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  1. John H Clegg, Hon Secretary

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    1999 BASM annual congress

    The BASM annual congress took place from 21–24 October in Newcastle. It was a memorable congress and arguably one of the most successful meetings of the association. Per Renstrom (Sweden) and Peter Fricker (Australia) were the keynote speakers and contributed to many lectures, workshops, and discussions throughout the weekend. Participants at the meeting were delighted to hear Roger Moreland describe the future of the United Kingdom Sports Institute and how it will be the driving force in British sport for the next generation. This speech met with strong support from the sports medicine community.

    In response to the need for higher education by those at post Diploma or Masters level, Rod Jaques chaired an afternoon session on advanced sports medicine. This problem based session used case studies which were presented by four brave volunteers and were discussed with the audience. This was a very positive initiative which was warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic audience who were keen to participate. The British Olympic Association and, in particular, its chief medical officer also had a large input into the organisation of a parallel programme, which discussed the role of the BOA medical team in the period leading up to the Olympics in Sydney.

    The UK Forum, an umbrella body for the academic institutions, has a great influence on academic developments and seeks to build on the academic achievements of BASM so far; it was chaired by Paul McIntyre. The short papers session illustrated the improving standard of sport and exercise medicine research and covered topics from molecular genetics to randomised controlled trials of clinical intervention. The winners of the short paper and poster section were Linda Mitchell and Shauna McGibbon, respectively. The abstracts will be published in the next issue of the journal.

    Drug abuse and doping

    Drug abuse and doping is always in the news. A recent guideline from the General Medical Council raised concern among members about the possible inadvertent censure of doctors involved in sport. Clearly BASM is opposed to doping in sport, but members indicated that there is a place for those doctors who seek to reduce harmful effects in those who take such drugs. Needle exchange, counselling, advice, and detection of side effects are an integral component in the care of those abusing recreational drugs. It would be inappropriate if those involved in sport were to provide a lesser service, even though they accept that doping is prohibited by governing bodies. This debate is likely to continue.

    20th London Marathon

    The forthcoming 20th London marathon will mark a remarkable achievement for a group of athletes, currently known as the “Ever Present”, who have run in all previous events. Among those competing will be Dr Mac Speake, a BASM member, whose regular attendance at the congress is as consistent as his running. Clearly some BASM members practise what they preach. The 20th Dublin marathon took place in October 1999 and some 45 hardy participants have completed every one.

    UK Diploma of Sport and Exercise Medicine

    The first sitting of the UK Diploma of Sport and Exercise Medicine took place recently. It was composed of SAQs and MCQs. Part B consisted of three practical sessions and a viva, each lasting 30 minutes. Two of the practical examinations were objective structured clinical examinations, each containing five elements. Successful candidates reported a testing but fair examination.

    The Aircast Prize

    The Aircast Prize was won this year by Mr Nic Maffuli for his work on tendon injuries. Mr Maffuli is a consultant senior lecturer in orthopaedics in Aberdeen. He is widely published and has been a frequent contributor to this journal. Dr Nick Peirce who won the prize last year is currently planning a very exciting trip to Australia. Family and domestic commitments prevented him travelling in 1998.

    Northern Ireland advanced sport medicine journal club

    Northern Ireland has introduced an advanced sport medicine journal club for those at post Diploma level. There is now a two tier educational programme: a year round programme of basic sports medicine formed around a three year curriculum, and an advanced programme in a journal club format. There are now 13 diplomates in Northern Ireland, and pioneering candidates have submitted themselves to the first sitting of each of the three open diploma examinations offered by the Society of Apothecaries and the Scottish Royal Colleges, and have also sat the more recent UK Diploma.

    2000 BASM annual congress

    The 2000 BASM annual congress will take place at the Stakis Puckrup Hall Hotel in Tewkesbury from 3–5 November. Norbert Baachl (Austria), President of the European Federation of Sports Medicine, will give the opening address. His presentations will be entitled “Muscular conditioning during space station MIR flight” and “Health enhancing physical activity—an upgrowing challenge for sports medicine”. Once again there will be an Advanced Medical Education session and a meeting of the British Olympic Association, together with the academic papers and poster session and presentation of the Aircast Prize. The meeting will be slightly shorter than usual because of the proximity of the Olympics and the involvement of so many BASM members with the Olympic teams. Further details of the congress are available from Dr Clive Monkley, Ridgeway House, Ridgeway Cross, Cradley, Worcestershire WR13 5JJ.

    New Medical Advisor to the National Sports Medicine Institute

    Dr Nick Webborn has been appointed as Medical Advisor to the National Sports Medicine Institute. Nick is a keen researcher with a particular interest in general practice based exercise promotion schemes. He has travelled with many teams of both able bodied and disabled athletes and is director of a sports medicine clinic in Brighton. Well known in academic circles, he has lectured and published widely.

    Institute of Sports Medicine presentation ceremony

    The Institute of Sports Medicine held their presentation ceremony and lecture at the House of Lords recently. This was a very popular occasion and venue, with a large and appreciative audience. Mr Barry Jackson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, was the guest of honour. Professor Angus Wallace gave the Fellows lecture entitled “Why do our top athletes seek their medical treatment abroad”, a topic that provoked a fascinating discussion. The Duke of Edinburgh Prize for Sports Medicine was awarded to Professor Mike Garraway for his work on the epidemiology of injuries in Rugby Union. The new fellows were Mr Basil Helal, Mr Myles Gibson, and Dr Malcolm Read.

    Muscle power in health and sport

    A symposium entitled “Muscle power in health and sport” was held in December at the Brunei Gallery at the University of London. It was a joint initiative hosted by the Royal Free and University College Medical School and the Institute of Sports Medicine, and brought together researchers from the UK, Europe, and the US. It focused on all contemporary issues and raised a key research question by asking how patients may benefit.

    Diploma in sport and exercise medicine

    This two part diploma examination will be held twice a year. Part I, comprising multiple choice questions and a short essay paper will be held in April and September. Candidates can sit part I in London, Glasgow, or Dublin.

    Part II will comprise oral and clinical examinations based on two OSCEs and will be held at a single centre rotating every six months.

    Details can be obtained from the Examinations Department, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW or from the web site at http:/www.rcsed.ac.uk.

    Notice to BASM members

    After a discussion at the AGM in Newcastle and at a subsequent executive meeting held on 1 December 1999 the Charity Commissioners and Companies House have approved a change of name of the association to the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Please note that all payments of subscriptions to the association by cheque and standing order must now be made out to the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

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