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University Centre Shrewsbury marked another first this week when people were brought together from across the country for an Inaugural Professorial Lecture.

Professor John Buckley presented his inaugural lecture on ‘Sport and Exercise: Perceptions and Realities in Health’ on Wednesday June 22.

When an academic is awarded the title of professor, they are offered the opportunity to give an inaugural lecture. A professorial title is conferred to give public recognition to individuals who have achieved academic distinction and an outstanding record and reputation in a field relevant to the mission of the institution. The lecture celebrates the important personal milestone, enables the institution to recognise and showcase the academic achievements of its staff, and to share research and work taking place with the public.

Prof Buckley’s lecture covered the historical and scientific links between health, physical activity, exercise and sport from the origins of exercise medicine first written about by Hippocrates right up to the present day.

He reflected on his experiences from the past 30 years as a sports participant, 'frontline' practitioner, lecturer and researcher, all of which has led him to contributing to shaping key national and international standards and guidelines in health, exercise and rehabilitation.

Prof Buckley said: “It has been an honour to be appointed a professor, and to give my Inaugural Professorial Lecture in my home town of Shrewsbury. I was overwhelmed by everyone’s efforts to mark this moment with me.”

Professor Anna Sutton, Provost of UCS, said: “Prof Buckley has contributed much research, time and work to improving health. He has been instrumental in the development of University Centre Shrewsbury and it was only fitting that he was the first professor to deliver an inaugural lecture at the institution.”

Prof Buckley has lived in Shrewsbury for more than 28 years.

In 1986, he moved from Canada to pursue a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University. Upon completion of his studies at Loughborough, in early 1988, he arrived in Shrewsbury and by the September, had set up and opened the Lifestyle Fitness and Physiotherapy Centre at Morris’s Radbrook Professional Medical Centre with physiotherapists Christine Jennings (nee Evans) and Alan Leigh.

Prof Buckley secured a visiting lecturer’s post in 1989 at the Oswestry School of Physiotherapy, which then moved to Keele University. He continued his part-time work as a lecturer at Keele University until 2006, including completing his PhD in Clinical Application of Exercise Science.

For the last 10 years (2006 to 2016) Prof Buckley led the Master of Science in Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation at the University of Chester and has now transferred his academic focus to teaching and research at UCS, in the areas of Medicine and Health in Exercise and Science.

The underpinning element of his academic career has always been his experiences of running the Lifestyle Centre in Shrewsbury and related cardiac rehabilitation consultancy work at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, the Coventry Hospitals, the North Staffordshire (Stoke) Hospital and the Countess of Chester Hospital.

His work has led to leadership positions nationally and internationally as the President of the British Association for Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation and founding Chair of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

He also plays tennis for the Senior Shropshire County Tennis Team, and is a jazz trumpet and trumpet player at Shrewsbury Cathedral.

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