Ground-breaking merger between Sports Science Institute and UCT Division of Exercise Science

Sport Science Institute

Formally launched a ground-breaking merger between the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM). The historical partnership, now formalised, heralds a new era in health, wellness, performance science and medicine, in which the two respected organisations will work together to create and roll-out highly advanced programmes, and ensure that results of their combined research are translated to reach the greater South Africa, and beyond.

Thought leaders, game-changers, and innovators with compassion are but a few of the descriptors attached to SSISA, some 21 years on from when Professor Tim Noakes and former Springbok Rugby Captain, Morné du Plessis, first had the inspiration and vision to create it.

In 2017, in its age of majority, SSISA continues to stay true to its founders’ mission to improve the health and sporting performance of all South Africans.

Now, with access to the academic expertise of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, both entities will have the unprecedented opportunity of combining their skillsets and resources to develop and deploy next generation services and products in the field of exercise science and sports medicine.

Unveiling the new look and positioning created to celebrate the joint venture, SSISA’s CEO, Dr Phathokuhle Zondi, explained: “Be Your Personal Best captures the brand essence of SSISA and speaks not only to personal wellness, but to our social responsiveness as a community of South Africans.”

“Our new strategy reaches far beyond the constraints of this building. We are striving for a global presence, but with an emphasis on Africa first. Technological advancements, interactive, inviting and engaging digital platforms, and formal online learning qualifications are all in the pipeline.”

“That said, our Newlands home will remain a living laboratory for our innovations and the hub of our research activities. Our sports performance pillar will focus largely on cycling, running and swimming, whilst we continue contributing to the global body of research related to Rugby Science.”

Professor Vicki Lambert, head of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, says: “UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, has improved the quality of lives and contributed to the changes in sports’ rules, strategies and policies both nationally and globally.

It has advised such world bodies as the World Health Organisation, the International Olympic Committee, and other institutions on a plethora of matters relating to the benefits of physical activity for health and human performance. The division is also the first academic institution to offer sports and exercise medicine to economically disadvantaged South Africans through partnerships with not-for-profit organisations.

“We look forward to this merger, to ensure the broader translation of our science, so that we can make a difference in the day-to-day lives of all South Africans, for sport, for health, and for quality of life, to be their personal best.”

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