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St Mary's University

St Mary's Academics Speak at Female Athlete Health Conference in Boston

Academics from St Mary’s University, Twickenham gave two lectures at the Female Athlete Health Conference in Boston.

Academics from the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science St Mary’s University, Twickenham gave two lectures at the Female Athlete Health Conference in Boston, America, on Friday 19th June. Academic Director for Research Dr Charles Pedlar and Research Assistant Georgie Bruinvels spoke on Elite Female Endurance Athletes: Biomarkers of Health and Performance. Dr Pedlar spoke about the use of biomarkers in elite athletes to protect them from illness and injury, with a focus on female endurance athletes, whilst Georgie spoke about the iron deficiency in athletes and exercising women, and the potential of heavy menstrual bleeding to impact upon their training and performance. More information about the research on female athletes can be found here. Dr Pedlar said of the conference, "There is a lot of interest in the moment around women in sport and breaking down the barriers to participation. The conference showcased some of our research and sports science support work with female athletes to a niche audience of athletes, coaches, sports science and medicine practitioners in the US. We also talked about what it takes to be a world class female athlete and some of the common problems that can occur.” Senior Lecturer in Health, Exercise and Physical Activity Dr Nicola Brown gave a presentation Is Breast Bounce an Issue for Female Athletes in collaboration with Dr Joanna Scurr from the Research Group in Breast Health from the University of Portsmouth. It discussed how due to the breast having limited natural support, athletes can experience a number of side effects including; breast pain, breast sag, back pain, and embarrassment, which can lead to both reduced physical activity levels and negative performance effects. Dr Brown said of speaking at the conference, “The conference provided an excellent opportunity to highlight the issue of breast bounce for exercising females and the audience were surprised by the impact breast bounce could have on performance. Education on appropriate breast support and correct bra fit can play an important role in increasing physical activity levels and improving performance.” The conference welcomed global experts in the areas of sports medicine, sports psychology, nutrition and body image to present strategies for keeping female athletes healthy on and off of the playing field.  

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