A researcher and academic at University of Limerick is to chair a new organisation aiming to promote evidence-informed practice within the sport and exercise sciences community in Ireland.
Dr Tom Comyns, Associate Professor and senior lecturer in human movement science at UL’s Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, is chair of the Irish Sport and Exercise Sciences Association (ISESA), which was launched at the Sport Ireland Institute Building at the Sport Ireland Campus this Wednesday.
The ISESA aims to enhance the health, well-being and performance of individuals through sport and exercise science and will provide a huge boost to the sector.
Members of the sport and exercise science community gathered at the Sport Ireland Institute Building and, heading towards Paris 2024, the industry is firmly backing the establishment of this new organization for professionals in sport and exercise science.
These are the individuals who are instrumental in driving the success behind the scenes, catering not only to the needs of elite athletes but also to everyday individuals seeking to enhance their exercise regimes.
Speaking at the launch, ISESA Chairperson and ex-Olympian Dr Comyns, highlighted the strategic objectives of the association, which are to promote evidence-informed practice within the sport and exercise sciences community in Ireland, to facilitate all-island collaborative impact through integrated learning, networking and research initiatives, and to develop accreditation pathways for members.
The development of the new association arose from a meeting of third level institutions, NGBs and the Sport Ireland Institute, where it became evident of the burgeoning growth and professionalisation of the industry, and the need to lead, represent, and advance the sport and exercise sciences community in Ireland for the benefit of all within the sector.
“Sport and Exercise Science plays a significant role throughout Ireland, and has the potential to enhance the health, well-being and performance of all individuals, from the recreational participant to the elite athlete,” explained Dr Comyns.
“This organisation is for all who are engaged in this sector, will act as the voice for the sport and exercise science community and is committed to supporting the ongoing professionalisation of the industry. We are committed to doing this through networking, collaboration, advocacy and accreditation and will represent the community across the island of Ireland.”
Dr Úna May, CEO of Sport Ireland, said: “The field of Sport and Exercise Science plays a significant role in Ireland, promoting the health, well-being, and performance of all individuals. With the growth in this area, I welcome the establishment of the Irish Sport and Exercise Sciences Association. I hope that the association will have a positive impact on the entire sports industry, from grassroots participation to elite performance.”
Liam Harbison, Director of the Sport Ireland Institute, added: “Coming into the Paris 2024 Olympics & Paralympics, Ireland's elite athletes will be supported by a team of expert practitioners across multiple disciplines behind the scenes.
“The work of Ireland's physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, medics, performance analysts and other experts will be crucial be for the preparation and performance of Team Ireland at the Games.
“As a major contractor of sport science and medical expertise in the Irish high performance sport system, we are delighted to support this independent voice through the establishment of the Irish Sport and Exercise Sciences Association for the sport and exercise science community in Ireland.”