Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Annual Sports and Exercise Medicine Conference focuses on preparations for the London 2012 Olympics

09 September 2011
The 8th Annual Scientific Conference of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine RCPI and RCSI took place on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th September and looked at preparations for the London 2012 Olympics Games, the separation of the population into super-fat or super-fit and the idea of exercise as medicine.

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Pictured from L-R are Prof Karim Miran-Khan, Honorary Fellow, Dr Philip Carolan, Dean of the Faculty, and Prof Donal O’Shea  Honorary Fellow.


Professor Donal O'Shea, Consultant Endocrinologist and Physician in St Vincent's University Hospital and St. Columcille's Hospital opened the conference with a talk focusing on the obesity epidemic in Ireland and the role that sports and exercise can play in trying to combat it. More than 100 leading medical professionals attended the 2 day conference which took place in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

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Pictured  from L-R are Dr Philip Carolan, Dean of the Faculty, Prof Eilis McGovern, President RCSI, Prof Karim Miran-Khan and Prof Donal O’Shea,  Honorary Fellows, Dr Mary Archer, Citator and Chair of the Organising Committee, Dr John Donohoe, President RCPI, Dr Joe Conway, Citator. 

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Pictured from L-R are Dr Joe Conway, Dr John OÕRiordan, Dr Martin McConaghy, Dr Michael Webb and Prof Mick Molloy, members of the Faculty Board. 

Prof Donal O'Shea said ‘The health lessons we learn from elite performance are hugely important for the general population. In the current environment where the population is separating into super-fat or super-fit we really need to apply those lessons practically and at a population level. The energy-drink industry use their elite performing clients very well indeed - but give entirely the wrong message to children. The medical profession need to make sure the lessons learnt from Olympic achievement are used to make us healthier, not fatter - and the Faculty of Sports and Exercise medicine needs to lead on this."

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Pictured from L-R are Dr Rod McLoughlin, Dr John Ryan, Mr Aidan Egan.

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Pictured are Prof Arthur Tanner, RCSI Council Member, Dr Philip Carolan, Dean of the Faculty.

Prof Karim Khan, internationally renowned Canadian sports physician gave a guest lecture entitled ‘Exercise is Medicine'. Prof Khan said ‘We have to move beyond ‘exercise is good for you' and appreciate the massive health benefits of even mild physical activity. It's time to recognize that physical activity protects against Alzheimer's disease, prevents cancer, and improves depression. We need to make everybody aware that low fitness kills more people in American than smoking, diabetes, and obesity combined! Yes, combined! I call that combination ‘smokadiabesity'. You wouldn't volunteer for it! Yet that is the choice we make on every day of physical inactivity!

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Pictured from L-R are Dr Mary Archer, Chair of Organising Committee, Dr Philip Carolan, Dean of the Faculty, Professor Donal O'Shea, Dr John O'Riordan, Honorary Secretary.

With the preparations on-going for the 2012 Olympic Games, Team Physician lectures focussed on the medical aspects of preparing a team for the London 2012 Olympics with lectures on Team Preparation, Medico-Legal Aspects, Nutrition for Medical Service Providers and Blood Doping.

Honorary Fellowships were conferred on Prof Karim Khan and Prof Donal O'Shea during the meeting.

Dr Philip Carolan, Dean of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, said ‘The annual Sports and Exercise Medicine conference provides a great opportunity for researchers to present their hard work and for delegates to advance their knowledge in the field of Sports and Exercise medicine. The role of a specialist in SEM is varied and therefore the programme of this conference seeks to address the diverse subject areas.'

Among the key speakers at the two day conference included:

- Dr Richard Budgett, ‘Medical Aspects of Preparation for London Olympics 2012'

Dr Budgett is Chief Medical Officer for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. Previously he was Chief Medical Officer with the Great Britain team at the summer and winter Olympic Games in Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens and Turin. He has published widely on the subject of Overtraining, which is now called Unexplained Underperformance Syndrome.

- Dr Philip Glasgow, ‘Rehabilitation of Achilles Tendon'

Dr Glasgow is head of sports medicine at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland. He has managed elite athletes from a wide range of sports including rugby union, hockey, athletics, boxing, sailing, cycling, swimming, squash and football and has supported athletes at a range of international competitions including the Olympics Games and the Commonwealth Games. His particular interests are in the field of functional rehabilitation.

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Pictured from L-R are Dr Mary Archer, Chair of the organising Committee, Dr Rod McLoughlin, Speaker, Dr Richard Budgett, Speaker and Chief Medical Officer for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games, Dr Joe Conway, Speaker and Faculty Board Member.