18 May 2017

Dr Len Almond

Dr Len Almond

It is with great sadness that we announce of the passing of Dr Len Almond on Friday 12th May.

Len was known to many of us as a former Senior Lecturer at Loughborough University and as the Founding Director of the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC).

Len trained as a PE teacher at St. Marys, Twickenham in 1964 and went on to become a lecturer at Madeley College. He then became a senior research fellow at Loughborough College, before joining the lecturing staff at Loughborough University in 1979. During his time at the University, Len held the post of Director of Physical Education and Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health.

Len had an enormous impact on the physical education profession over many decades through his work for the Physical Education Association of the UK (PEA UK) and the British Association of Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education. In addition to his focus on health-related physical education, he was also involved in the development of another curriculum innovation - Teaching Games for Understanding, an alternative approach to skill-focused games teaching. These achievements led to him receiving a Fellowship from the PEA UK for his long-standing services to the profession. Len co-authored and edited many books and papers on physical activity, health and physical education, was a member of many Government strategy and cross-sector partnership groups. His impact extended well beyond the UK through his involvement with the International Association for Physical Education and Sport and delivered many inspirational and thought provoking keynote presentations at international conferences.

Len was always ahead of time in terms of his vision and passion for physical activity and was instrumental in setting up and managing the Health Education Authority (HEA) funded project on Health Related Exercise and Secondary Schools, based at Loughborough which provided education and support to teachers and health professionals. This involvement in working with the HEA, the then Sports Council and then the British Heart Foundation (BHF) led to the establishment in 2000 of the BHF National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC) here at Loughborough.

Although Len formally retired from the University in 2003, he still played an important role within the BHFNC and at the forefront of the push to get the nation more physically active. Len was always ahead of time in terms of his vision and was instrumental in the furthering of physical activity promotion across the life-course from the development of early years physical activity policy and training through to establishing the National Coalition for Active Ageing in England.

Len remained passionate about physical activity and was outstanding for his inspiration, commitment, innovation, vision and the boundless energy that he invested into the promotion of high quality physical education and physical activity for health.

In 2009 Len was awarded an Honorary Doctor of the University (Hon DUniv) for his outstanding inspiration, commitment, vision and energy in the promotion of physical activity for health to people of all ages.

Len’s achievements are many and outstanding and he has inspired generations of students, teachers, lecturers and health promotion professionals who have had the privilege and pleasure of working with him.