Jan 29, 2015Wanted: Sports Nutritionists
A new national membership association comprised primarily of registered dietitians working with athletes at the highest levels of sport in the U.S. launched its first membership drive September 3 to help develop “nutritionists” into sports dietitians.
The Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) was first conceived two years ago to fill a growing need to complete the circle of protection around highly competitive athletes. That circle is traditionally comprised of team physicians, athletic trainers, and strength coaches, but is being closed now by some of the most advanced athletic programs in the U.S. with the addition of sports dietitians.
The national not-for-profit’s web site characterizes CPSDA as embracing a “food-first philosophy,” and expresses “firm intent to improve athletic performance through better nutrition and steer athletes clear of questionable performance-enhancing substances.”
The core of CPSDA membership is made up of sports dietitians, all of whom are registered dietitians, currently working in major college or professional sports; under the purview of U.S. National Governing Bodies; or with law enforcement and U.S. military personnel. Other allied health care providers like athletic trainers, strength coaches and physical therapists are invited to join as Associate members. College students in nutrition and dietetics are expected to comprise up to half the CPSDA membership by next summer, owing to growing demand for sports nutrition specialists.
“There are two primary factors that distinguish ‘sports’ dietitians from others in our profession,” explained CPSDA board member Amy Bragg, Director of Performance Nutrition for the University of Alabama’s athletic department. “We’re required to stay ahead of the curve on recovery practices, nutritional supplements and performance-enhancing substances to protect our athletes; and we’re committed to working long hours to be available to hundreds of athletes on any given day. It’s not a career for everyone, but well worth the investment if you love sports, as we all do.”
The balance of CPSDA’s five-member board, all registered dietitians and Directors of Performance Nutrition in their own right, is made up of Becci Twombley at UCLA (Secretary), Randy Bird at the University of Virginia (Treasurer), Amy Freel at Virginia Tech (Annual Meeting Chairperson), and President Dave Ellis, widely recognized as among the most accomplished sports dietitians in the U.S.
For more information, visit: www.sportsdietitians.org