Rogge showed particular interest in the recently published Youth Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior book, which was co-edited by Biddle.

“It was great to be able to meet with Jacques and make contact with the IOC at such a high level,” said Biddle. “He is really big on the youth agenda and wants to do more to encourage young people to take up physical activity. As a former medic he was really interested in the recent book and was keen to find evidence to guide the work undertaken by the IOC.”

The meeting was followed by a workshop of seven invited experts from across Europe and Africa which is helping to shape IOC thinking on the subject of youth and physical activity, of which Biddle was the only UK representative.

–ENDS–

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sports PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports..

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