ST. LOUIS, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- All the Registered Dietitians in the U.S. that work fulltime in pro or college athletic programs ("Sports RDs") would fit comfortably in one Boeing 727. And most of them will be landing in St. Louis May 20th for the 5th annual conference of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel.
Demand for Sports RDs has been steadily rising in recent years as college Athletic Directors and head football coaches have noticed that both sidelines of the past three NCAA football championship games had full-time sports nutrition professionals fueling their athletes. Special Forces within the U.S. Military are creating dozens of full-time positions this year for RDs accustomed to long hours and the intensive demands of athletics. And with the number of students of dietetics now surging toward a specialization in sports, various types of sports nutrition internship opportunities are popping up from college campuses to sports academies.
"We formed CPSDA just a few years ago to address what we sensed was going to be substantially higher demand for RDs that specialize in fueling and counseling elite athletes," explained CPSDA President Amy Bragg, Director of Performance Nutrition for the two-time defending football champion Alabama Crimson Tide. "We probably did it just in time. Our membership is over 800, and we'll easily push through 1,000 by this time next year. Sports nutrition is heating up."
The CPSDA's annual conference schedule features many of the top researchers and agenda-setters in the world of nutrition. And eight national awards recognizing special achievement in nutrition will be presented Wednesday evening at the CPSDA's awards banquet:
- CPSDA Trailblazer Award: James Harris III, Philadelphia Eagles administration
- CPSDA Excellence Award: Jennifer Ketterly, University of Georgia Sports RD
- CPSDA Service Award: Jonathan Tanguay, Texas A&M University Sports RD
- Tom Osborne Award: Greg McGarity, University of Georgia Athletic Director
- EAS Academy Scholarship Award: Laura Kunces, MS, RD, University of Connecticut
- DuPont/Solae Scholarship Award: Sydney Snellman, Auburn University student
- Muscle Milk Female Athlete of the Year: Katie Breathitt, Ole Miss
- Muscle Milk Male Athlete of the Year: Adam Duval, MLB's San Francisco Class AA team Richmond (Virginia) Squirrels
More information about CPSDA can be found on its website at www.SportsRd.org.
SOURCE Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association