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Exploring the 'Aaah' ... $1 Million Grant Advances Aquatic Health Research
Date:3/19/2008

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanks to a $1 million grant from the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), Washington State University researchers plan to create the National Aquatics and Sports Medicine Institute.

"This will be the world's premiere center for aquatic health research," says the institute director, Dr. Bruce Becker, a physician and research professor in WSU's College of Education. "There is no other lab with this mission and focus. The addition of the foundation's $1 million grant gives us tremendous movement forward." Becker and Assistant Professor Kasee Hildenbrand want to find ways to make the most of aquatic exercise. "We intend to build on our initial research and fill the knowledge gaps of how water benefits our hearts, lungs and endocrine systems."

Judy Mitchell, dean of the College, said that creation of the institute will build upon WSU's reputation for world-class research. "This research is driven by the need to know more about the effects of aquatic exercise not only on general health and well being, but on specific medical conditions such as asthma, hypertension, osteoporosis, and obesity," Mitchell noted.

The NSPF has supported Becker's research for three years. This latest grant will pay for staff and equipment, allowing the researchers to create NASMI. Becker works alongside Hildenbrand, who teaches in the College's movement studies program and directs its athletic training education program.

In the last four years, the NSPF has given more than $1.5 million to institutions of higher learning. Those grants focus on the understanding of aquatic health benefits and on prevention of drowning, illness, and injury. "We are committed to creating centers of excellence that will influence society," said Thomas M. Lachocki, CEO of the foundation. "Research in aquatics has been a dry basin. ... WSU is the key to open the flood gate."

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SOURCE National Swimming Pool Foundation
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