A 24 year old from the Isle of Man has been elected to the world’s biggest sports medicine and science organisation as a ‘student voice’.
Katie Taylor, of Pairk Ollay, Ramsey, is studying for a PhD at the University of Idaho, having gained a degree in sports science from the University of Central Lancashire.
Katie first went to the US university in 2010 after winning the Ella Olesen scholarship, which is awarded annually to a female graduate who has been supported through her studies by the Department of Education and Children.
She returned to the North West state last autumn to further her studies after being awarded a graduate teaching assistantship.
Now Katie has been accepted as a national student representative on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – the largest sports medicine and exercise science organisation in the world.
She represents the North West chapter of ACSM, which is one of a dozen chapters and includes Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Katie explained: ‘With more than 45,000 members and certified professionals worldwide, ACSM is dedicated to advancing scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. ACSM provides the worldwide guidelines for the recommended levels of physical activity, for example.
‘I submitted my application not expecting anything from it and was delighted when I learned I had been successful. My election means I am the voice of the students in the North West of America.
‘I am honoured to be able to represent students on such a well-respected organisation. I am proud to be the first person from the Isle of Man, maybe even the British Isles, to sit on the executive board.’
Katie said: ‘During my first meeting, I introduced myself, proudly telling them I was from the Isle of Man and being prepared to give a geography lesson. However, to my surprise I got the reply “that’s where they hold the TT races. I follow the races every year”.
‘A well-respected biomechanics researcher who specialises in cycling then said “I’d love to be from the Isle of Man. You have Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh. There must be something in the water over there”. It was a proud moment.’
Katie’s role will see her attend at all ACSM national meetings. She has just been to a regional ACSM conference in Oregon, where she was one of just eight of 250 attendees invited to speak. She was awarded the ‘outstanding doctorate research’ prize for her study on insulin resistance and its presentation.
She’ll help to arrange the ACSM’s regional conference in 2014 and will be the main organiser of the associated, highly competitive, student competition that takes place at it. She’ll also travel to Orlando, Florida, next year for the national ACSM conference.
Katie will fit in her role around her studies in physiology, ethics, and statistics and teaching weight training, motor behaviour, biomechanics and health promotion to undergraduates. She also teaches Manx dancing in primary schools as an after-school activity.
‘As ever, I am thankful to the Department of Education and Children for providing me with the opportunities that have got me to where I am today,’ Katie said. ‘I miss our beautiful Island and regularly show off pictures of the Isle to all my American friends. Hopefully I am proving that the Isle of Man really does give you the Freedom to Flourish.’