Posted: Fri 18th Mar 2016

Sports Science Students Come To Bangor To Learn The Latest

This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 18th, 2016

Sports science students from across the UK will be visiting Bangor University this week (22-23 March) to share their knowledge and hear from leading experts in the field at the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences annual Student Conference. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The students, all training to become applied sports and exercise practitioners will be keen to learn the latest research and hear from people working with top athletes and teams in the UK. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Hosted by Bangor University’s School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, the School will be welcoming back several former postgraduate students and staff members now working with top athletes and teams, including Dr James Bell from the RFU, Dr Stuart Laing, Senior Lead Performance Pathway Scientist with the English Institute of Sport and UK Sports. Another former Bangor University postgraduate student and staff member at the School, Dr Callum Arthur, now a lecturer and Course Director for the Psychology of Sport MSc at the University of Stirling joins other leading academics from UK universities sharing their latest research. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Among the Keynote speakers is Bangor University’s own Prof Lew Hardy, who will speak of his experience training Olympic medallists. He has chaired the British Olympic Association’s psychology steering group from 1989 to 2001, and has worked with numerous national teams including British Gymnastics, Bob Skeleton, and the England and the Wales Cricket Board’s U19 squad. He is currently working with UK Sport on a number of projects designed to maximise Britain’s medal capture at the Rio Olympics. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Prof Hardy’s talk will be about the Research-Practitioner in Sport Psychology. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He says: “I will describe the history of sport psychology in Britain to explain how research and practice got separated. I will then describe a couple of examples of work that produced high impact research that met the applied needs of a sport Governing Body and a model for how we can bring the best of both fields of research and practice together to assist in developing sports men and women ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Steve Ingham, who has a track record of providing scientific support to some of the Great Britain’s greatest athletes, including Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Jessica Ennis will also be providing a keynote talk. A sports psychologist and the Director of Science and Technical Development at the English Institute of Sport, Steve Ingham Steve has experience of supporting over 1000 athletes through 5 Olympic cycles culminating in 50 Olympic or World medals. He will be presenting in “Ready for Rio but Targeting Tokyo.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Also presenting research on how top athletes can stay healthy while performing to the max is Bangor University’s Prof Neil Walsh. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Prof Walsh’s work has highlighted a dilemma for top endurance athletes and others in physically demanding occupations, in that training or working hard can cause the body’s immune system to be suppressed. This can lead to an increase in coughs and colds (upper respiratory tract infections) which prevent training or impede hard physical work. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Prof Walsh explains: “It’s a paradox that incredibly physically fit athletes and others can succumb to coughs and colds and other infections. This is because their body’s immune function decreases temporarily after extreme exertion. We think this may be the body’s way of ensuring that the exertion does not cause excess inflammation. However, there are simple strategies that athletes and others can adopt to minimise the risks of infection. These include elements such as an immune system boosting diet and changes to the training strategy to reduce the stress on the immune system.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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