Nottingham Trent University plans to create a Sport and Wellbeing Academy offering exercise and nutritional support and advice for patients via NHS referral.
It is hoped that the academy, which will provide a free bespoke consultancy service, will play a key role in helping to reduce local health inequalities around physical activity and healthy eating.
Patients will be referred directly to the academy at the Clifton Campus by the Clifton and Meadows NHS Primary Care Network Social Prescribing Service.
The academy will involve the creation of five new roles, utilise existing university expertise and provide sport science students with work experience opportunities around sport performance, clinical exercise physiology and physical activity.
The academy will also provide support to improve the performance of NTU sports teams and offer a pathway to sports coaching in primary and secondary schools in the Nottingham area. It will help to facilitate local provision of ‘The Daily Mile’, a school-based physical activity initiative, and involve coaching multi-sports and specialist sports in schools.
The academy will benefit from custom-built facilities, providing a studio equipped with new bespoke exercise and assessment equipment, and consultation rooms for private client one-to-one discussions.
Patients will receive a health and fitness assessment and supervised exercise prescription in an accessible and friendly environment run by qualified practitioners.
The aim is to reduce health inequalities by removing traditional barriers to exercise and healthy eating specifically relating to cost, accessibility and fear of a public gym environment.
NTU sports teams which compete in British Universities and Colleges Sport will also benefit from support in areas such as strength and conditioning, performance and biomechanical analysis.
It is hoped the academy will equip students for highly-skilled roles in careers such as clinical exercise physiology, youth coaching and sports performance, as well as help them to develop the entrepreneurial skills required to launch their own consultancy services.
“This important initiative will provide a free referral service and tackle local inequalities to support people’s health and wellbeing. Newly-appointed practitioners, university researchers and students will combine to make this a safe, welcoming and dedicated space,” said Professor Angus Hunter, head of sports science in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology,
“Sport and exercise science at NTU has rapidly evolved over recent years and this is an opportunity to bring together our world-leading expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to create a real impact in the community.”