Sir Chris Hoy was Newcastle's guest of honour last week, at an academic conference dedicated to research in exercise and nutrition.
Hot on the heels of NUSU's own Food for Fuel Week, which promoted healthy eating among students, the University hosted the annual International Sport and Exercise Nutrition Conference. Academics from across the world came to Newcastle from 19-21 December to discuss the impact of nutrition and exercise on the body.
Evening sessions of the conference gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions to the former cyclist, who won seven medals across four Olympic Games to become Britain's most gold medal-laden Olympian. The Q&A sessions were held in Venue – free of students after the end of term – and covered everything from his illustrious career to his experience of maintaining the levels of fitness required for top-level performances.
“Sport, nutrition and exercise are important for everyone and not just those involved in elite sport,” Hoy said. “How we look after our health and body impacts upon many aspects of our lives.”
Unsurprisingly, the former Olympian advocated a healthy diet and an active lifestyle – “whether that's walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift, or cycling or running to work”.
Hoy was impressed with Newcastle's new Sports and Exercise Science degree, which is the first in the UK to be delivered from a medical faculty. “It is great to hear that a new undergraduate degree programme has started... at Newcastle University this year and is going well,” he said. The course began teaching in September and aims to utilise Newcastle's traditional expertise in medical research to offer a unique programme of study.