History of Kinesiology

Here are just a few of the highlights in the history of our faculty

1945 – The first physical training instructor for the University of Alberta at Calgary is Lou Goodwin.

1959 – The Department of Physical Education becomes distinct from the Faculty of Education, and 10 students major in physical education.

1962 – The Physical Education Building officially opens and the Bachelor of Physical Education is established. 

1966 – The University of Calgary is established and is no longer part of the University of Alberta. Dr. Lou Goodwin is the Head of the School of Physical Education.

1969 – Construction of the second phase of the building, the pool, racquet courts, laboratories and offices begins. It is completed in 1971.

1975 –The words school and director are replaced by faculty and dean. Faculty status is achieved. 

1978 – Dr. Lou Goodwin retires as Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Dr. Roger Jackson takes up the reins.

1981 – In September, Calgary wins the bid for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Dr. Benno Nigg establishes The Human Performance Lab.

1983 -– Site of the Speed Skating Oval will be at UCalgary. The provincial and federal government finance the complex and establish an Endowment Fund to assist financing ongoing operating costs.

1987 – The indoor speed skating oval and physical education expansion are completed.

The Jackson Simpson family donate a million dollars to the facility and the Province contributes two million. This creates annual funding to begin the graduate program and to support the Sport Medicine Centre.

Funds for research and computer equipment support the dramatic expansion of the Human Performance Centre, the Computerized Sport Systems Group and the Sport Medicine Centre. Physical activity as a tool for improving public health grows.

1988 – Dr. Jackson retires as Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education to head up the Sport Medicine Centre.

The Olympics enables new research opportunities, news facilities and state-of-art equipment for the faculty. Under the faculty’s leadership, the University of Calgary helped contribute to the most successful games, leaving a permanent legacy with the Olympic Oval for the university, high-performance athletes and the community.

1991 – The University receives provincial funding for a master’s degree program in Physical Education.

1995 – The Faculty of Physical Education becomes the Faculty of Kinesiology to better reflect the collective fields within the faculty.

2003 – The Sport Medicine Centre and the Human Performance Lab merge into one integrated unit. Researcher studies cover a vast array of fields, including anatomy, biology, biomechanics, motor control, physiology and psychology.

2009 – The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre (SIPRC) is formed and  has partnerships with the Sport Medicine Centre, the Human Performance Lab and the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary. SIPRC has strong links to the community with local, regional and national research and injury prevention programs.

2011 – Launch of the Eyes High campaign. Most ambitious campaign in UCalgary’s history that invests in research priorities such as brain and mental health to make remarkable achievements in research and scholarship possible.

2012 – Dr. Penny Werthner is appointed Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology.

The International Olympic Committee Medical and Scientific Department names Kinesiology’s Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre as an international research site for sport injury prevention.

2013 – A new combined degree program offers a BA of Arts in Dance and a BA of Kinesiology. The first in Canada.

2016 – Multidisciplinary projects fit in with the Faculty of Kinesiology's new strategic research themes: Musculoskeletal Health; Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation; Exercise and Nutrition in Health and Sport; and Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Sport.

2017 – Kinesiology researchers play an integral role in shaping an international consensus on recognizing and treating concussion in sport. The document is the International Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport. 

2018 – The Faculty of Kinesiology is ranked No. 1 in North America and No. 7 globally in the ShanghaiRankings for Sport Science Schools and Departments.

UCalgary receives $12 million CDN from the National Football League’s Scientific Advisory Board to reduce concussions and their consequences in youth sport on a national level. 

A specialization in wearable technology is launched - the first program of its kind in Canada. 

Dr. Walter Herzog receives the Killam Prize for pioneering work in biomechanics. 

2019 – UCalgary begins its first massive open online course to detect, manage and prevent concussions in partnership with Université Laval.