NUI Galway hosts 'Maximising Performance in Sport' Conference

Thursday, 6 September 2001

Release date: 5 September, 2001

NUI Galway hosts Maximising Performance in Sport Conference

Pressure to win at all costs sometimes puts intolerable pressure on those engaged in competitive sport. This is manifested in a variety of ways from excessive training to competing while suffering an injury, to taking banned substances in order to enhance performance. A seminar, which will take place in NUI, Galway on Saturday 15 September, 2000, will address these and other issues relating to the demanding world of competitive sport.

Among the guest speakers will be Kenny McMillan, Sports Physiologist with Glasgow Celtic Football Club. He will focus on the role of the Sports Physiologist at a professional football club and will highlight the growing importance of physiology in professional football and the move away from more traditional methods of training and preparation. Mr. McMillan will discuss the main aspects of the Sports Physiologist¹s role, which include fitness assessment, fitness conditioning, monitoring of training workload and intensity, rehabilitation and research.

The seminar is being co-ordinated by Dr Aideen Henry who is Sports Medicine Physician and lecturer in Sports and Exercise Physiology at NUI, Galway and by Dr John Newell, Lecturer in Statistics at NUI, Galway. Dr Henry works with the Connaught Rugby Team as Team Doctor. One of the topics Dr. Henry will address is the controversial use of Creatine and the fact that some studies show improvement, particularly in repeat sprint performance in athletes who take high doses of Creatine. However Dr. Henry will present the arguments against Creatine use which include weight gain; potential kidney damage; the threat to endogenous Creatine production; the fact that long-term side effects are not known; and Creatine is not FDA approved. In terms of endogenous Creatine production, Dr. Henry explains that the dose taken by athletes is 20 times the normal dietary intake. It is equivalent to five steaks a day, then the internal Creatine production is switched off. We do not know if this is reversible when Creatine supplementation is stopped.

Dr Henry will also discuss problems encountered by girls and women in sport and in particular the Female Athlete Triad. This condition, first defined in 1993, includes disordered eating, amenorrhea (absence of normal periods for more than three consecutive months) and osteoporosis. The cause of female athlete triad stems from the internal and external pressures on girls and young women to achieve and maintain an unrealistically low body weight.

Other speakers at the seminar include Mary Walsh, chartered physiotherapist, who has been associated with the Irish Underage International Rugby Team, Irish Hockey Teams and Inter-County and club Hurling and Football teams. She will discuss methods of injury rehabilitation and prevention.

Dr Alan Ringland will speak on Psychological Techniques to improve Performance . Dr Ringland is Sports psychologist with Warrington Rugby League Club, the Lawn Tennis Association, the Irish Paralympic Boccia Team and the Cavan Football and Limerick Hurling teams.

Maria Keane is a Sports Nutritionist based in Limerick Regional Hospital, will speak on Nutrition for Optimal performance .

For registration and further information, please telephone 091 524411, ext. 2761; http://stokes.nuigalway.ie/~jnewell/max

Dr. Aideen Henry is available for interview on her conference paper and the programme content.

Ends

Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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