KWAZI SOKHELA
The Institute for Sport, Exercise Medicine, and Lifestyle Research has continued to make developments in implementing, as Professor Martin Schwellnus (the director of the Institute) describes, “the hub of a big service centre for athletes”. It is a service centre whereby UP athletes and athletes from surrounding areas are able to consult with medical experts to receive assistance with sports medicine, and sport-related injuries and complications.

The Institute for Sport, Exercise Medicine, and Lifestyle Research, which was established in 2015 by UP, is an institution where research is conducted between the institution itself and its interdisciplinary and multi-faculty partners and affiliates. The institution aims to acquire more insight and knowledge in the field of sports medicine – particularly the adaptation to more healthy, nutritional lifestyles and practices, increased activity in sport and exercise, and the prevention of exercise induced injuries.

The institute currently has five core areas from the research: medical complications, illness during exercise, exercise-related injuries, sports performance, and sport and physical activity in society. In establishing the research institute, the University identified Sports Medicine among other fields of research as part of its long term strategic objectives to conduct research and provide services in the field of Sports Medicine.

Since the institution’s inception in 2015, it is currently in a phase in which ongoing refurbishments are being implemented on the existing facilities at High Performance Centre (HPC) in order to construct this service platform for athletes. According to Schwellnus,“We will have a facility up here where there will be various doctors, sports physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, physicians and so forth, a dietician, psychologists, some research laboratories [and] service laboratories” .

In addition to providing numerous health and medical services to athletes, various research projects will be conducted pertaining to the health of athletes and their sport-related problems.

Furthermore, the nature of this facility will allow for students from a masters, PhD, and post-doctoral level to facilitate research for their academic work. These facilities will also function as a teaching environment where students will be able to engage in more practical work.

Among the other research projects and programmes that the institute currently facilitates, the Student Athlete Health Monitoring Project has recently been launched, which is an initiative that enables the tracking, monitoring and communication of individual athletes using internationally recognised software programmes to better examine and observe the health and condition of athletes.

 

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