Thought leader: IOC medical consultant Dr Margo Mountjoy on HealthAccord

SportAccord's HealthAccord follows the success of the International Federation (IF) Forum 2016, where international sports federations gathered to discuss the power of sport to drive world health. Here, co-chair Dr Margo Mountjoy previews the event.

Thought leader: IOC medical consultant Dr Margo Mountjoy on HealthAccord

Health really matters for global citizens, as well as for stakeholders involved in the business of sport, when it comes to our future. Part of the SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit in Bangkok from 15th to 20th April, the inaugural HealthAccord conference, The Power of Sport – The Power to Change, will discuss the long-term hard and soft gains, and address the challenges being faced across the entire sport ecosystem.

HealthAccord speakers and panellists will examine how better health is a key enabler, and helps to promote a healthy sports image. Healthy athletes produce ‘stronger, faster, and higher’ performances. This in turn attracts commercial sponsorship, improves fanbases, and empowers athletes to give better sport performances, often extending their careers. Needless to say, this mitigates liability for sport, and athletes retire healthier and happier – with an increasing number of athletes being able to give back to sport.

Yannis Pitsiladis, a professor of sport and exercise science at the UK’s University of Brighton and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical and Scientific Commission, will deliver an enlightening session on ‘The Power to Change’.  Based on the premise we are ‘Born to move and why our future depends on it!’, this session will compare and contrast our ancestral origin with today. Delegates will hear how inactive lifestyles, coupled with the way the world has evolved, will be detrimental to the future unless we take charge.

“The biggest threat to humanity is not artificial intelligence but the starvation of physical activity,” Prof Pitsiladis says. “Our future is in danger and it is all our fault.”

From an evolutionary biology point of view, it is clear there is a mismatch between our body design and the world we have created. To correct this mismatch, we need to understand our past and find ways to match our body’s design to the new world we are creating in view of establishing a successful future – a future where physical activity is, like in our ancestral past, a main component of our daily lives.

Matteo Vitello, business relations manager at Technogym, will also provide a case study for the HealthAccord session, ‘The Power to Change’. Delegates will hear how this can be done for both sport and the corporate world. Vitello will share how the Technogym programme promoting wellness in the community has been shown to improve health of the general population in their region. This is the first Wellness Valley in the world and this ecosystem can be replicated everywhere.

“Technogym is known all over the world as ‘The Wellness Company’ – a company that has helped to develop the concept of ‘fitness’ into a complete Wellness lifestyle,” Vitello says. “Living the ‘Wellness’ lifestyle means getting regular physical activity, the correct nutrition and having a positive mental attitude with everybody achieving their own balance in life.

“Our mission is to help people live better and longer by adopting a healthier lifestyle with very simple steps.”


HealthAccord is scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday 19th April 2018 during SportAccord and is set to take place at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre. This builds on the success of the International Federation (IF) Forum 2016, where international sports federations gathered to discuss the power of sport to drive world health.

Co-chairs for the new HealthAccord conference programme are: Dr Margo Mountjoy (pictured), Chair, ASOIF Medical + Scientific Consultative Group, IOC Medical + Scientific Commission-Games Group FINA Bureau; and Prof. Fabio Pigozzi, President, International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS) & Member of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission – Medical and Scientific Group.

Organisations involved in the business of sport who wish to attend HealthAccord should register for SportAccord 2018, which gives them access to the entire conference programme. As part of the official schedule, SportAccord will host well over 20 networking events and a popular three-day exhibition, as part of the delegate experience.