12 Oct 2016

Olympic legend opens building dedicated to improving the nation’s health

The University’s honorary graduate returned to campus to mark the official opening of the hub building of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine – East Midlands (NCSEM-EM).

NCSEM-EM is an Olympic legacy-funded project aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the nation. One of three national centres, its specific role is to translate sport, exercise and health research from Loughborough and partner universities and NHS trusts in the region into education, training and clinical services for patient benefit.

The purpose-built facility features cutting-edge technology and specialist medical equipment, including a functional analysis rehabilitation lab, a computer assisted rehabilitation environment (CAREN), a disability sport lab and a 3T MRI scanner.   

Since opening its doors to patients last August, the hub has delivered over 6,000 patient treatments via 21 regular clinics including sport and exercise medicine, orthopaedics, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and mindfulness.

Professor Mark Lewis, Director of the NCSEM-EM and Dean of Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, said: 

“We are proud to host the hub building of this national centre. Not only does it allow us to accelerate our research findings into patient care and disease prevention, but   it gives our students a unique opportunity to interact with the building and its state-of-the-art facilities, and to gain first-hand experience of applied sport and health research in action.

“Our ultimate aim is to build a healthier nation where we prescribe fewer drugs and use exercise as medicine; and if we can prevent lifestyle diseases, there will be no need for drugs at all.”

Sir Steve Redgrave, for who the link between health and sport is particularly pertinent after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes three years before the Sydney Olympics, said:

“Loughborough is known for sport and athletes pushing the boundaries. Now researchers can use their knowledge of elite athletes to benefit the general population. The more they can push the boundaries to understand about disease prevention and management, the more people will benefit. I’m really pleased to formally open this centre.”