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7 July 2011 | PR 11/85

Loughborough University hosts Scientists in Sports initiative

More than 90 children from across the East Midlands have visited Loughborough University to try their hand at science activities, thanks to a new initiative.

‘Scientists in Sport’ is an education programme inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, run by Games partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Each ‘Scientists in Sport’ event offers local school children the opportunity to experience a day at a university.  The event also provides a series of sport science themed lectures and interactive workshops, to inspire 11-14 year old students to study science and pursue a science related career.

Students from schools across the East Midlands were invited to the University to see how science will be used during the London 2012 Games - from anti-doping drug tests to a hands-on physiology experience where students were able to compare themselves to Olympic athletes.

The pupils also received a motivational speech from Olympic hopeful, flat water canoeist, Matt Sollars, who has just completed his studies at the University.

Dr Mary Nevill, Director of the Institute of Youth Sport based at Loughborough University, who facilitated the event said:

“Hosting the GSK Scientists in Sport day is a great opportunity for us to show the significant role science plays in sport and also to introduce young people to the fantastic sports science facilities here at Loughborough University. Many of our researchers are involved in discoveries that make a real difference to professional sport.”

GSK Director of Academic Liaison, Malcolm Skingle, CBE, said:

“Young people in the UK clearly have an enthusiasm for practical, hands-on science. ‘Scientists in Sport’ demonstrates how business and academia can work together to harness that initial enthusiasm and encourage more young people to study science at university. This should help deliver the science graduates who can drive forward the UK’s science base and provide potential recruits for academia and researched based organisations like GSK.”

Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said:

“Science will play a crucial part in the London 2012 Games, from the training and nutrition programmes which keep the athletes at peak performance to the anti-doping tests which will help to make the Games as clean as possible.

“The GlaxoSmithKline ‘Scientists in Sport’ programme is a great way for young people across the UK to learn about the science behind the Games and open their eyes to the huge array of scientific careers both on the track and in the lab.”

Further information about Scientists in Sport can be found at:
http://www.scientistsinsport.com/

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk

For all GlaxoSmithKline/Scientists in Sport enquiries contact:

Sally Aldous
T: 020 7260 2700

Notes for editors:

1. GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information please visit www.gsk.com

2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday September 21, 2011 10:46