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Active Voice: ACSM President Elect Places a Priority on Children, Inclusiveness and Challenges to the College

from By Carol E. Garber, Ph.D., FACSM

ACSM President Elect Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FACSM, RCEP, is the Director of the Graduate Program in Applied Physiology and the Applied Physiology Laboratory at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is proud to follow in the footsteps of ACSM Founder, Dr. Josephine Rathbone. As chair of the Program Committee, she has enjoyed working with the dedicated and talented members of that committee and the spectacular ACSM staff to develop an exciting Annual Meeting next month in Orlando which commemorates the College's 60th Anniversary.

Dr. Garber shared some of her goals during her Presidency.

SMB: Dr. Garber, you have indicated that you want to focus on children. How do you expect to carry this out?

Dr. Garber: First, we have a number of exciting sessions at the Annual Meeting that will focus on children's health, fitness, academic achievement and youth sports. These sessions will showcase the scientific research, clinical care and policy issues around physical activity and sports affecting children and their families. In a correlated initiative, a writing group is now preparing ACSM's first Evidence Based Position Stand on physical activity and academic achievement in youth. Having this systematic scientific foundation will be essential for furthering our advocacy efforts to ensure that every child has access to quality physical education and opportunities for daily physical activity. Expanding ACSM's efforts to promote the healthy youth athlete is yet another related priority and, in this area, we will work to advocate ways to increase opportunities for children and adolescents to participate in safe and enjoyable sports. Continuing our advocacy, scientific and clinical work in sports concussion, screening, and return to play is critical, and I hope to extend our leadership in that area to other troublesome areas, such as bullying. Devoting ACSM energies toward developing training and credentials for coaches of youth sports is one way to step forward in this area. In addition, youth sport provides an excellent vehicle to reach kids, parents and adult caregivers to promote lifetime physical activity and other healthy behaviors, such as abstaining from tobacco products. It is important that ACSM programs directed toward youth athletes capitalize on opportunities to promote the broader message about physical activity and health to youth athletes and their families. In this way, sports can be a vehicle used to combat sedentariness that accompanies "spectatoritis."

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