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The Board of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians is proud to announce that a special resolution was passed at the Annual General Meeting on 14 February 2016 to change the name of the College to the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP).
Since its humble beginnings in 1985, from a small group of 19 passionate like-minded individuals, as the Australian College of Sports Physicians, the College has always been progressive in its thinking. In 1991, the College awarded its first Fellowships. In 1992, the College began training its own registrars in private practice, a pioneering training model which continues to this day. In 1993, our New Zealand colleagues joined the College, with the name changing to Australasian College of Sports Physicians in 2005.
Importantly, the College gained specialty recognition in New Zealand in 1998 and then finally in Australia in 2009. The College now numbers 159 Fellows practising in all corners of the globe and a record 55 trainees undergoing a robust training programme in all regions of Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
The College has also recently moved to a new skills-based board structure, with a new chairman, Professor Jon Watson, the Dean of Deakin University Medical School in Geelong, Australia.
The ACSEP is the pre-eminent professional body for Sport and Exercise Medicine in Australasia. Our vision is to provide the world's best training, standards and research in the specialty of Sport and Exercise Medicine. The College supports its doctors in clinical practice in order to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities through the enablement and promotion of physical activity.
The members of the College felt that a name change was needed to accurately reflect who we were and what our scope of practice is. Sport and exercise physicians work closely with general practitioners, physicians, radiologists, psychiatrists and surgeons, particularly orthopaedic surgeons, as well as our allied health professionals to lead and coordinate rehabilitation and exercise programmes to treat as well as prevent chronic diseases.
The goal of all sport and exercise physicians should be to facilitate all members of the community to enjoy exercise safely to 100 years and beyond, knowing that physical activity provides them the ‘best buy’1 to prevent chronic disease. This benefits individuals, families and communities and reduces the ballooning costs of an already overstretched healthcare system.2
Exercise medicine—incontrovertible benefits
We know from an increasing number of studies that regular physical activity has a powerful effect on reducing the burden of non-communicable chronic disease. A February 2015 report from the UK's Academy of Royal Colleges3 described the ‘miracle cure’ of performing 30 min of moderate exercise, five times a week, as more powerful than many drugs administered for chronic disease prevention and management. Such regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%.3 There is also increasing evidence that regular exercise is effective in the early management of mental illnesses such as depression.4 These diseases are among the leading public health issues facing the world in the 21st century.5
The current Australian Federal Government evidence-based review of the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) prompted the current Vice-President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Stephen Parnis, an Emergency Physician, to recently state that ‘if physical activity were a drug, the community would demand that it be listed on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme)’.
Significantly, ACSEP follows a number of other international sports medicine organisations to have similarly incorporated Exercise into their names, including the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM), the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), and the European College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP).
The ACSEP will continue to uphold and advance world leading training and practice in the specialty of Sport and Exercise Medicine. We are perfectly positioned to lead and promote the incorporation of exercise and physical activity into the daily lives of all members of the community, whether healthy or unwell. We will continue to work closely with our peak sporting bodies and teams, medical and allied health colleagues, as well as the greater community to keep us all active and healthy.
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