Sports, Medicine and Health Summit

Welcome to the Sports, Medicine and Health Summit 2021

Willkommen zum Sports, Medicine and Health Summit 2021

Ladies and Gentlemen, Participants in the Sports, Medicine and Health Summit,

When I was asked in 2017 if I would take on the presidency of the Congress, we were faced with the task of revitalization. The Congress was primarily a Congress of specialists, with too few university institutes, too few practicing physicians and too few participants.

With CPO HANSER as a new partner, we approached the challenges and chances for innovative development of our Congress with a new focus and a new Logo, in which Exercise is Medicine Europe is involved as a European partner. Moreover, we could draw in a number of societies in relevant disciplines. With the idea of the "Active City", we could also rouse enthusiasm in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg for this international format.

In cooperation with numerous specialist societies, we want to sign a Hamburg-Declaration of "Global Alliance for Promotion of Physical Activity", which will be supported among many others by the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the WHO, the IOC, the World Organization of Sports Physicians (FIMS), and the European Sports Physicians (EFSMA).

The initiative "Exercise is Medicine" tells us that every doctor should ask his patients "how much physical activity do you have every day?" But to get people who are inactive to become active is anything but easy, since no doctor can engage in sports for his patient. Here is the meeting point of health psychology, sports sciences and medicine. The creation of activity-friendly and health-promoting environments in cities is the aim of the initiative "Active City", for which our host city, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, has received recognition from the IOC.

But beyond the purely medical tasks, health is an integrative and social task, and this is presented at our Congress connecting many facets of classical sports medicine, prevention and movement. "It is never too late for anyone to become physically active", according to the new 2020 WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Physical activity has great effects on health and is important in the prevention and treatment of diseases. The pioneer work in training of patients was done by cardiology groups, meanwhile training groups have become an integral part of therapy in hemato-oncology, neurological disorders, diabetes and adiposity. We are learning more and more about the mechanisms, especially about the immunomodulatory effects of physical activity. Our genetic makeup reacts to lack of activity and overnutrition with obesity and its sequelae, since overweight and physical inactivity lead to chronic inflammatory processes affecting many organ systems. We are pleased to have at this Congress Marc Donath, one of the pioneers in the antiinflammatory therapy of Diabetes mellitus, who will shed more light on this topic.

During a Covid-19 illness, there may be considerable limitation of physical performance capacity affecting numerous organ systems and well-being. The pandemic emphasizes an important role of sports medicine, which, as an integrative discipline, views the person as a whole

We approve of performance sports as a model of fair, sportive competition in the development of personality, physical and intellectual capacities and also affirm the Olympic Idea. But essential to this is an environment which not only supports and promotes athletes, but is vigorously opposed to pressure and exploitation of dependencies to control the athletes’ everyday life. Doctors must get involved here as independent counsellors and, as Wilfried Kindermann has said, leave "no room for collusion of doctors with trainers and athletes", but rather give friendly and professional support to a healthy development in performance. This is why we have dedicated two important keynotes to the topics "Sports, ethics and integrity" and "Sexual harassment and abuse in sports".

Despite the pandemic, we could accept 304 abstracts as free presentations and posters, there are 90 sessions with outstanding invited speakers, but also practice-oriented seminars, most of which are designed for practicing physicians, therapists and trainers.

Thanks to the virtual format, it is possible to follow the Congress for a longer time period. In this respect, the Congress has a new format, resulting from Covid-19, which offers great chances for everyone. Many thanks to the Program Commission and all those involved!

Come to Hamburg virtually and log in with us!

    Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Jürgen M. Steinacker
    University Hospital Ulm
    Division of Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine
    Leimgrubenweg 14, 89075 Ulm, Germany