Sport institute drives home Olympic legacy pledge 

14/03/2012 00:00 

The shadow minister responsible for helping bring the Olympics and Paralympics to London has praised UCLH’s ‘imagination and drive’ to create a lasting health legacy from the Games.

l to r: Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive; Dr Richard Budgett, consultant sports physician; Tessa Jowell; Richard Murley,

l to r: Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive; Dr Richard Budgett, consultant sports physician; Tessa Jowell; Richard Murley, UCLH chairman and Prof Fares Haddad, director of the Institute


Tessa Jowell, secretary of state for culture media and sport at the time of the successful London bid in 2005, said the UCLH/UCL Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health would become an ‘engine to create more healthy participation and a higher level of understanding about the benefits of a range of exercise’.

Ms Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood and Shadow Olympics Minister, was speaking after the UCLH Consultants Committee last week where she was guest of honour.

The UCLH/UCL institute helps fulfill the government’s commitment to provide a lasting health legacy from the 2012 Games.

It was recently awarded funding of £10 million by the Department of Health to become a hub of clinical and research expertise to: increase exercise in the community; develop strategies to prevent diseases related to inactivity; and prevent, diagnose and manage injuries for both professional and amateur athletes. The DH invested £30 million to create one national centre across three sites.

Funding for the UCLH/UCL institute will be used to create a new state-of-the-art building in Tottenham Court Road which will include imaging, an outpatients area and teaching and research facilities.

Ms Jowell, who gave a presentation about her vision for the Games, said: “The imagination and drive with which UCLH has taken this idea forward is precisely what we dared to hope might be part of the Olympic health legacy when we bid for the games.”

Also speaking at the committee, Professor Fares Haddad, director of the institute, said it would have a ‘massive impact’ on chronic illness by enhancing our understanding of the close relationship between health and exercise.

The institute is a collaboration between University College London Hospitals (UCLH), UCL, the British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport and private hospital group HCA who will run some private clinics from the building.

The institute will treat ‘weekend warriors’ and patients whose condition would benefit from an exercise regime.

Prof Haddad added: “The key message is that the ‘enemy’ is physical inactivity and we need somehow to rebuild exercise into the fabric of our society. This is a unique opportunity to do that.”

 

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