Dr Jeanne Grace.

Dr Jeanne Grace has been appointed as a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences.

Grace joins UKZN after a successful career at the University of Zululand where she headed the Department of Biokinetics and Sport Science.

Her teaching experience includes the management of chronic diseases, disabilities and orthopaedic conditions, in addition to health promotion, sport specific testing, conditioning and rehabilitation.

She said it was important to produce more exercise therapist graduates in order to address the increasing burden of chronic diseases affecting not only South African citizens but people all over the world.

‘There will soon be a huge demand for clinical exercise therapists to address this burden,’ she said.

Grace’s research interests include the prevention and treatment of chronic disease through physical exercise and activity. She said her research focus would hopefully improve the health, welfare and quality of life of all South Africans.

‘The Discipline (of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences at UKZN) is very well established with world class facilities. This scientific back-up gives me the opportunity to excel and achieve my research and teaching goals in a professional, supported manner.’

Grace said she was passionate about passing on to students the clinical knowledge and skills she had gained over many years as a practising biokineticist and also to guide them academically to become the best students in their field of specialisation. 

She said: ‘It is also very rewarding to see that I am making a difference to the health and well-being of my patients and clients.’

She is determined to empower her students to achieve personal and career happiness and success.

‘I plan to achieve this career vision through group, and if possible, one-on-one learning situations, and developing and leading an inspiring lecturing environment.

‘I will strive to become a well-known and respected academic and researcher in my field of preventing and treating chronic diseases through physical exercise.’

Brought up on a farm in the Free State and a proud supporter of the Cheetahs rugby team, Grace said the beach and beautiful nature was what she loved about Durban.