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On Thursday the 10 March 2016 Dr Richard Budgett, the Medical and Scientific Director for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially recognised the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH) together with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) as one of nine research centres from across the world as an IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health.

Dr Budgett was introduced by Sir Robert Naylor, CEO of University College London Hospitals and Professor Fares Haddad, Director of the ISEH. We were also delighted that Baroness Tessa Jowell was able to attend the event and congratulate the partners on their achievement and spoke passionately about the importance of what was trying to be delivered.  

This accreditation, which was awarded as part of the ISEH’s role as one of the three National Centres for Sport and Exercise Medicine, was made to the ISEH alongside universities and specialist sports research centres worldwide.  

Over the next four years the ISEH and NCSEM will be tasked with researching, developing and implementing effective preventive and treatment strategies for sports-related injuries and illnesses. It will receive financial support from the IOC and join an international network of expert scientists and clinicians whose focus will be research into the prevention of sports injuries and optimisation of the health of our athletes.  

“We are delighted to have appointed nine highly qualified centres from the four corners of the world to assist us with our mission,” commented IOC Medical Commission Chair and Executive Board member Dr Ugur Erdener. “These centres have all demonstrated that they are at the forefront of research in sports medicine and are committed to our shared goal of using knowledge and resources to ensure the athletes’ well-being so that sportsmen and women can perform at their best level with minimal risks to their health.”   

The Institute’s Director Professor Fares Haddad added: “This is a tremendous achievement for the ISEH. Accreditation as a research centre by the IOC was one of our aims and to have achieved it so early is a testament both to the quality of our team and our collaborators. It also shows the potential that lies within the ISEH and the National Centres for Sport and Exercise Medicine. Building on our existing programme, this important accreditation will enable us to develop and extend our research activities. Our ultimate aim is to help prevent injuries and improve the treatment of athletes and sportspeople”.

The English Institute of Sport (EIS) Director of Medical Services Dr Rod Jaques added: “Very often no one country has a large enough number of elite athletes in order that we can get meaningful data, so by pooling data and expertise this international collaboration can only further the health of the athlete. We are delighted for our colleagues and partners at ISEH on this recognition and look forward to advancing our discussions with ISEH around athlete health and how we can assist and maximise human performance for the benefit of our athletes.”

As part of this award, The Eastman Dental Institute (EDI) and ISEH will set up a Centre for Oral Health and Performance. This unique collaboration will be led by Professor Ian Needleman who said ‘It is a great privilege to work with the ISEH and our team will look forward to this exciting collaboration with the IOC to improve oral health and performance in elite sport’.