Ugly Duckling Book Cover

John Bloomfield took over the ‘new’ Physical Education course at the University of Western Australia in early 1968. At that time PE was very unscientific in Australia, as this country had not followed the European and North American medically based model.

From Ugly Duckling to Soaring Swan traces the development of Physical Education, Human Movement and finally Sport Science at the university over 43 years. After a difficult beginning against stiff opposition, or at least lack of cooperation, from senior biological and medical science academics, the department joined the Faculty of Science 12 years later. By 2011 the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health had more PhD and MSc candidates than any other in the faculty and almost $10 million in annual research funding; it was the top teaching school in the Faculty of Science.

The current school has welcomed several hundred academic visitors in recent years, and since 1968 has assisted with the development of 11 similar schools or departments within Australia.

Sports Science at UWA is arguably the top school of its kind in Australia. Moreover, in the category of ‘Life and Agricultural Sciences’, the university was recently placed first in Australia and 33rd overall in the academic rankings of world universities.

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