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Knowing Sport

Knowing Sport

10 institutions across the UK have been awarded funding to deliver a series of public engagement activities focused on sport science and sport medicine in the build-up to the London 2012 Games. These activities titled ‘Knowing Sport’ form part of the International Convention of Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) which takes place just days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Over a quarter of a million people will attend these Knowing Sport activities across the UK in the lead up to the 2012 Games.

The Scottish Government and Podium have provided grant funding to the following institutions or community groups to provide free to attend activities.

The below activities took place in March and April 2012:

A&M Community Training - Glasgow Science and Football Festival

A football themed science festival where members of the public were tested on their flexibility, their strength and received training and dietary advice from sport science experts.

Dundee Science Centre – Get in the Zone

A series of public events exploring health and physiology and drop-in sessions that included  myth busters, breathing exercises and secrets on the cardiovascular systems.

Edinburgh International Science Festival – InMotion

Public exhibition which brings alive science, engineering and technology in relation to its role within human movement and sporting performance.

University of Glasgow – “Cafe Scientifique”

A series of “Café Scientifique” talks where sport science experts will chat informally to the public on topics including: ‘Why Exercise is not just for Olympians’, ‘The Genetics of sporting performance,’ and ‘The science and technology behind preparing Olympians’.

University of Highlands and Islands – Public Exhibition

A week long public exhibition with sport taster sessions including athletics, swimming, equestrian and followed by public lectures in the evening.

University of Manchester – Pharmacy at the Games

A series of events in local schools and the Manchester Science and Engineering Festival to showcase how pharmacy supports thousands of athletes from across the Globe.

University of Westminster - The Role of Activity Gaming on Energy Expenditure and Calorie Consumption

A drop in session in Oxford Street, London to demonstrate the potential health benefits of active computer gaming compared to more traditional forms of exercise like the treadmill.


Events taking place in the summer of 2012 include:

Loughborough University - The Science of Wheelchair Sport – From Rehabilitation to Sporting Excellence

13 June 2012
An interactive public workshop at Stoke Mandeville featuring activities including how to efficiently push a wheelchair, increase mobility, select a sports wheelchair and meeting the dietician.

University of Brunel – Public Lecture Series

From August 2012
Public lectures that focus on topics such as “Transmitting the Games”, “Understanding sporting performance” and “Regeneration legacy”.

University of Northumbria - Dual Careers: Supporting Athletes in Education

15-16 June 2012
Public exhibition to showcase the relationship between sport and education through exhibition poster boards, meeting the athletes along the route of the Olympic Torch Relay in the North East.

All “Knowing Sport” activities are free to attend and use the excitement of the London 2012 Games to inform members of the public on a variety of topics within sport medicine and sport science.

A pilot scheme was held in 2010/2011 which featured the following projects:

  • Unviersity of Gloucestershire - Drawing the line on doping: Harm, Fairness and the ‘Spirit of Sport’ (31 January 2011)
  • University of Leicester - Sports Science Lecture Series (2 December 2010)
  • University of East London - Open day: public lecture, open lab (3rd February 2011)
  • University of Hertfordshire - Health, Sport and Physical Activity: What You Need to Know (23 November 2010)
  • Leeds Metropolitan University - In our own words: Athlete experiences of well-being and development in elite and professional sport (27 January 2011)
  • Liverpool John Moores University & Museum of Science and Industry - Meet the Sport Scientist (15 January 2011)
  • Uni of West Scotland - The First Transhuman Olympics? (24 January 2011)
  • University of Wolverhampton - Improving the Running Experience (15 January 2011) 
  • Univeristy of Kent - Health, Medicine and Science - A Sports Open Day (19 January 2011)
  • University of Westminster - Fitbeats (5 January 2011)

The report from the pilot programme can be found here.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership between the UK’s seven Research Councils. The Research Councils seek to create a culture where the research sector and researchers themselves value public engagement as an important activity, and where an awareness of social and ethical issues informs research decisions.

Podium is the Further and Higher Education Unit for 2012 and is working in partnership with the ICSEMIS 2012 organising committee to deliver the public engagement programme.


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