Sports Medicine from South Africa — SASMA biennial congress begins this week!

Dr. Pierre Viviers, President of SASMA

It’s been a while since we have invited a sports medicine colleague to a “Five Questions with CJSM” interview.

What better time to catch up with the current President of the South African Medical Association (SASMA) than on the eve of SASMA’s biennial Congress?

My dear friend Dr. Pierre Viviers of Stellenbosch University is a very busy man right now as he places the final touches on what is sure to be one of the premier events of this year’s sports medicine calendar.  Having attended SASMA in 2015  in Johannesburg, I can attest to what an exciting and stimulating event this Congress is.

True to form, Dr. Viviers did not hesitate to volunteer for this interview when I reached out to him, despite his busy schedule.  I hope you enjoy our conversation and that it whets your appetite for what is coming later this week from Cape Town.  If you can’t be there, be sure to follow #SASMA2019 on social media.

And now….Dr. Viviers!

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  1. CJSM: The biennial Congress of SASMA is taking place 10 – 13 October 2019 in Cape Town, the “Mother City.” It is a joint Congress with SASMA and BRICSCESS.  Can you tell us about what you see as the highlights of the program, and for the readers unfamiliar with BRICSCESS can you tell us about that organization?

Pierre Viviers (PV): It is a joint congress which also includes the 6th Annual Congress on Medicine and Science in Ultra-Endurance Sport which will definitely be a highlight. The pre-congress workshops are always popular and well attended. This will include 2 full-day workshops presented by ‘Exercise is Medicine South Africa” (EIM SA) and SAIDS (SA Institute for Drug-free Sport), as well as a half-day workshop by the S.A Sport-Physiotherapy group.

A highlight for me personally, is the integrated participation between scientists and medical professionals throughout the program.

Opening the narrative of social justice and the role which sport can play, especially in a country like S.A, will be one of our most influential South Africans, Prof Thuli Madonsela, activist for social justice and human rights, previous public protector and advocate in the High Court of S.A.  This is definitely a session not to be missed.

The prestigious Noble lecture will be presented by a good friend and colleague, Cheri Blauwet from Harvard Medical School & Spaulding Rehab Hospital, Boston. Cheri’s journey in injury and illness prevention in the elite Paralympic athlete will be a certain highlight. A symposium later in the conference will be another highlight, focusing on “innovations in athletes with disability.”

The sport nutrition colloquium led by Louise Burke (Australia) and other prominent South Africans in the field is another highlight.

The featured science session on player welfare in rugby union as well as the featured clinical symposium on Sport Related Concussion will reveal interesting concepts in injury prevention and management in this popular South African collision sport.

The session on mental health in athletes presented by two leaders in the field will also give new insight in prevalent mental health issues which may influence athlete welfare and performance.

The BRICES countries are Brasilia, Russia, India, China and South Africa and BRICSCESS is the Council of Exercise and Sport Science founded to specifically look into health and wellness of people within these counties. However, this is there second international congress. The council also strives to bring communication together between the BRICS countries on issues influencing health and wellness through universities and other platforms. The Council is also dedicated to leadership development in young scientists within the field.

 

  1. CJSM: You are winding down your term as President of SASMA. What are the fondest memories of your past two years of service?  Who is the incoming President?

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