Friday, 31 January 2014

UCLan State of Mind

The SSTO and State of Mind are teaming up to host an exciting new event during February.

'UCLan State of Mind' features a number of top sporting names and is designed to raise awareness of mental health issues in sport.

Guest speakers include ex-Rugby-League stars Terry O’Connor, Brian Carney & Danny Sculthorpe, former professional footballer Andy Brownrigg, unbeaten boxer and UCLan Sports graduate Adam Little and ex-Rugby League player and inspirational speaker Jimmy Gittins.

This free of charge event takes place on Wednesday, 26th February and features a number of associated exhibitors and workshops. For full programme details please click here.

Everyone is welcome, so to book a place or for further information please contact Leona Trimble or Malcolm Rae.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Preston Sports Awards 2014

The SSTO's Dr Adrian Ibbetson (pictured far right) was a guest at the launch of the 9th annual Walker Smith Way Legal Preston Sports Awards.

The organisers held a Celebration event at Preston's College to launch the Awards, which give clubs a platform to recognise their volunteers who go the extra mile.

A total of 17 awards are up for grabs, with UCLan sponsoring the Junior Team Performance of the Year Award.

The event takes place on Friday, 7 March at Preston Guild Hall and features former Olympic athlete Jason Gardener as guest speaker.

For more details on the awards categories and ticket information please click here.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

SSTO help Warrriors gear up for new season

The SSTO has been helping double winning Wigan Warriors prepare for the defence of their rugby league titles.

The Super League and Tetley's Challenge Cup holders are back in training and have been put through intensive pre-season fitness tests by staff and students from our Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Science (CASES).

The Warriors players were subjected to a range of physiological checks, including the gruelling VO2 max assessment which pushes the athlete to exhaustion to test their aerobic endurance.

Warriors have visited SSTO for fitness testing for the last four years, and the session comes on the back of a demanding pre-season training camp in Florida ahead of their opening Super League game against Huddersfield on 7 February.

Head Coach Shaun Wane was on hand to watch the players' assessments: "Wigan have won six trophies in four years following a very thorough pre-season fitness regime. The scientific tests SSTO perform allow us to tailor individual training programmes for the players and over the last few years we have set a very high endurance standard, which can give us an edge going into the new season.

"I'm really impressed not only with the top quality facilities, but also with the professionalism and expertise of all the staff and students we have worked with today."

The test day enabled our undergraduate Sports Science students to gain practitioner experience in working with professional athletes and gave an insight into the practical developments of elite sports players. Several students, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, have also worked with the Super League club alongside their studies.

The SSTO's Dr Steve Atkins said: "We are proud of our long-running and mutually beneficial relationship with Wigan Warriors. It provides our students with a fantastic opportunity to work with elite athletes and gain valuable experience that will be an asset when applying for jobs within the industry."

The fitness tests are part of an on-going sponsorship deal UCLan has as the 'official university' of the Super League club. The Warriors also benefit from video analysis support and a number of university degree places for its players and staff.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Heritage and the Olympics

SSTO Lecturer Dr Sean Gammon has released a new book entitled 'Heritage and the Olympics'.

Written in conjunction with Dr Gregory Ramshaw and Dr Emma Waterton, the book offers detailed and thought-provoking examples of components of Olympic heritage, and illustrates powerfully the breadth, passion and cultural significance the Olympics can provoke.

This is Dr Gammon's second recent book release, following the successful November 2013 launch of 'Contemporary Perspectives in Leisure'.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Students receive volunteer awards

Tom, Glen & Lee with Danielle and Rick at the event
Four UCLan students have been recognised for their work on the University's Sport 4 U programme.

Tom Daly, Glenn Richards, Lee Marshall and Joe McDonald were rewarded at the recent Preston Volunteer Awards for their efforts on the scheme.

They assisted with promotion of the project, which helps motivate students by increasing their participation in sports such as Futsal, Rock Climbing, Badminton and Table Tennis.

Speaking after the event at Preston College Lee said: "I was really pleased to have been given the award for my volunteering, as I feel I put a lot of hard work into Sport 4 U. I don't volunteer for the rewards, but it's nice to feel my hard work has not gone unnoticed.

"It means a lot to have been nominated by Sport 4 U leaders Rick and Danielle, and it's great to know they appreciate the work we have all put in."

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Camp America Recruitment Fair

The SSTO has arranged a free visit to a recruitment fair for Camp America.

The event takes place in Manchester on Thursday 23 January.

Camp America are allowing UCLan students entry one hour earlier (11.00 am) so they have the first choice of camps they would like to work at.

If you are interested in attending please email Maggie Ferguson.

Friday, 17 January 2014

SSTO Professor chairs first Zinc-Net meeting

Professor Nicola Lowe (2nd from right) with Zinc-Net group
The SSTO's Professor Nicola Lowe has chaired her first Zinc-Net group in Istanbul, Turkey. Zinc-Net, the 'Network for zinc in Biology', received £500,000 from the European Commission to fund research over the next four years into the role of zinc in human biochemistry and physiology.

The network has scientists from 20 different European countries including Spain, Italy, Germany and Hungary. The meeting was the first of the 'Core Group' which is the steering committee for the network.

Dr Lowe said: "We had a productive day, the aim of which was to come up with our short, medium and long term goals for the network, and an action plan of how we are going to achieve them. This will form the basis of the network manifesto I now have to write.

"It was an intense day of discussion and debate, but I was impressed with the commitment and energy the members brought to the meeting."

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Historian puts SSTO Institute on the map

With time ticking towards the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Dr Iain Adams from the SSTO's International Football Institute (IFI) is in much demand.

The National Football Museum is putting together an exhibition to mark the occasion and their Director, Kevin Moore, is using Dr Adams as a 'resident expert' as they field enquiries from various organisations about football's impact on the war – particularly the Christmas Truce 1914.

Following an invitation from the British Library in London, Dr Adams was appointed as an official Historian for Europeana 1914-1918 – a scheme designed to develop a digital collection of outstanding sources from European national libraries to remember the First World War.

He has also contributed to a British Council project entitled 'Football Remembers' and recently appeared on the BBC World Service programme 'Sportshour'. In addition, Dr Adams has received requests to use his play about the Truce, A Game for Christmas, from numerous Arts organisations along with the National Children's Football Alliance.

Manchester design consultancy True North have also been in touch regarding commemorative Christmas 2014 Royal Mail stamps.

Dr Adams said: "The 100th anniversary of the First World War and the stories surrounding the Christmas Truce 1914 should provide a unique opportunity for enhancing IFI's reputation internationally and allow us to make a lasting impact."

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

SSTO leads landmark study

A team of SSTO researchers have led an innovative and ground-breaking international collaborative study into whole body cryotherapy (WBC) exposure.

Working in conjunction with top rugby league club Wigan Warriors and BOC, the UK's leading handler of cryogenic gases, the group aimed to determine the physiological changes that may occur during WBC exposure.

Led by Professor James Selfe, with support from Karen May (Division Lead for Physiotherapy and Sports Therapy) and Nigel Garratt (Knowledge Transfer & Business Development Lead for SSTO), the study also extended to the Southern Hemisphere, with world leading cryotherapy researcher Dr Joseph Costello continuing a previous collaboration with Professor Selfe.

Currently based at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Dr Costello's expertise in this field is exceptional.

The SSTO's Dr Steve Atkins, Dr Howard Hurst and Dr Stephanie Dillon also contributed to the study, which required the collection of a vast amount of specialised data.

Despite becoming popular among athletes, coaches and clinicians, research into WBC is minimal regarding its use in rehabilitation, conditioning and recovery. The study aimed to identify the effectiveness of WBC looking at dose and physiological response.

During three days of testing at Warriors' training ground in Orrell, the first-team squad used the UK’s first mobile BOC-supplied cryotherapy chamber.

Project coordinator Jill Alexander was tasked with processing the data and preparing the results for publication: "I had a huge multidisciplinary team of people to organise from all the participants," said Jill.

"The data collection was a huge success in the way the testing protocol was executed among the whole team of researchers, BOC specialist operators and the Wigan Warriors players and coaching staff. We could not have completed the study without everyone's overwhelming commitment."

The results have been published in PloS One Journal and can be viewed here.