La Trobe University: Inaugural Women In Sport Congress at MCG

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The inaugural Women in Sport Congress runs for three days and is a joint initiative between La Trobe University’s Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre (LASEM) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Female Performance and Health Initiative.

Professor Kay Crossley, co-chair of the Congress and LASEM Director, said now is the time to elevate women’s sport in all areas including health, medicine, administration, leadership, coaching and research.

“We’re now at an inflection point. There’s been an explosion of interest in women’s rugby, football, soccer and more – and we need to be ensure we have the best up-to-date research on hand to support all women in sport,” Professor Crossley said.

“As part of this congress we’ll be exploring research topics such as menstrual cycles, pregnancy, pelvic floor and breast health as well as discussing leadership, inclusion and accessibility for women in sport,” Professor Crossley said.

Dr Rachel Harris, AIS Female Performance and Health Initiative Project Lead, said the congress is an opportunity to highlight the incredible research academics are undertaking.

“We have a high performance system calling out to better support our athletes and their needs with the best available research so we wanted to showcase all the great work that is now coming to the forefront,” Dr Harris said.

“Our high performing athletes and the systems that support them want to know how to improve performance, future plan for families and pregnancies and optimise their short and long-term health.

“They deserve best practice and evidence-based information, so we need to ensure we are advocating for them and producing high-quality research,” Dr Harris said.

Dr Peter Brukner OAM Professor of Sports Medicine at LASEM echoed this: “Women’s sport is going ahead in leaps and bounds and we need to meet it with the right support and expertise.”

Key themes of the congress include:

Leadership and inclusion
Menstrual cycle: hormone profiles, phases and health
Performance and coaching
Injury prevention and rehabilitation
Accessibility for all women
Pelvic floor health, breast health and pregnancy

Each theme has dedicated keynote presentations, new research and panel discussions across the three-day event. The full program of speakers is available on the Women In Sport Congress website

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