Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Cyprus opportunity for students

UCLan's School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors is looking for students who would like to participate in a Leadership Development programme at our Cyprus campus.

The trip takes place from 14th-21st September and costs just £50.00 plus money for evening meals and general spending money.

There are 30 places available and will be something which will enhance your CV. If you are interested please contact Jackie Day no later than 16th August.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Helen Clitheroe receives UCLan Honorary Fellowship

Olympic athlete Helen Clitheroe has been named an Honorary Fellow by UCLan.

The current European 3000m indoor champion was one of seven dignitaries presented with Honorary Fellowships during a week of glittering ceremonies at Preston's Guild Hall.

The former UCLan graduate had a chance to test the running track at UCLan Sports Arena before collecting her latest accolade.

Nearly 5,000 students collected their degrees during the course of the week, which saw Preston joining in the festivities as colourful processions made their way through the city centre to the Foster Building after each ceremony.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Football 150 Conference

UCLan's International Football Institute is preparing for September's prestigious Football 150 Conference.

The event is an academic conference to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Football Association and is being organised in conjunction with the National Football Museum and International Centre for Sports History and Culture (De Montfort University).

The conference will explore the historical, sociological, artistic and all other aspects of men and women's football in all its varieties, and aims to reflect on the history of the Football Association whilst developing a blueprint for the future of the game and its study.

The FA's Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking will give the opening address of the conference. Keynotes will be given by Tony Mason, author of 'Association Football and English Society,' and Karen Espelund of UEFA's executive committee and former general secretary of the Norwegian FA.

UCLan are sponsoring David Goldblatt - the author of 'The Ball is Round' – for his keynote lecture on the second day of the event, while the final day features the Arab Football Forum.

The conference will be held at the National Football Museum, Manchester, on 2-4 September 2013. For further details please contact Jane Clayton.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Engineering the champions

Olympic athlete Helen Clitheroe has been helping a team from UCLan to look at the science behind sporting success.

The Preston-born star was a called on by a group of UCLan researchers showcasing their work at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition 2013.

The team were investigating the relationship between competitive conditions and body movement, and invited Helen to demonstrate their work.

One of the projects identifies the ways in which champions can be engineered, proving that in high-stake plays, athletes consciously consider skilled movement. In low pressure situations, movements are completed almost automatically.

By using the Xsens Motion Capture Suit, which uses a system of sensors built into a suit to 
create a high level 3D image of the exact movements of the 
wearer, studies revealed that critical adjustments in movement made by athletes can mean the difference between gold and silver.

Howie Carson, a UCLan PhD student, who worked on the study along with Professor Dave Collins and Professor Jim Richards, said: "We wanted to study the human mechanics of sport and how athletes can refine their skills and concentrate their efforts where it really counts. We hope this study shows that in sport, it really is a case of made not born."

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

UCLan pioneers new running shoes

A revolutionary running shoe invented by UCLan's Professor Jim Richards is one of the highlights of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition 2013.

The shoes, created to try and reduce injuries caused by pavement jogging, feature a series of miniature pocket springs based on mattress bedsprings that are designed to absorb some of the shock of repeatedly hitting hard ground.

Conventional running shoes have layers of foam or gel to lessen the impact but this material does little or nothing in terms of adding springiness to the shoe’s sole.

"If you had a car suspension with just a damper and no spring in it then you’d have a very bumpy ride," said Professor Richards.

"Therefore having a shoe that incorporates both provides a much improved shock-absorbing system compared with existing technology."

Most injuries caused by running are due to the impact of the foot hitting hard ground, which can cause knee pain, shin splints and small stress fractures. Tiny pocket springs, which operate individually, can lessen the impact rate that causes injury by 10 per cent, Professor Richards said.

"Over a given year, injury affects over 70 per cent of recreational runners. This is a huge problem. Even with all the latest advances of running shoes we are still getting a high injury rate," he said.

"What we wanted was pocket-spring mattresses. Most running shoes have a bit of foam or gel which means it’s all damper and no springs. We’ve added micro-springs because they significantly reduce loading rate, which causes injury."

The lightweight springs were made by Leeds mattress company Harrison Spinks, which Professor Richards said was one of the few companies in the world capable of making pocket springs small enough to fit inside a running shoe’s sole.

The shoes go on sale later this year under the brand name "the Preston" and will not cost significantly more than existing trainers.

For more details about UCLan's Sports research exhibit please take a look at: