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Olympic sporting legends to visit Northumbria

Press release   •   Nov 03, 2014 00:00 GMT

Two of the world’s most famous sporting legends – Sir Chris Hoy and Haile Gebrselassie – will visit Northumbria University next month to take part in a leading international sports conference.

Sir Chris Hoy, the most successful Olympic cyclist of all time and Haile Gebrselassie, the world’s greatest ever distance runner, will be at Northumbria as part of the International Sport and Exercise Nutrition Conference 2014.

The conference brings together leading academics and researchers to present the latest evidence into the effects of diet and exercise on health and performance. It is being hosted at Northumbria for the third time since 2012.

Northumbria’s Dr Emma Stevenson, a Reader in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, is one of a number of speakers presenting their research findings at the conference. She will be discussing her research into how certain ‘functional foods’, such as cherry juice and beetroot, can help to aid recovery in athletes.

Other presenters are travelling from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and countries across Europe to cover topics including protein and carbohydrates in athlete diets; how diet and exercise can impact on gut health; what it takes to run a marathon in two hours and what fatty acids are essential for health and performance.

Dr Stevenson said: “This is the world’s only international conference covering both sport and nutrition and so it’s a great coup for Northumbria – not only to be asked to host it for the third time, but also for the fact that it brings some of the leading names in sport, exercise and nutrition research to our campus.

“We’ve made such impressive investments in our facilities over the years and it’s fantastic to be able to showcase our position as a leader in sports, exercise, nutrition, recovery and rehabilitation research to some of the most prominent experts in the field.

“The fact that both Sir Chris Hoy and Haile Gebresellassie have confirmed their attendance is testament to the impact of the research we are all undertaking and its importance for elite athletes.”

Sir Chris won a total of seven medals and eleven world championship titles during his career and Haile has won two Olympic gold medals; four consecutive Berlin Marathons and set a number of world records.

Northumbria University is one of the original providers of sport degrees in UK higher education for over 30 years and in UK Higher Education. Sports graduates have included successful medal-winning figures including Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton; Paralympic champion Stephen Miller, Olympic athlete Steve Cram and international rugby players Jamie Noon and Martin Corry.

The International Sport and Exercise Nutrition Conference 2014 is organised by Roberts & Partners Limited and is sponsored by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Sir Chris Hoy is attending by courtesy of Science in Sport (SIS).

The conference will be held at Northumbria University's Students' Union from Tuesday 16 to Thursday 18 December. For more information or to register for a place, visit

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