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The History of the North American for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM)

NASPEM was founded in Aspen, CO. Three institutions (Colorado General Hospital, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and Denver Children's Hospital) contributed seed money to underwrite the organization. Previous to this, two prior pediatric sports medicine meetings had been held in Aspen in 1985 and 1986 and Dr. Robert Wolfe felt that the time had come for an organization dedicated to pediatric exercise and sports medicine. An international faculty was arranged and included: Per-Olaf Astrand, Bruno Balke, Oded Bar-Or, Brian Whipp, Jack Wilmore, and Russ Lucas! Fred James served as the first NASPEM president. After the 1987 meeting, in order to broaden the geographic participant base and in an attempt to attract our European counterparts in the Pediatric Work Physiology group (PWP), subsequent meetings were held in Washington, DC (1988), Aspen, CO (1989), Cincinnati, OH (1990), Aspen, CO (1991), and Miami Beach, FL (1992).

In 1993 a joint meeting of NASPEM & PWP was hosted by Oded Bar-Or in Aliston, Ontario, Canada. At this meeting it was decided that subsequent PWP and NASPEM meetings would be held in alternate years to stimulate the international exchange of information and philosophies in pediatric exercise. Subsequent meeting were held as follows:
    Pittsburgh, PA - NASPEM (1994)
    Faborg, Denmark - PWP (1995)
    Park City, UT - NASPEM (1996)
    Moretonhampstead, England - PWP (1997)
    Amherst, MA - NASPEM (1998)
    Sabaudia, Italy - PWP (1999)
    Aspen, CO - 15th Anniversary of NASPEM (2000)
    Corsendonk, Belgium - PWP (2001)
    East Lansing, MI - NASPEM (2002)
    Porto, Portugal - PWP (2003)
    St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada - NASPEM (2004)
    Thun, Switzerland - PWP (2005)
    Charleston, SC - NASPEM (2006)
    Tallinn, Estonia - PWP (2007)
    Colorado Springs, CO - NASPEM (2008)
    Le Touquet, France - PWP (2009)
    Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, CA - NASPEM & PWP (2010)
    Cornwall, England - PWP (2011)
    Philadelphia, PA - NASPEM (2012)
    Curia, Portugal - PWP (2013)
    Minneapolis, MN - NASPEM (2014)
    Utrecht, the Netherlands - PWP (2015)

An important milestone in NASPEM history was the establishment of the quarterly NASPEM journal, Pediatric Exercise Science, published by Human Kinetics. PES debuted in February, 1989 under the editorship of Dr. Thomas W. Rowland since its inception until 2012. The journal has been published continually since 1989 on a quarterly basis and continues to be the only journal dedicated exclusively to pediatric exercise and sports medicine issues.

The original NASPEM mission statement, composed by Fred James in 1991, was to expand the knowledge of exercise science in public health and medical care, and to promote fitness and appropriate exercise in children and adolescents. Today, NASPEM's mission is to promote exercise science, physical activity, and fitness in the health and medical care of children and adolescents. Our mission is accomplished in part through our scientific meeting, our journal, collaborative research, student aid in the form of grants and awards, and the training programs data base which can be accessed from this web site.