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9 January 2012 | PR 12/1

New government-funded Centre puts exercise at the heart of the nation’s health

Andrew Lansley

Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley

A £10 million, pioneering sport and exercise medicine centre is to be established in the East Midlands, the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, announced today (9 January).

Located at Loughborough University, the centre will help increased numbers of people to be more active and will treat injuries caused by exercise, as well as conditions associated with lack of exercise. It will also help people use physical activity as a means to cope with existing medical conditions, such as diabetes.

The East Midlands hub will be run by a consortium of six university and hospital partners – Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham, the University of Leicester, Nottingham University NHS Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust.

The hub is one of three nationally, which together will form the country’s first-ever National Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence.

The East Midlands Centre, which will be based in a new, state-of-the-art building, will bring together experts in sport and exercise medicine from each of the renowned partner organisations.

Professor Myra Nimmo, Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, said: “The co-location of university researchers, clinicians and service delivery will provide a new model in healthcare provision, allowing researchers to work in close contact with the people who ultimately benefit from their work. This new way of working will crucially enable us to speed up the translation of pioneering academic research into clinical practice.”

The East Midlands’ Centre will focus on four key population groups – athletes of all abilities, people with chronic illness, people at risk of chronic disease. Its work will also help to enhance the wellbeing of the general population.

“With so many elite athletes studying and training on the Loughborough campus, we have a unique living laboratory,” explains Professor Nimmo. “This will allow us to study athletes at the peak of their physical fitness and, with our clinical partners, to apply that knowledge to those who might be considered to be at the opposite end of the spectrum – people who have, or are at high risk of, chronic disease.”

The establishment of the Centre will fulfil one of the Government’s key 2012 Games bid commitments and will be a lasting legacy of the Games.

Announcing the Centre, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said it would not only help get more people active, but also keep them active.

“Hosting the Olympics is a once in a life-time opportunity for Britain and it provides a great opportunity for the NHS too.

“The Centre will share research findings and best practice with the entire NHS so that the whole country benefits.  This will ensure we achieve a real Olympic legacy in the health service,” he said.

It is anticipated that the East Midlands Centre will be operational by 2014-15.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

  1. The other hubs will be based in London and Sheffield.
  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 2011 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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