John Bloomfield (academic)

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John Bloomfield AM[1] (born 12 December 1932) is an Australian sport and human movement academic and author. Bloomfield played a significant role in the development of the Australian high performance sport system between 1973 and 1989, particularly in relation to the Australian Institute of Sport.


Bloomfield was born on 12 December 1932.[2] In 1959, he married Noelene Watt and they have two sons and one daughter.[2] He grew up in the Wollongong, New South Wales area and attended Wollongong High School, Sydney Teacher's College and the University of Oregon.[2]


Bloomfield left Australia in 1960 on a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake post graduate studies at the University of Oregon.[3][4] In 1968 he was awarded a PhD at the University of Oregon and returned to the University of Western Australia to head up its new physical education program.[4][4][5] In 1974, he became the foundation professor at the Department of Human Movement at the University of Western Australia.[3] He became Australia's first professor specialising in sport and human movement.[3][6] Due to this experience, Bloomfield has advised twelve Australian universities in regard to establishing human movement degrees.[3] Bloomfield has authored or co-authored over 100 national or international scientific papers and book chapters and is the author of several major books and reports on sport.[4] In 1997, he was made emeritus professor at the University of Western Australia.[2] Since 2002, he has been honorary professor at the University of Notre Dame.[2][5]


Bloomfield grew up in Wollongong and became a successful surf life saver. In 1951/1952, he won the branch, state and Australian Junior Belt Championship[clarification needed] and represented Australia several times in the 1950s.[7] He wrote a book titled Know How to Surf. In 1972, the Whitlam Government commissioned him to prepare a white paper on Australia sport. The white paper titled Role and scope and development of recreation in Australia was influential in the case for establishing the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 1981.[6] He prepared two reports that lead to the establishment of the Western Australian Department of Sport and Western Australian Institute of Sport.[6]

In 1980, he was appointed deputy chairman of the newly established Australian Institute of Sport and in 1985 replaced Kevan Gosper as chairman, a position which he held until 1989.[6] Whilst chairman, he was involved in managing the merger of the AIS with the Australian Sports Commission and responding to the allegations of the Senate inquiry into drugs in sport. He was co-chairman of the Australian Sports Commission with Ted Harris during the merger period 1987 and 1989.[2][6] In 2003, he authored the book Australia's Sporting Success: The Inside Story, the first attempt to document the development high performance sport in Australia.

Between 1971 and 1973, he was president of the Australian Sports Medicine Federation now Sports Medicine Australia.[2][6] He was chairman of the Western Australian Institute of Sport Advisory Board (1980–1982), Western Australian Sports Centre Trust (1986–1989) and Australian Sports Science Council (1983–1986).[2]


Bloomfield has authored several significant books and reports on sport.[2]

  • 1959: Know How in the Surf : Sydney, Angus and Robertson
  • 1973: Role and scope and development of recreation in Australia Canberra: Department of Tourism
  • 1978: The development of sport in Western Australia  : Perth, Community Recreation Council of Western Australia
  • 1992: Textbook of science and medicine in sport : Melbourne, Blackwell Scientific (with Peter Fricker and Ken Fitch) (2nd ed 1995)
  • 1993: Athletics Growth and Development in Children Langhorne, Pa. Hardwood Academic (with Brian Blanksby et al.)
  • 1994: Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics in Sport : Melbourne, Blackwell Scientific (with Bruce Elliot and Tim Ackland) (2nd ed 2009)
  • 2003: Australia's Sporting Success: The Inside Story : Sydney, Uni NSW Press


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b "John Bloomfield, AM". It's An Honour. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Who's who in Australia. Melbourne: Crown Content. 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Oxford Companion to Australian Sport. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 1994. ISBN 0195535685. 
  4. ^ a b c d "UWA Professor inducted into sporting Hall of Fame". University of Western Australia News, 17 January 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "School of Health and Physical Education – About Professor John Bloomfield". University of Notre Dame Website. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "John Bloomfield". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "A Brief History of the Kiama Surf Life Saving Club". Kiama Surf Life Saving Club Website. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "John Bloomfield: Centenary Medal". It's An Honour. Retrieved 7 February 2013.