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Academic joins Nike's elite performance division

Friday, 01 June 2012

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ECU's Foundation Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, Dr Robert Newton, has been appointed to the advisory board of Nike's athlete performance division SPARQ.

This board consists of what Nike believes are the eight most influential sport scientists in athlete performance development, combined with the eight of the most influential practitioners in the field.

"This is a great honour and gratifying recognition of my life's work," Professor Newton said.

"I am really looking forward to using this excellent opportunity to have a positive influence over the development of athletes from children to professionals, across their lifespan and into old age. I also hope to use this opportunity to work with those who have an illness or disability."

Other members of the Nike SPARQ board include Professor Claude Bouchard, a world expert in the genetics of human performance based in Louisiana, Professor Paul Greenhaff, recognised for his work in protein and muscle growth, based at University of Nottingham, and Tony Strudwick, Director of Performance for Manchester United Football Club.

Professor Newton said he is enthusiastic that Nike, as a global company with an annual turnover of $22 billion, will make a substantial and enduring impact on sport performance and participation.

Nike SPARQ held the 2012 Symposium at their World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon between 22 and 24 May. The event was attended by coaches and sports scientists from youth, amateur and professional sport from across the world.

Professor Newton presented on the development of strength and power.

"Sport has benefits far beyond recreation with physical inactivity being one of the greatest drivers for chronic disease in all countries," Professor Newton said.

"In many African and middle east countries, sport participation by children is being developed to try and improve not only their health but quality of life and increase their life opportunities beyond war and conflict."

"The Nike SPARQ initiative has huge potential to help these people." 

For more information visit the SPARQ website.

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