Another ‘first’ for LJMU in Sport and Exercise Sciences



Liverpool John Moores University has proudly achieved another ‘first’ in the field of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Professor Zoe Knowles is set to become the first woman to chair of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

BASES is the largest professional sport and exercise science network in the UK and provides a raft of services and platforms for sports associations, clubs, academics, researchers and students.

World's first sport science degree

Her achievement continues this university’s long association with BASES and with the field of sport science, which emerged at LJMU in the early 1970s with the then polytechnic launching the world’s first Sport Science honours degree in 1975. Both our Sport and Exercise Science and Science and Football courses are BASES-accredited.

Two other LJMU figures have held the prestigious post – the late Professor Tom Reilly, who is credited with introducing sport science to professional football and lends his name to the BASES Doctoral Dissertation Award, and Professor Ian Campbell, the current vice-chancellor of the university.

Zoe, who is a Health and Care Professions Council sport and exercise psychologist by training and currently Strategic Lead for External Engagement in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, said: “As the first female chair of the association this makes it incredibly special.

“I have worked with the BASES leadership and wider membership for a number of years now and it gives me great pleasure to be able to lead the association to build on the work of my predecessors.”

Student membership

She would encourage students to become members of BASES, she said, because it was an extremely important part of their progression: “There are many opportunities for networking and professional training which ultimately helps towards employment for these sport and exercise scientists of the future.

“Many of our students become members and grow their skills through its student committees, prizes, conferences and much more.”

BASES is also very important for sports clubs and associations, she said with many having BASES-accredited members and professionals.

Zoe will take over in 2021 from current chair Professor Richard Tong, who said: “I am delighted that Zoe has been voted in by peers as Chair-Elect of BASES. I have worked with Zoe over the years and know she will do a great job of chairing the Association.”

- Read about Professor Zoe Knowles's thoughts on getting more women in science.


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