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The University has been chosen as a pilot site for the project that is designed to raise awareness of anti-doping issues and to educate students and all campus users.
As part of the project the University will expand its team of onsite accredited anti-doping trainers who will share anti-doping knowledge with coaches, teams and athletes. Loughborough students will also be selected to work as ambassadors for clean sport.
There will be a significant increase in the use of ‘impact messages’ around sports facilities to inform about anti-doping and the actions to take to avoid making the wrong decision, as well as further promotion of the importance of a ‘healthy body’ to everyone who visits campus.
This will reinforce clean sport messages to the student body, and also will be visible to visitors on campus to demonstrate the University’s unequivocal commitment to anti-doping.
The University is also working with UK Anti-Doping to increase the possibility of testing within student sport on campus. As with all national governing body sanctioned competitions, testing has always been possible at University level, but the pilot project is moving this to the next level.
An increased testing programme is planned for those competing in performance sports alongside the elite athletes from governing bodies that are based on campus.
Chris Earle, Director of Sport at Loughborough University said: “At Loughborough we pride ourselves on being at the heart of sport. Therefore it is only right and proper that we lead the way in ensuring that our sports teams, coaches and players are fully aware of current anti-doping information.
“Our students are the next generation of elite sports people, future coaches, physios, sports medics and nutritionists. Embedding the right attitudes now will support the next generation of athletes too.
“Our involvement in the pilot study demonstrates our support to colleagues at UK Anti-Doping, but also illustrates Loughborough’s 100 per cent commitment to clean sport.”
Andy Parkinson, Chief Executive at UK Anti-Doping said: “We are delighted that Loughborough University are supporting us in this pilot project. Universities play an essential role in promoting sport and healthy lifestyles and nurturing and developing sporting achievement among young adults. They have a significant profile within the general sporting landscape and can exert major influence on attitudes and behaviours amongst athletes of all levels.”
The findings from the Loughborough pilot will help inform UK Anti-Doping in developing a national programme designed for Universities and other sports institutions.