Queenslanders should start preparing now to maximise a golden opportunity to feed the world’s best athletes at the Brisbane 2032 games, according to University of the Sunshine Coast nutrition and dietetics experts.
UniSC’s Professor Fiona Pelly and Associate Professor Gary Slater say the Olympic and Paralympic Games in South-East Queensland are less than nine years away, and the sports nutrition and dietetics industry is already gearing up.
Their comments come ahead of the Sports Dietitians Australia Conference which will be held 27 to 28 October at UniSC Sunshine Coast.
Professor Pelly, who has overseen food provision for major global sporting events on behalf of the International Olympic Committee for decades, says athlete villages from Sunshine Coast to Gold Coast will need nutrition support, as well as teams and individual athletes.
“There are many opportunities to work with the teams and athletes, but equally with the catering companies to ensure they are providing suitable food options to travelling athletes,” she said.
“As we build up high performance centres around Queensland, sports dietitians will become integrated into these centres, providing everything from tailored food provision to hydration testing and supplement programs.
“What’s interesting is that you have so many different physical requirements across different sports, as well as cultural nuances or medical or intolerance considerations.
“You then have different athletic groupings – whether it’s a rower who needs to meet a weight category, a marathon runner who needs to carb load before a big race, a shooter who needs to maintain their focus, or a weightlifter who needs lots of protein to maintain muscle.”
Dr Slater, who is National Performance Nutrition Network Lead at the Australian Institute of Sport, said There has been a "massive increase in support offered by Queensland Academy of Sport to build the state’s performance nutrition talent base and this is reflected in increased job opportunities across our state academies and institutes of sport.
"It’s an exciting time to be a sports dietitian.
“Many countries are likely to hold camps in South-East Queensland in the Games lead-up, and dietitians will play a major role here too, we are working to ensure opportunities also extend past the Games.”
He said everyone was set to benefit, from Queensland food producers, commercial kitchens, catering companies, diet and nutrition experts, to people considering careers across these fields.
In the lead-up to the 2023 Games, UniSC has launched a new Master of Dietetics (Sports Nutrition), which will help ensure the delivery of high level of talent that Queensland needs to meet the demands of a major global sporting event.
Dr Slater said it would also complement UniSC’s existing sport and exercise nutrition programs.
“A good sports nutritionist tended to have a passion for sport, food and nutrition and an intrinsic motivation to help others,” he said.
“The foundations of sports nutrition are rooted in evidence-based practice, but the art is in translating highly scientific information into easily digestible pieces that become meaningful adjustments in daily food intake to support a specific outcome.”
UniSC’s new Master of Dietetics (Sports Nutrition) is now open for enrolments next year for Semester 2, 2024, with provisional direct entry available.
Bachelor of Dietetics (Honours)
Learn about public health nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service systems, and gain qualifications to work as an dietitian.
Master of Dietetics (Sports Nutrition)
Take the steps to get qualified to work as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian in Australia.
Master of Sports Nutrition by Research
Use your knowledge to drive peak performance.
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