Academic award for Limerick woman exploring obesity research

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Dr Elaine Toomey, academic at NUI Galway

Dr Elaine Toomey, academic at NUI Galway

A LIMERICK academic has received a prestigious award to help further her research into how the popular Football Fan in Training (FFIT) initiative can be applied in Ireland.

Castletroy's Dr Elaine Toomey, from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, received the award from the Irish Canadian University Foundation.

The FFIT initiative, established in 2010, is an effective health behaviour change intervention that initially used Scottish professional football clubs to engage with overweight and obese men.

Dr Toomey, a University of Limerick and UCD graduate, will visit Western University in Ontario to research the adaptation of FFIT in the Canadian ice-hockey context.

She said that the award will enable her to help inform her how the sporting and cultural aspects of the programme might be used in an Irish context.

Dr Toomey will also spend time in the Centre for Implementation Research in the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute to maximise how knowledge from her visit to Western University can be used to inform adaptation and translation into an Irish setting, using a structured and theory-based approach.

The Castletroy woman said: “I am delighted and incredibly honoured to receive this award. As well as facilitating my own learning and development, this award will enable me to establish new collaborations between the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway and researchers from Wes-tern University, as well as strengthening existing relationships between our group and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.”