New research institute takes UP sports excellence to the next level #UPResearchMatters #UPSports

The University of Pretoria has an impressive track-record of sports excellence: over half of South African medallists at the recent Olympics and Commonwealth Games were assisted by UP.

The University of Pretoria has an impressive track-record of sports excellence: over half of South African medallists at the recent Olympics and Commonwealth Games were assisted by UP. Now a new institute brings UP’s sports medicine researchers together under one roof.

Sporting success provides inspiration, motivation, direction, and meaning in people’s lives. Success in the arena can uplift communities or nations, and society needs its sporting champions as heroes and role models. Sporting champions can act to unify a society and bring people together with a common sense of purpose and values and the Institute for Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Research hopes to capitalise on this.

The University of Pretoria has a long and proud tradition of supporting sporting excellence through various research programmes and centres, most notably theHigh Performance Centre (HPC). The HPC has been supporting elite athletes since 2002, with a wide variety of national and international athletes coming to the centre for their training facilities, medical services, and nutritional and scientific expertise.

More than 50% of the South African medallists at recent Olympics and Commonwealth Games events were assisted by UP staff or facilities. The University also boasts a slew of elite athletes throughout its history and a highly competitive and successful sports club infrastructure.

One of the themes of the ISEMLR concerns sports performance, which is to build on UP’s rich history of excellence in sports performance research. The ISEMLR will achieve this by bringing researchers together under common themes.


Prof Schwellnus recently chaired the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Committee on the link between exercise load and injury/illness risk, which published two papers on the topic recently. Image credit: International Olympic Committee.

The director of the Institute, ProfessorMartin Schwellnus, recently chaired an expert group assembled by theInternational Olympic Committee to consider the relationship between high training loads and sports injuries. This committee recently published two consensus paperscovering their findings in detail. His experience in this research will contribute to the performance of UP’s already highly-rated athletes.