Sponsors sought for new UK national sports medicine centre
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
July 10 - Private sponsorship is to be sought for a new sports medicine venture, which has been launched today with the aim of ensuring that Britain derives long-term health benefits as a legacy of the London 2012 Games.
Prospective sponsors are to be offered naming rights, invitations to "open" days and access to health and wellbeing experts in return for financial contributions to the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine being launched this week with £30 million ($47 million/€38 million) of Government backing.
It is hoped that the centre will spearhead the fight against health issues, such as obesity and musculoskeletal disorders, which sport and exercise can play a part in combating.
It is estimated that such conditions – said to affect more than half the population – cost Britain the equivalent of more than £20 billion ($31 billion/€25 billion) a year in healthcare costs and lost days at work.
The Government contribution will be used to build facilities to bring together research, education and NHS services at locations in London, Sheffield and the East Midlands.
The intention is to speed the rate at which ground-breaking research is translated into improved services and programmes of direct benefit to those facing health issues that could be ameliorated through sport and exercise.
Aspirations for the impact to be made by the new centre have been formulated with three, five and 10-year-plus time horizons.
The 10-year-plus timeframe foresees a reduction in the number of people coming forward with type 2 diabetes; a cut of more than 30 per cent in days lost to back pain; and a 20 per cent decline in emergency admissions for elderly people who have suffered a fall.
Institutions that will make up the national centre network include University College London, Loughborough, Nottingham, Leicester, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam universities.
Various hospital trusts and local partners are also set to be involved.
The initiative, which first emerged as a commitment under London's Olympic bid in 2005, has cross-party support.
"I am pleased to see the national centre fulfil an important Olympic bid commitment," said Richard Caborn, who served as Sports Minister in an earlier Labour administration and is an adviser to the centre.