The health of female athletes will be under the spotlight today in Tauranga.

The University of Waikato and High Performance Sport New Zealand will be holding a symposium which aims to challenge the existing principles of how women are recovering and will examine the contributors to energy deficiency and related concerns, including nutrition, social-psychological, menstrual cycle health and other performance-related factors.

Keynote speaker Dr Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist and nutritional scientist from the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance in Mount Maunganui, will discuss the topic 'Women are not small men: Equity of women in sport'.

Focused on female physiology and how this influences athletic performance; Dr Sims is changing attitudes in the sport science field.

Her research helps sport coaches to develop tailored training, nutrition and recovery programmes that enable women to achieve greater results.

"While the representation of women in high-performance sport has increased in recent years when it comes to performance training and nutrition, the science behind performance enhancement has long been skewed towards men.


"Until the 1980s, sport science research was based on 18- to 22-year-old men, with no recognition of the influencers and differences between the outcomes of men and women," Sims said.

In addition to experts from the University of Waikato, High Performance Sport New Zealand, the University of Otago and Fertility Associates, other speakers feature a range of female athletes including cyclist Katie Schofield, mountain biker Dr Carlene Starck, endurance athlete Marie Bentley and rower Sophie Mackenzie.

This event follows on from the world-first Female Athlete Health Symposium hosted by the University at the Avantidrome in Cambridge in 2015.

The symposium is expected to attract sport and exercise scientists and researchers, health professionals, clinicians, trainers, educators and coaches who work with female athletes, parents, and athletes themselves.


Event: Females Athlete Health Symposium 2017
Date: Wednesday 22 November 2017
Time: 8.30am-5.00pm
Location: ASB Stadium, 81 Truman Lane, Mt Maunganui