Extra-ordinary Lecturers  

SEMLI (Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute)

Prof Martin Schwellnus (director)


Martin Schwellnus is a full professor of Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria in South Africa. He is also a specialist sports and exercise medicine physician who regularly consults with athletes of all levels. He holds an MBBCh from University of the Witwatersrand (cum laude), a M.Sc. (Med) from University of Cape Town, and an M.D. (equivalent to a PhD) degree from University of Cape Town, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Among the many other responsibilities he holds, Prof Schwellnus is the Director of the Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI) at the University of Pretoria, has been the Director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Research Center in South Africa for the last 10 years, is a longstanding member of the IOC Medical Commission (Medical and Science group), and is a member of the editorial board of a number of international journals including the British Journal of Sports Medicine. He has an interest in a number of areas in sport and exercise medicine notably the health benefits of regular exercise and the prevention and management of injuries and medical complications in active individuals. He promotes the safe prescription of regular exercise to all populations in order to reduce the global burden of non-communicable disease. He currently leads an International Consensus group on Acute Respiratory Illness in athletes with a recently established subgroup that focuses on COVID-19 in athletes. He is an active researcher and has published over 300 scientific journal articles, chapters in books and conference proceedings.



 Our extra-ordinary lecturers are the ones who fill the very important gaps. They extend our capacity with regards to our student's research and examination.

Extra-ordinary Professors


Prof Babette Pluim

Prof. Babette Pluim is a Consultant in Sports & Exercise Medicine and the Chief Medical Adviser of the Royal Dutch Lawn Tennis Federation (KNLTB). She holds an MD from the University of Utrecht, a PhD from the University of Leiden on the athlete's heart and an MPH of the University of Liverpool (UK), and is Fellow of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine (both UK and Ireland), She is the doctor of the Dutch Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams and tournament physician at the ATP and WTA tournaments in ´s Hertogenbosch (Libéma Open) and in Rotterdam (ABN-AMRO World Tennis Tournament). Prof Pluim is member of the ITF (International Tennis Federation) Sport Science and Medicine Commission, Classification Consultant for the ITF and Medical Consultant for the ATP Tour. In 2020, the KNLTB was designated a Society for Tennis Medicine and Science (STMS) Center of Excellence with Prof Pluim as Medical Director and, in 2021, the KNLTB was selected as a Sport Innovator Center by the Dutch Olympic Committee under the Leadership of Prof Pluim and Mr Aldo Hoekstra.


Prof Vincent Gouttebarge

Prof. Vincent Gouttebarge is a former professional footballer who played 14 seasons in France and The Netherlands (232 games; twice ACLR; twice concussion). He is Extraordinary Professor at the Section Sports Medicine of the University of Pretoria. He is working at the Orthopaedic Surgery department of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers and at FIFPRO (Football Players Worldwide) as Chief Medical Officer. Prof. Gouttebarge’s work focusses on a wide range of sports medicine domains being relevant in professional sports (emphasis on football), striving to protect and promote the physical, mental and social health of active and former professional athletes. He is Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mental Health Working Group, co-Director of the IOC Programs on Mental Health in Elite Sport, member of the Concussion Expert Group of the International Football Association Board (The IFAB), and member of the Medical Expert Group of the French Professional Football League (LFP). Prof. Gouttebarge is also member of the Editorial Board of the South African Journal of Sports Medicine and Injury Epidemiology.


Extra-ordinary Lecturers

Dr Louis Holtzhausen

Dr Louis Holtzhausen is a Sports Medicine Physician at Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College in Qatar. He is the former head of the Division Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of the Free State in South Africa. He holds a M Phil (Sports Medicine) from the University of Cape Town, a Fellowship of the Academy of Family Physicians of South Africa, a PhD in Health Professions Education and a Fellowship of the American College of Sports Medicine. His current special interests include sport related concussion management, undergraduate and graduate sports medicine education. Dr Holtzhausen has been team physician for many elite and professional sports teams for 25 years including athletics, rugby, cricket, hockey and the South African Olympic team. He is a past president, honorary and life member of the South African Sports Medicine Association. He introduced Exercise is Medicine® in South Africa and Africa.


Dr Rob Collins

Dr Rob Collins qualified as a doctor at the University of Witwatersrand in 1993 and began his career as a GP. He was in GP practice for 10 years before he studied Sports Medicine at the University of Pretoria. He completed his M.Sc. (Sports Medicine) in 2006 and went on to be a lecturer and examiner in the department, as well as an external examiner in Sports Medicine at Wits University. Rob has been the Golden Lions Super Rugby and Currie Cup senior team physician since 2010 season, and is part of the medical team for the MTN Qhubeka cycling team. He has been an Exco member of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) since 2010, and has been disciplinary tribunal member of the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) since 2011. He is in private practice at The Centre for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics (CSMO) in Rosebank.


Dr Lervesan Pillay

Dr Lee Pilay is a Specialist Sports Physician and is an Extra-ordinary Lecturer in the Section Sports Medicine of the University of Pretoria. Currently, he is the Team Physician for the Bizhub Highveld Lions, Medical Chairperson for the Gauteng Cricket Board, Consultant for Orlando Pirates FC, Free State Stars FC and Platinum Stars FC. He is also a member of the Therapeutic Use of Exemption Committee for SAIDS. Dr Pillay also serves as a consultant for Endurocad, MyPersonalTrainer and Emergency Medical Consulting. He is a preferred service provider for SASCOC and a member of the medical sub-committee for the PSL. He has been instrumental in the implementation of new rules and regulations governing medical cover on match days in the PSL and NFD. He does several radio, print and television interviews with regards to the field of Sports and Exercise Medicine. He has previously been the Head of Medical for Bidvestwits FC, the CMO for Daegu World Champs 2011, the CMO for Benin Africa Champs 2012 and the CMO for Angola AUSC Games 2016. He practices privately and Mediworx-s in Johannesburg South, Constantia Kloof Sports and Exercise Medicine Center in the Westrand and Wanderers Sports Medicine Center at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium. His passion is development sport and Long term athletic development, Regenerative medicine techniques, Exercise prescription as an adjunct in medical condition management and involved in many CPD/educational initiatives in helping to educate GP's and physiotherapists in the management of athletic related injuries and illness.


Dr Org Strauss

Dr Org Strauss obtained a MBChB and Research M Phil from the Free State University in 2003 and 2010 respectively. He attended a number of courses from 2006 – 2009 including International team physician courses in Pam Springs USA and Sandton, SA. He is a permanent Locum at Little Company of Mary casualties. His professional experience also included being team doctor for both the Free State University rugby club as well as the Cheetahs Rugby Union in various capacities from 2003 – 2008. He has been the team physician for the Blue Bulls Currie Cup and more specific the Vodacom Bulls Super Rugby side since 2009.


Dr Mark Velleman

Dr Mark Velleman obtained the MBChB degree from the University of Pretoria in 1987. He also holds a M.Med Rad D from the University of Pretoria and a FC Rad(SA) from the College of Medicine of South Africa. He served in various committees and was keynote speaker at a number of international congresses. He currently holds the position of Head of MR at a private Radiologist practice where he is a partner. He also serves as part-time consultant at the Department Radiology and Orthopaedics at UP. He is responsible for MSK imaging and MR info imaging of various amateur and professional sports teams. He is also a part time lecturer at the University of Pretoria, Departments of Radiology, Orthopaedics and at section Sports Medicine, and also involved in post graduate training. He is a founding and currently active member of SAMSIG, and has been involved in organising various musculoskeletal conferences and meetings. He has lectured at various radiological, orthopaedic and sports medicine meetings and has also published locally and internationally.


Dr Philda de Jager

Dr Philda de Jager is a private Sports Medicine Practitioner in Pretoria She holds a MB ChB, DIP PNS, DASA Diving Medicine, BLS ACLS, BSc Med Hons Sport Med, Hyperbaric and Aviation Medicine qualifications. She has been practising general, sports and rehabilitation medicine for the past years. She qualified in sports medicine at UCT, and travelled as South African team physician to the Atlanta as well as the Sydney Olympic Games. She was a team member of the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and Moscow Youth Games. She was also a member of the NOCSA Medical Commission and of the Ministerial Task Force on South African Sport, and headed the Sports Commission’s Medical Commission. Philda lectures part-time to MSc Sports Medicine students at the University of Pretoria, is an external examiner for the University of the North, and is active in aviation and diving medicine. She is a Past President of the South African Sports Medicine Association.


Dr Pieter Boer

Dr Boer is a Lecturer, Researcher and Statistician working at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Wellington, South Africa. He is also a Extra Ordinary Lecturer at the University of Pretoria and Statistical Consultant at the Medical Research Council of South Africa. He completed his PhD in 2015 at the North-West University. He is a NRF-rated researcher and his main research areas are: Adapted Physical Activity; Disability Sport; Epidemiology and risk factors for injuries in ultra endurance athletes and paralympics; Exercise Physiology, Interval Training and Machine Learning. He is also a Professional Tennis Coach, Triathlete and participates in the top tennis and hockey leagues in the Western Cape. 


Dr Nicol van Dyk 

Nicol van Dyk is a clinical researcher and physiotherapist. He is currently the Medical Research Lead with the Irish Rugby Football Union. He graduated with a BSc in Physiotherapy from Stellenbosch University in 2005 and completed his MSc in Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy in 2010. Having worked in a number of different sporting environments, including athletics, rugby, and football, he was a physiotherapist at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa before moving to Qatar in 2013. While continuing to provide clinical care for athletes he formed part of the Injury and Illness Prevention programme at the Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital. In 2018 Nicol completed his PhD in Health Sciences at Ghent University, Belgium titled “Risk factors for hamstring injuries in professional football players.”  In 2021, he was appointed as extraordinary lecturer in Sports Medicine at the University of Pretoria.

Nicol is a deputy editor and editorial board member of British journal of sports medicine (BJSM) and enthusiastic about the role of social media in the dissemination of scientific evidence and research knowledge. A clinical researcher with a special interest in muscle injuries and injury prevention, he has great appreciation for integrated healthcare, shared decision making, and evidence based medicine


Dr Marlene Schoeman

Dr Marlene Schoeman started her career as Biokineticist in Stellenbosch before moving to the United Kingdom to work clinically within the National Health Services.  In 2005 she was awarded a scholarship to complete a PhD in Biomechanics at Roehampton University of London, with specific focus on prosthetic design principles for recreationally active amputees.  In 2009 she returned to South Africa to fulfill the role of research coordinator at the Division Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of the Free State until 2013.  She has provided postgraduate research supervision within the field of Sports Medicine for over 10 years, acted as external examiner for various universities, and served as reviewer for a wide variety of scientific journals.  She has authored and co-authored a number of scientific papers, a book chapter and various international conference proceedings.  At present, she resides in the United Kingdom, working alongside the members of the Department of Sports Medicine at the University of Pretoria as extra-ordinary lecturer.



Published by Madeleen Scheepers

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