The School of Sports and Exercise Medicine at UHAS (SSEM), on January 31st, launched the Human Performance Laboratory and Fitness Clinic (UHAS-SSEM HPL & FC), which will deliver professional sports medical care and services to UHAS and surrounding communities. The Fitness Clinic is located at Chances Hotel in Ho.
In his opening remarks, the Acting Dean of SSEM, Prof. Eric Kwasi Ofori (below middle) said, when the concept of SSEM was advanced in June 2019, building a multipurpose sports complex, including a Human Performance Laboratory, was one of the key goals. In 2019-2020, SSEM admitted its first cohort of 13 students, and in 2020-2021 the second cohort of 16.
“This year, the projected number of freshmen is 30. Second- and third-year students are supposed to do clinical labs, and because we don’t yet have our own sports complex, this MoU with Chances Hotel will bridge the infrastructural gap and enable the fulfilment of these mandates in the interim,” he explained.
The Fitness Clinic has three main objectives, which differentiate it from a regular gymnasium: to facilitate teaching/training of professionals who can prescribe exercise as therapy, assess and measure the performance of sportsmen and women; to create an enabling environment for research; and to promote community health through sports and exercise. After registration, each client is given a consultation with a professional who will assess vital statistics, collect anthropometric data, then prescribe the specific exercise the client needs, i.e., the type, frequency and intensity, as well as monitor and evaluate the client throughout the programme.
Prof. Omotayo (left), Head of the department of Sports and Exercise Medical Sciences, disclosed that one of the strategic plans for 2022/2023 was to have a state-of-the-art facility to help run the programme, because the Ghana Tertiary Education Council (GTEC) gave UHAS the accreditation to run the programme based on the availability of a well-resourced facility. The partnership with Chances Hotel is, therefore, timely.
Pro-VC Prof. Harry Tagbor (right) said, this project had been in the offing for a few years, adding, “I’m glad it has materialized today. We promise to protect this investment.”
The strategic location of the clinic is the latest response to the Vice Chancellor’s rallying cry to the community to partner with the University; it also strengthens the bond between UHAS and the proprietor of the Hotel, Mr. Emmanuel Chance (right), who was honoured with a UHAS Foundation Award last October for his benevolence toward UHAS at inception. Handing over the keys to the Hotel’s gymnasium facility where the Fitness Clinic will be operated, Mr. Chance’s main request was that the facility be well cared for by the operators.
Commissioning the UHAS-SSEM HPL & Fitness Clinic, Vice Chancellor Lydia Aziato (left) assured Mr. Chance that his wish would be honoured, and recognized his long-standing benevolence to the University, saying, “I’m pleased you kept the faith with UHAS since inception.” She also told the students and faculty of SSEM, “This area of sports is gold. I foresee SSEM holding this University together. I also encourage you to partake in both national and international sporting events. I also expect you to bring in collaborations to create opportunities for students.”
Prof. Isiaka Oladipo (holding mic), Professor of Exercise Medicine and Manager of the Fitness Clinic, led a tour of the facility. The launch was well attended by several deans and directors, faculty, staff and students, led by the Registrar, who gave the vote of thanks.
The Clinic will provide one-on-one and small-group programmes that will build a strong foundation for exercise adherence. It will also be a human performance strength and conditioning optimization centre for needy sportsmen and sportswomen, and will manage and rehabilitate sports related injuries. It is open to the UHAS internal community as well as the general public.