9th E.W. Barker Professorship Public Lecture by Professor Neil Armstrong - Elite Youth Sport: Are We Creating Superhumans or Premature Health Risks?

9th E.W. Barker Professorship Public Lecture by Professor Neil Armstrong - Elite Youth Sport: Are We Creating Superhumans or Premature Health Risks?

Date & Time

17 March 2016, 18:00


Singapore Sports Hub Auditorium 6 Stadium Walk Singapore 397698


Physical Education & Sports Science (PESS)


Public Lecture

Events Details

It is not unusual to see pre-school children in sport induction programmes. Some school children participate in organised, competitive sport as young as 6-8 years of age and by their early teens, many young athletes are training 30+ hours per week. There are concerns about intensive training, disordered eating and energy imbalance during childhood impacting on normal growth and maturation. The prevalence of the overtraining syndrome in young athletes is well-documented. There is evidence of child athletes being pressurised to train and compete; physically, verbally and sexually abused; and exploited for financial gain; by dominant adults. Youth athletes’ ages have been manipulated by National Governing Bodies to allow participation in both age-group sport and the Olympics. The use of legal and illegal performance-enhancing substances is increasing. What is the future for elite youth sport? Does it lie in a search for gene mutations? Selective breeding? Gene doping? This presentation will discuss the benefits, the threats and the challenges facing young athletes in their journey from playground to podium.

About the Speaker

Professor Neil Armstrong is a Professor of Paediatric Physiology from the University of Exeter. He graduated from Loughborough University with BEd and MSc degrees and earned his PhD and higher doctorate (DSc) at the University of Exeter. In 2013, he received a Doctor of Sciences (ScD) Honoris Causa from the University of Coimbra in Portugal and a Doctor of Laws (LLD) Honoris Causa from Brock University in Canada. Professor Armstrong has authored/edited 16 books, contributed ~100 book chapters, and published ~220 scientific, peer-reviewed papers (>8600 citations) on paediatric physiology and children’s health and well-being. He has been invited to make keynote presentations in 44 countries and has co-authored ~600 presentations to international and national conferences. Professor Armstrong led the physiology team in the development of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s guidelines for training elite young athletes and has acted as an ‘expert consultant’ to the IOC and ‘core member’ on two subsequent Consensus Statements. He has been a member or chair of numerous International Expert Committees focused on the promotion of children’s sport, activity, fitness and health. He has chaired the Board of European Pediatric Work Physiology since 2005. An active sportsman in his youth, Professor Armstrong represented England at under-15, under-18 and university level and played professional football for 10 years.

RSVP at pess@nie.edu.sg

EW Barker Professorship 2016 - Public Lecture 2 - NIE (Brochure)