Jan 29, 2015
Sports Dietitians Honored

The first-ever national recognition awards for service, perseverance and pioneering were presented in May 2011 by the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) to three Sports RDs whose specialization in “performance nutrition” is only beginning to be acknowledged by sports industry leaders.

Teaching nutrition to athletes, not only in sports but also to military and law enforcement personnel, requires registered dietitians to operate on the cutting edge of performance nutrition. That typically entails teaching physically active people what and when to eat to generate energy, build strength and recover after exercise. But that’s only half the story in today’s complex nutrition environment, where the constant threat of tainted food, performance-enhancing drugs or dietary supplement abuse–either from overuse or tainted supplements by careless or unscrupulous manufacturers–has placed Sports RDs in the position of playing traffic cop to their athletes’ food supply.

This new generation of “Sports RDs,” who protect athletes and employers by prioritizing healthier foods and steering away illicit drugs and potentially harmful food supplements, brought about the formation in 2009 of the CPSDA (www.SportsRD.org), a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing a select number of the nation’s 60,000 current and future registered dietitians into full-time performance nutrition specialists.

The CPSDA presented its first-ever national awards to three Sports RDs May 24 in Scottsdale, Arizona to recognize their special achievement in this emerging field:

2011 CPSDA Service Award
The 2011 CPSDA Service Award was presented to Lindsey Remmers, a Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist, who serves as Assistant Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Nebraska. A native of Filley, NE who attributes her can-do, self-starter approach to growing up on a farm, Lindsey became a full-time Sports RD at Nebraska in 2008 (one of only six universities in the U.S. with two full-time sports dietitians), where she works alongside Josh Hingst to integrate healthy food choices and monitor supplement usage for athletes in 23 sports.

Lindsey was singled out by the CPSDA Board of Directors for extraordinary service to their fledgling organization, in particular for directing food services during the CPSDA’s two most recent annual meetings. Lindsey received her bachelor of science degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University in South Carolina, where she was a member of the volleyball team, helping lead the team to two conference championships as a player and to a third title as a volunteer coach. She earned her master’s degree in health and human sciences at Nebraska in 2008. Lindsey has been lauded by colleagues for “setting the gold standard for exemplary service to her profession and to her school,” for which she received the first-ever CPSDA Service Award.

2011 CPSDA Perseverance Award
The 2011 CPSDA Perseverance Award was presented to Jana Heitmeyer, Director of Sports Nutrition and an assistant strength coach at the University of Missouri. Jana joined the Missouri athletic staff as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2006, but continued her classroom work since then to earn her master’s degree in Health Education and Promotion in 2006, and her dietetics degree in 2011.

Jana grew up in the small town of Bluffton, Ohio and attended Kent State University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in zoology and in pre-medicine. Jana was a four-year letter winner and three-year captain of Kent State’s gymnastics team, and also served 12 months as an intern in strength and conditioning, assisting in five sports.

Jana has earned high praise from Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden, who described her as “integral to the fabric of the entire athletic program,” and from head football coach Gary Pinkel, who said Jana has had a “profound impact on Missouri’s (successful) football program” in recent years. In addition to having her RD, Jana is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Her colleagues say Jana’s engaging personality draws athletes to nutrition like moths to a flame, which is just one more reason that CPSDA is pleased to present her with the organization’s first-ever Perseverance Award.

2011 CPSDA Trailblazer Award
The 2011 CPSDA Trailblazer Award was presented to Rob Skinner, serving as counselor to Naval Special Warfare in Virginia Beach, VA. Rob was among the first Sports RDs in the country to create a full-time “nutrition” position at a major college athletic program after earning his bachelor’s degree in education and recreation from the University of Georgia in 1991. Rob later earned a second bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Georgia State in 1997, and then a master’s degree in exercise science from the same school in 2001. Rob served six years as director of Georgia Tech’s Homer Rice Center for Sports Performance, where he was responsible for the individual sports performance labs including sports nutrition, sports physiology, sports psychology, sports vision and biomechanics, where he worked daily with student-athletes from 17 sports.

Rob has also served as a sports nutrition consultant to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, as a part-time nutrition instructor at Georgia State, and as the first Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Virginia. The Georgia Dietetic Association named Rob the Young Dietitian of the Year in 2001.

A pioneer of sports nutrition from his earliest days, Rob is still blazing new trails today by helping top athletes in the U.S. Navy maximize nutrition to test the limits of their endurance. And along the way Rob has created job opportunities for interns and fellow Sports RDs willing to invest the extra time it takes to provide services to athletes, of all types, who work year round. The CPSDA is very proud to present Rob Skinner with its first-ever Trailblazer Award.

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