Sport England's Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) has taken the welcome step of requiring all nutritionists working with its athletes to be registered with the Sport and Exercise and Nutrition register (SENr), in a clear commitment to quality and standards. This now means young athletes can be confident that their nutrition and diet advice is coming from properly qualified experts.
TASS is funded by Sport England and works with education institutions and national governing bodies of sport to support over 400 of England's up and coming athletes across over 30 sports. The SENr is run by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and currently accredits over 250 of the UK's top sport and exercise nutritionists, helping to protect athletes and the public, and setting high standards of service and education.
Dr Stuart Galloway, Chair of SENr, said: "This is fantastic news, and SENr is really pleased to be supporting TASS to ensure that the athletes of tomorrow are working with properly qualified practitioners. Nutrition and diet are absolutely key to performance for elite athletes, and there are real risks if poor advice is given."
Craig Williams, TASS Network Manager, added: "Our commitment to a duty of care to the athletes TASS supports means we need to ensure the quality and professionalism of the practitioners delivering our services. We believe SENr accreditation captures the balance between theoretical knowledge and practical application of sport nutrition, so we're confident our athletes are set to receive support of the highest standard."
SENr members always pursue a 'food first' approach to nutrition and make sure any supplements taken by athletes are batch tested. The organisation recently signed a joint commitment to clean sport with the UK Anti-Doping agency (UKAD), which has led to new guidance on how to minimise risk associated with supplement use.