‘Female Athlete Health Symposium’

FEMALE ATHLETE HEALTH SYMPOSIUM: Understanding the Key Issues of Today

When: September 3 & 4, 2015

Where: Avantidrome, Cambridge, New Zealand

A world first, truly interdisciplinary, symposium on issues relating to female athlete health and wellbeing, with a focus on energy deficiency and related concerns, including disordered eating practices, bone health, menstrual disruption, and other performance issues. To be hosted by the University of Waikato at the Avantidrome, the home of high performance sport in New Zealand.

Each session will feature a panel of invited national and international experts across the disciplines and from both academic and professional contexts. The unique format will enable productive conversations and new insights into the complexities of these issues affecting the health, wellbeing and performances of female athletes at all levels.

This symposium will be important for all coaches and trainers, sport and exercise scientists, sports doctors, psychologists, social scientists, nutritionists, athletes and other health professionals working with female athletes.

Day 1 will have a more academic focus and panels will bring together international and national researchers and professionals to discuss and debate key issues

Keynote speaker: Professor Mary Jane De Souza (Penn State University) is Director of the Women’s Health and Exercise Lab and a leading international expert on women’s health and physical activity, endocrinology of the female athlete, and issues related to the female athlete triad (eating disorders, amenorrhea and osteoporosis).

Other invited speakers confirmed, with more to come: Dr Stella Milsom (Fertility Associates, University of Auckland), Dr Holly Thorpe (Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato and co-founder of Fuel Aotearoa), Ien Hellemans (Senior Nutritionist TriNZ), Rod Corban (Sport psychologist, High Performance Sport New Zealand), Dr Carlene Starck (Massey University)

Session topics for panel discussions on the first day include:

* Hormones and Menstrual Changes

* Bone Health

* The latest in Sport Science Research on Female Athletes

* Disordered Eating and Body Image Issues

* Challenges for Understanding and Treating Female Athlete Health Issues

Day 2 will have a more practical and applied focus and will be targeted at coaches, fitness professionals, parents, and individuals and organizations working with female athletes and exercisers in New Zealand communities. The day will begin with an information session for all focused on how to identify, manage and support female athletes with or are ‘at risk’ of female athlete triad symptoms. Then attendees can choose from an array of special topics, including:

  • The Secondary School Female Athlete: Special Issues for Coaches, Teachers and Parents
  • Exercising women and energy deficiency: The growing phenomenon
  • Impact exercise and bone health
  • Menstrual cycle and performance
  • Nutrition for performance and well-being
  • Strategies for successful coaching of female athletes

For more information contact Dr Holly Thorpe (hthorpe@waikato.ac.nz)