The University of Pretoria’s Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI) was established in June 2015, under the directorship of Professor Martin Schwellnus with the vision of being an international leader in scientific, translational research that promotes health and well-being in the population through lifestyle interventions, reducing exercise-related injuries and medical complications, and promoting sporting excellence.
Each year SEMLI plays an important role in UP’s Varsity Cup by providing medical support and specialist services that ensure the physical and mental well-being of UP’s athletes. This year, amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, SEMLI looks to implement their COVID-19 Aware study during the tournament to better understand the health impact of respiratory tract infections in athletes, the severity of these infections and the impact they have on athletes as they return to training and competition.
Whilst studying towards his bachelor’s degree, Sikander became interested in subfields such as neuropsychology, personality pathology, and sexual health. Sikander’s postgraduate coursework was complimented by postgraduate research with a public health focus–specifically revolving around the intersection of psychological variables and reproductive decision making.
Sikander predominately conceptualises patients within a psychodynamic framework and often grounds his treatment plan in either a corresponding psychodynamic approach or a tailored cognitive-behavioural approach. Sikander currently practices within the Sandton region at various clinical settings such as Mindful Psychology Practice, The Couch (Practice of Psychology and Psychiatry), the Wanderers Sports Medical Centre, and Sandton Mediclinic private hospital. He also practices in neighbouring clinical settings such as Akeso Parktown.
Alongside his clinical endeavours, Sikander also has a passion for leadership and public speaking. In this regard, he has presented numerous talks at initiatives launched by the National Department of Health and hosted by provincial departments of health. His personal interests include artwork (visual, literary, and performing arts), comparative history, and philosophy. As he continues on his life-long odyssey towards better self-knowledge and rendering quality healthcare, he aspires to make this a mutually-rewarding journey for himself and those he comes across along the way.
The Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI) was established in June 2015, under the directorship of Professor Martin Schwellnus. Prof Schwellnus is a renowned physician in the field of sports and exercise medicine and is credited with the establishment of the first postgraduate training programme in Sports Medicine in South Africa, which was established at the University of Cape Town in 1989. Over the past 25 years, Prof Schwellnus has had a very active career in clinical service, teaching and research, for which he received international recognition. He is a former president of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA), a former vice-president of the International Sports Medicine Federation (FIMS), and has served in the international Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical and Science Group for 14 years. For the past six years, Prof Schwellnus also served as the director of one of only four IOC-accredited international research centres. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles in accredited international scientific medical journals and has supervised numerous master’s and PhD students. He is a dedicated clinician who provides clinical care to athletes and patients with chronic lifestyle-related diseases through a comprehensive lifestyle intervention programme. He has been a regular member of a number of IOC and other international consensus statements and currently leads the “International Consensus group on Acute Respiratory Illness in athletes”, which also focuses on COVID-19 in athletes. Currently, he leads an international research program on Athletes With Acute Respiratory InfEction – the AWARE studies. An avid supporter of a healthy lifestyle (including regular exercise) for young and old, he is a recreational trail runner, mountain biker and golfer.
In 1997, Ball enrolled at Tuks to study BA Human Movement Science. He went to do his Honours in Human Movement Science specialising in Biokinetics. He also completed the Management Advancement Program (MAP) at the University of Witwatersrand, Wits Business School, and various international high-performance coaching-related qualifications. Mr Ball then obtained an MPhil Business Management option Responsible Leadership at Tuks.
He started his career at TuksSport and the Institute for Sport Research in 2001 as an intern Biokineticist/Sport Scientist. During this time, he occupied several management positions, including at the hpc, Canoeing South Africa, and TuksAquatics, before he was appointed TuksSport Deputy Director for Coaching & Performance Management in 2012. In the last month Steven has taken up the role as the Director of TuksSport.