The return of the ECSS exchange delegates gave ECSS the oportunity of a quick chat with Helen Crewe and Matthew Cocks, two Young Investigators Award (YIA) Winners 2011, who represented the ECSS together with Sarah Jackman at the 66th JSPFSM Meeting in Shimonoseki, Japan.

In their report Helen Crewe from the University of Western Australia (AUS) together with Matthew Cocks and Sarah Jackman, both from the University of Birmingham (GBR), share their experiences and memories.

 

YIA winners, Helen Crew, Matthew Cocks and Sarah Jackman, at the JSPFSM meeting 2011.

 

Exchange interview

ECSS: Helen and Matthew, congratulations again for winning the YIA 2011. What does the YIA mean to you?
Crewe: Winning the YIA was not only a great honour and a significant financial reward but, most importantly, a confirmation of the relevance and quality of my PhD research. It has given me added motivation for the current project and also to continue with a career in sports science.
Cocks: The YIA is very important to me due to the quality of entries and previous winners work. Therefore I hope it will improve my career in the future.

ECSS: You just came back from the 66th annual JSPFSM Meeting in Japan. How was the meeting, representing the ECSS as exchange delegates with your work?
CreweBeing asked to present our finding at the JSPFSM as an ECSS exchange delegate meant a great deal to me, especially given the quality of other work in the exchange session at the conference.
CocksPresenting in front of an international audience is always a valuable experience for a young researcher.

ECSS: And, how about Japan?
Crewe: Japan was very interesting! I did enjoy trying different foods, and we were well looked after by Prof. Katsumura.
Cocks: Japan is a really beautiful country and I would like to go back and the ability to see more of it.

ECSS: What’s the most valuable experience to remember?
Crewe: Visiting Japan and learning about the Japanese language, lifestyle and culture was the most valuable part of the exchange for me.
Cocks: While learning about a different culture, the exchange gave the ability to meet a number of new people in our field and discuss their and our work with them.

ECSS: Have you established any friendships and collaborations?
Crewe: I met people from the Tokyo Medical University and the Japanese Institute of Sports Sciences, which I would be interested in visiting if I return to Japan.
Cocks: Yes, and I look forward to meet them next year at ECSS Bruges 2012.

ECSS: Thank you very much. We look forward to welcome you to ECSS Bruges 2012!

 

Exchange report

"We arrived in Shimonoseki after travelling through Japan on the famous bullet trains and immediately set out to explore the city. We strolled through the port area and took in the panoramic views of the Kanmon straits from the Kaikyo Yume Tower, the tallest building in western Japan at 153m. Seeing that we were a bit perplexed about what to eat and where to go for diner, Professor Katsumura came to the rescue and helped us select a restaurant. We left the ordering of the food up to him, and before we knew it we had tasted several dishes that we would never have thought to try - all thoughts of sticking to what we knew disappeared after we found out that the first delicious dish had been jelly fish, and from then on we were game for anything. Shimonoseki is known as the home of "fugu", a pufferfish that can be lethally poisonous if not prepared correctly, and we had our first of any fugu dishes on our first evening in Japan.

The congress began the following day and, after registering, we attended the opening lecture by Professor Hiroshi on a 30-year longitudinal study of changes in exercise physiology. Later in the day the poster session provided an excellent opportunity to interact with other delegates and discuss their research. That evening we were invited to a dinner with Professor Katsumura and his colleagues and students from the Tokyo Medical University. We were treated to another fantastic meal, including several courses of fugu cooked in a variety of different ways. We also enjoyed the local beers and sake, and were persuaded to cap the night off at a karaoke bar. We managed to destroy a few Beatles songs, but a good time was had by all.

The following day we each presented our work in the congress’ international session. Three Japanese students also gave excellent presentations on their research. The talks were all well received and stimulated some interesting discussion. Conversations continued into the poster session that afternoon and by the end of the day we had exchanged ideas and business cards with researchers from all over Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia. 
The ECSS-JSPFSM exchange program provided us with an invaluable opportunity to experience Japanese culture, language and food. The number of delegates and high quality of work at the congress proves that the pursuit of knowledge in sport, exercise and health is a universal task and all researchers would surely benefit from linking up with like-minded scientists despite differences in culture and geographical location."

 

 

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