Wales Virtual Institute of Sport Health & Exercise Sciences


SCW Chair to oversee New National Anti-Doping Board:

It has been announced that Philip Carling, Chair of the Sports Council for Wales , will oversee meetings to assist with the development of a new, stand-alone National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) in the UK . The board will consist of representatives of the government, national governing bodies, and law enforcement, and will meet twice ahead of presenting a detailed proposal for the NADO to Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe in the spring. For this article in full see: http://

Emily Oliver, News editor.

**** 5th Annual WISHES Conference Announced: ***

The 5th Annual WISHES conference which will be held on the 4th July at Swansea University. (see members pages for call for abstracts).

The conference is a collaboration between the School of Health Science, the Department of Sport Science and the School of Medicine. The keynote speakers are drawn from across the spectrum of disciplines of exercise, health, medicine and sports and comprise an exciting one-day program
along with the poster presentations and the Young Investigator Award.

Topics include the genetics of athletic performance, pediatric in/activity and health, sports psychology and mainstream pyschological research, and achilles tendon injuries in sedentary and athletic populations. For the first time we have included an international keynote, focusing on exercise prescription intervention in Copehagen, Denmark, in order to see what lessons we in Wales can learn from their approach to exercise and public health .

As with all previous WISHES conferences, attendance is free and you will be able to register in the near future.

For more information visit the members pages or contact

We look forward to welcoming you in Swansea

Liam Kilduff, Mike McNamee, Jim Watkins and Rhys Williams

BPS Divisional AGM announced:

The British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology will hold its AGM on the 3rd April, 2008 in Dublin . See the website for more information: http://

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Swansea University receives health sciences funding:

The School of Health Science at Swansea University has received funding from the Leverhulme Trust to advance research and collaboration in Nanomedicine and Enhancement. The grant, obtained under the Leverhulme Fellowship Scheme, will allow Dr Christian Lenk from the University of G ö ttingen in Germany to visit the School for 12 months to develop research in the ethics of nanomedicine, and the improvement of abilities over and above ‘normal’ healthy ranges. See the following link for the full article:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Glamorgan University to research history of Welsh cricket:

Last week Glamorgan Cricket announced a partnership with The University of Glamorgan to gather and record information for the Museum of Welsh Cricket . The project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will initially involve cricket clubs from Colwyn Bay , Cresselly, Gowerton, Llantwit Major, St. Fagans and Usk. See the following link for a full article:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

New cell metabolism study suggests weight training can reduce your chances of diabetes:

The results of a new study in Cell Metabolism suggest that weight training might help to burn fat and prevent the development of diseases such as diabetes. The research reports that when a gene was activated to trigger the growth of Type II muscle in mice, they burned fat more easily and reduced their resistance to insulin. The team, based at Boston University ’s School of Medicine , suggests that Type II muscle may play an important role in controlling whole-body metabolism. For the article in full see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Childhood obesity linked to genetics not lifestyle:

Researchers based at University College London have reported findings showing that 77% of the variance in BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist size can be attributed directly to genes. By studying over 5000 identical and non-identical twins, scientists were able to measure differences that might be attributable to the environment compared with those that might be explained by genetics. For an extended report see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Research links sedentary lifestyle to cellular ageing:

A recent paper published in Archives of Internal Medicine reports that pieces of DNA known as telomeres shortened more quickly in inactive people, which is thought to signify faster cellular ageing. Researchers from King’s College London studied lifestyles and DNA from over 2000 twins and found that the most active individuals had telomeres of a length comparable with inactive people up to ten years younger, on average. For a full article see the original article at

Emily Oliver, News editor.

IOC announces potential locations for 2010 Youth Olympic Games:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced that either Moscow or Singapore will host the Youth Olympic Games in 2010. The Summer Youth Olympics will involve over 3000 elite athletes aged between 14 and 18. Members will now vote to decide the winning city. For this article in full see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Funding for expanded exercise prescription scheme in Wales:

The Welsh Assembly Government have announced £11.5 million of funding to support a new NHS exercise referral scheme targeting those at risk of chronic disease. The scheme, launched last week by First minister Rhodri Morgan, requires GPs to identify and refer patients perceived as being at risk of developing a chronic condition. See the following link for the article in full:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Debate over appointment of WRU Elite Performance Director:

The BBC has reported conflicting views regarding the recent appointment of Graeme Maw as the Welsh Rugby Union’s Elite Performance Director. Ex-players such as former Welsh wing Adrian Hadley have argued that the position needed to be filled by someone with a knowledge of the game, who could focus on improving skill and technique at the top level. However, Maw arrives with a strong background in performance management, having spent five years as the British Triathlon Association's performance director and prior to that working as the high performance manager for swimming at the Queensland Academy of Sport in Australia. See for a full summary.

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Gordon Brown reveals new health screening plan:

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that patients in England will soon be offered screening for signs of heart disease, kidney disease and stokes, in an attempt to reduce the number of avoidable deaths from these conditions. He also announced expanded provision of breast cancer screening and cervical cancer vaccines, with a greater focus on preventing rather than solely curing illness across the health service. For the article in full see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

BMJ publish call to act on Obesity:

A letter published this month in the British Medical Journal argues that we need to focus on improving infrastructure through environmental changes to target rising obesity levels. Nicole Lavery proposes that a saturation point has been reached in terms of research findings regarding the prevalence of obesity, and that it is now time to focus on providing large-scale solutions to combat the problem. For the letter in full see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Welsh coach wins British Swimming Coach of the Year:

Swansea-based Billy Pye has been named British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association Coach of the Year, in recognition of an outstanding season working with Wales’ Beijing Paralympic prospects. Six elite swimmers from the Swansea National Pool have shared seven world championship titles and almost as many world records between them, a success he credits partially to the facilites available to swimmers, including the scientific support. For the full article see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Thesis suggests that knee operations can lead to other injuries:

A new thesis from Lund University in Sweden presents evidence that operating on an anterior cruciate ligament injury can lead to other damage to the knee. By studying cruciate ligament injuries using a magnetic resonance camera, researcher Richard Frobell discovered that most patients had additional fractures and bone marrow lesions, and that knees which were operated on displayed a poorer condition after a year than those which were not. He argues that this may mean that structured rehabilitation may be preferable unless there is clear evidence that an operation is necessary, and that returning to sport sooner may also increase athletes’ long-term risk of osteoarthritus. For an extended article see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

BASES request feedback on strategic plan:

A draft version of the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences Strategic plan for 2008 to 2010 has been released for member and stakeholder feedback. Developed by the out-going Strategic Management Team and the newly-appointed Board, the plan can be reviewed via the BASES website at the following link:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Chemical may replicate effects of exercise on mental health:

Research by scientists at Yale University has identified a chemical produced in the brain that might explain the ‘natural high’ triggered by exercise. The study, published in Nature, focuses on the gene ‘VGF’ in the hippocampus region of the brain which researchers found became more active during exercise. The gene is linked to a ‘growth-factor’ chemical which, when tested on mice, showed antidepressant behavioral effects. For an extended article see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Cognitive Neuroscience Institute to target obesity in Wales :

Last week saw the official launch of the Welsh Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN) which draws together facilities at Bangor , Cardiff and Swansea Universities . The institute aims to develop the universities’ range of partnerships with industry, healthcare, schools and the public and to become a world-leading institute for the study and application of cognitive and clinical neuroscience. Examples of current research topics include overeating and substance abuse, and it is hoped that findings will lead to cognitively-based interevetions in these areas. For an extended article see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Revised World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code Approved:

Last week the Foundation Board of WADA unanimously approved revisions to enhance and strengthen the World Anti-Doping Code at the third World Conference on Doping in Sport. UK Sport contributed to consultations on the updates and will now have to work with national governing bodies to ensure compliance with the code by 1 January 2009 . For more details see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

New Clearer CT Scanner announced:

GE Healthcare have revealed details of a new high-definition CT scanner which will be officially launched in next year. The scanner will be able to produce images that are 30% clearer and 100 times faster than current technology, using half the radiation dose. Of particular relevance to those involved in cardiac care and research, the makers state that the radiation reduction will be even greater for cardiac scans, potentially up to 83 percent. For this article in full see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Wales ’ Health reorganisation branded a ‘costly distraction’:

A detailed study into NHS structures in Wales has concluded that the Government made errors in implementing a strategy focused on health rather than health services. In an article for the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Professor Scott Greer argued that although the intellectual justification being linking health and social care was good, the creation of 22 local health boards was a ‘costly distraction’ which had little impact on problems such as waiting lists. For an in-depth article see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

SCW Reveals coaching award shortlist:

This week the Sports Council for Wales revealed the finalists in contention for prizes at its annual Coach of the Year Awards. Prizes are given in eight categories including Teacher Coach of the Year, Volunteer Coach of the Year and Coach to Disabled Sportspeople of the Year. The winners will be unveiled on the 23rd November at a ceremony at the Welsh Institute of Sport. For the shortlist in full visit:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Swansea researchers seek diabetic patients for study:

Researchers at Swansea University are seeking volunteers from Swansea and South West Wales to participate in an eight-week walking training programme. Participants need to have been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The research team hope to gain a deeper understanding of the physiological responses to walking in Type 2 diabetes patients, which may aid promotion of this form of exercise by GPs and other health care professionals. For the article in full or details of how to participate see the following link:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

BOA Elite Performance Programme outlined by Woodward:

The British Olympic Association’s Director of Elite Performance, Sir Clive Woodward, has announced his plans for the progression of the BOA’s elite performance programme. In a briefing last week he identified the need for athletes to have access 24/7 to coaches and performance-enhancement specialists, as well as plans for a unique communication and analysis system which aims to achieve this. For an in-depth article see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

New Support Network announced for North Wales ’ Athletes:

The Sports Council for Wales last week unveiled a new support system for talented athletes and coaches based in North Wales . Established with funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, The North Wales Regional Institute of Sport (NWRIS) is a network of facilities, coaches and support services, including sports science, which aims to help athletes from the region achieve world-class levels of performance. The institute will work from a base at Plas Menai Watersports Centre in partnership with the National Governing Bodies of Sports. For an extended version of this article see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference Announced:

The British Psychological Society Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology have announced their Inaugural Conference which will be held on the 11th and 12thDecember 2008 at the Societies London Office. Additionally, division committee meeting dates for 2008 have been released; for more details see the BPS website at

Emily Oliver, News editor.

UWIC Lecturers help boost British Basketball:

Great Britain Senior Women’s Basketball team secured promotion to Division ‘A’ of the European Championships this summer with support from staff based at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff . Damian Jennings and Lucy Power, both from UWIC’s Cardiff School of Sport, spent nine weeks traveling with the squad as Assistant Coach and Team Manager. For a more detailed article see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Brain imaging research shows leptin reduces craving in the obese:

Research published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has reported that giving the body's natural appetite suppressant to morbidly obese volunteers de-activated their brain's response to tasty food. Whilst off leptin, participants showed high levels of activation in brain regions associated with food craving, whereas with leptin the executive centres involved in self-control were more activated. The report’s authors suggest that their findings may lead to new and improved treatments for obesity. For an in-depth article see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Fat camp for Under-5s to be televised:

ITV are offering free places on a fat camp designed specifically for the under-fives by a professor at Leeds Metropolitan University. Professor Paul Gately has previously run summer camps for overweight teenagers, and he argues that the biggest problem is often that parents don’t recognise that their child is overweight. For the article in full see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Glamorgan researchers present keynote at Performance and Image-enhancing Drugs Conference:

A keynote lecture at the UK’s first Performance and Image enhancing Drugs conference earlier this month was presented by Dr Mike Graham, Professor Bruce Davies and Professor Julien Baker of the University of Glamorgan’s Faculty of Health, Sport and Science. The lecture, entitled ‘The pathophysiology of doping in sport’, was attended by over 200 delegates including representatives from the medical profession (doctors, pharmacologists, psychiatrists, medics, government officials, social workers, drug testing officers, the Sports Council and outreach workers. For this article in full see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

New findings suggest cancer survival rate is not affected by emotions:

The findings of a new study published in the journal Cancer suggest that people who are depressed about their cancer are no more likely to die than people who keep a positive outlook. Dr. James Coyne and his colleagues at University of Pennsylvania analyzed the emotional states of 1,093 patients with head and neck cancer, and found that emotional status was not associated with survival rate, even after taking into account factors such as gender, tumor site or disease stage. For more information see the journal website.

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Swansea University joins elite medical research group:

Swansea University have joined the Texas-United Kingdom Collaborative, which was created to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and research in fields including cancer and heart disease. Comprised of 10 universities and medical colleges in Texas, and 8 top UK universities, the collaborative has brought together some of the world's leading scientists and medical experts to foster collaborative research projects in areas such as biomedicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and ICT. To see this article in full visit:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Latest update from BPS regarding statutory regulation:

Following a meeting on the 8th October, the British Psychological Society has released an update on the ongoing introduction of statutory regulation for psychologists. The society still has concerns over the content of draft documentation – for an update in full see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Warning over online self-medication:

A recent Western Mail article has highlighted the dangers of Internet health research following findings that at least 1 in 100 people source prescriptions online. The British Medical Journal reported that using signs and symptoms as search terms online can lead to correct diagnosis approximately 57% of the time, however, concerns have been raised about individuals’ lack of training in dealing with available information and the possibility of mis-diagnosis. For the article in full see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

New research examines effects of high intensity strength training:

Research by Professor Julien Baker at the University of Glamorgan using male weightlifters has shown that it can be counter-productive to spend hours at the gym, and that shorter work-outs can obtain the same strength benefits. The study, publicised in an article from efitness news, suggests that after high-intensity strength training muscles need more time to recover and become stronger. For an extended summary see or for the original article in full visit

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Call for increased focus on ‘cancer lifestyle’:

Research presented at the National Cancer Research Institute conference has predicted that, without women making changes to their lifestyle, there will be 58,000 diagnosis of breast cancer a year by 2024, compared with 44,000 in the past year. Cancer Research UK has said that factors such as reducing long-term HRT use, reducing obesity, cutting down on drinking, and increasing exercise, could help to prevent up to 5,700 cases a year. However, the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer highlighted that other factors, such as genetics and even living environment also play a role, and emphasised the importance of attending regular screening. To read the report in full visit

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Aber student wins BPS prize:

The Annual BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology H.T.A. Whiting Undergraduate Dissertation Prize has been won by Christian Edwards, who graduated from Aberystwyth in 2007. Supervised by Dr David Tod, his dissertation examined ‘The effects of motivational and instructional self-talk on power production during the vertical jump test in University rugby union players’. For more information visit

Emily Oliver, News editor.

UK city employs ‘obesity tsar’:

Birmingham City Council have employed an official with a specific remit to tackle childhood obesity in over 400 schools within the area. Dr Patrick Lowe will aim to reduce childhood obesity by working with schools and parents, as well as by coordinating community-level developments through planning and transport departments (e.g. creating more cycle paths). If the scheme is a success it could be introduced in cities across the UK . For more information visit the website via

Top Scientist proposes ethical code for British Researchers:

The government’s chief scientific advisor has presented a universal ethical code for scientists, which outlines seven principals that highlight the responsibilities and values of a scientific profession. The principals include respecting and acknowledging the work of other scientists, ensuring that research is justified and lawful, and more socially focussed ideals such as minimising the impact of research on people, animals and the environment and discussing the issues science raises for society. To read the article and code in full see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Launch of BASES Position on 'Genetic Research and Testing in Sport and Exercise Science':

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) have launched their position stand on genetic testing in sport and exercise science. For more information or to read an executive summary or the whole position statement visit the BASES site at the following link:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Research from Swansea University shows benefits of ‘Ageing Well’:

A report into the national ‘Aging Well’ programme has been published by researchers from the School of Health Science at Swansea University. The Aging Well programme focuses on training volunteers aged over 50 to act as ‘health mentors’ to their peers and helps to support older people in accessing health and wellbeing services. The research report praises the positive impact of the programme on a number of factors, including improved social wellbeing, enhanced knowledge of health behaviours and increases in physical activity levels for participants. For a full report see the following link:

North American Congress on Biomechanics 2008 Annual Meeting:

The 2008 North American Congress on Biomechanics (NACOB), a joint meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB) and Canadian Society for Biomechanics (CSB), will be held August 5-9, 2008, at the University of Michigan. For more details see the ASB website at:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

BPS History of Psychiatry and Psychology Seminar Series this Autumn:

The British Psychological Society History of Psychology Centre, in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, is hosting a series of seminars examining the History of Psychiatry and Psychology. Seminars titles include Why Was 1919 the Key Year in the Development of British Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis and Why Has Nobody Noticed this Fact?” and “The Subject of Influence: Brainwashing and Suggestion in Psychoanalysis, Sociology and Neurology”. For a full list of seminars and more information see

New Web-based interactive tool for mapping Health data in Wales:

The Health Information Analysis Team at NHS Wales have developed a new interactive mapping tool which is available online. Health data for Wales is presented in user-friendly graphics, and allows users to select specific themes or indicators (e.g. proportion of current smokers) and view comparative rates across Wales. For the article in full see

Emily Oliver, News editor.

Confusion over exercise for health guidelines:

A recent article on the BBC website reports that ACSM members are concerned that the public is misinterpreting advice to do thirty minutes gentle exercise each day. Citing recent findings that walking for just half an hour three days a week gave similar fitness and blood pressure benefits to walking five times a week, the authors stress that individuals may need to ‘top-up’ their routine activities with bouts of structured exercise. For the article in full see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

BPS update on statutory regulation:

The British Psychological Society has published an update on its campaign for statutory regulation covering psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors. The BPS disagrees with current government plans based on using the Health Professions Council, and has proposed setting up an independent Psychological Professions Council. To read the update in full see the following link:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

New figures show activity of primary school children in Wales is on the increase:

The Sports Council for Wales Children’s Participation Survey has shown that levels of activity among primary aged children have increased by 3% points in the last two years. The survey reports that 44% of children aged 7-11years now take part in recommended levels of physical activity. Additionally, the survey’s findings highlight the importance of parental involvement in sport, reinforcing the view that parents play a key role in shaping children’s attitudes and behaviour towards physical activity. For the full article see:

Emily Oliver, News editor.

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