Harnessing world-leading research for world class sports performances

As momentum builds for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, athletes, coaches, researchers and students convene at the University for a major Sports Performance Conference taking place today at the University.

Aiming to build stronger links between the latest sports science research from around the world with athletes’ performances on the pitch, the Sports Performance Conference 2016 will consider how physiology, nutrition, coaching education, psychology and talent spotting all go together to impact on individual and team performance across a range of sports.

Organised by individuals involved in the highly-successful Sports Performance course based within the Department for Health, keynote speakers at the event include Professor Romain Meeusen, head of the Department of Human Physiology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, talking about the risks of over-training as well as the cognitive aspects of performance; plus leading academics Professor Mike Gleeson, from Loughborough University and Professor Dave Collins of the University of Central Lancashire.

Serving up for podium success

Combining world class sporting facilities with world class research to propel athletic performances.

Combining world-class sporting facilities with world-leading research to propel athletic performances.

Also speaking at the event will be Morph Bowes, former GB beach volleyball athlete and current head coach for the Dutch Women’s beach volleyball team. Morph moved to the Netherlands following the London 2012 Olympics, where as head coach he worked with both men’s and women’s teams. Prior to his role as head coach with GB Beach Volleyball, Morph was Teaching Fellow and high performance coach at the University of Bath from 2003-2009.

Attendees will also hear from Renee McGregor, dietician and nutritionist at the University’s Physio and Sports Science Centre. Renee has over 14 years expertise and knowledge in nutrition, including experience working with elite athletes and their coaches and has just authored her first book ‘Training Food’ exploring how what you eat affects your sporting performance.

Commenting on the event, head of the Department for Health, Dr James Bilzon said: “January’s Sports Performance Conference at the University will be a unique opportunity for sports scientists, athletes, coaches and support staff involved in different aspects of sports performance, to come together to share latest learning in these fields.

"As we prepare for a big Olympic and Paralympic year ahead and in a highly competitive environment, teams’ ability to learn from the latest research can be the difference between success and failure.”

Dietician and nutritionist Renee McGregor, added: “Understanding more about the interactions between different factors influencing sporting performance – from my area in nutrition to others’ in psychology or coaching techniques – are increasingly important for all of us involved in this area. This event will be a particularly useful forum to share latest findings, discuss common problems and practical applications of the science.”

Project lead for the Conference, Eva Piatrikova said: "This is going to be a very unique event that will make people think and realise how complex sports performance is. I feel very privileged that Teaching Development Fund and Department for Health has supported our idea and trusted the Sports Performance course to deliver this outstanding event for students, athletes, sports scientist and practitioners. I cannot wait for the Conference day and to meet people that share the passion for Sport Performance research and practice as I do."

Our research in sports science is world-leading. According to the latest independently-assessed Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, our research across sports and exercise science was judged to be fourth nationally for impact. For more see http://www.bath.ac.uk/research/performance .

To find out more about the event and register (cost: free to current students and University of Bath staff; £30 for external guests) see http://www.sportsperfconf.co.uk/ . The event takes places all day on Friday 22 January at the University of Bath.

The event is endorsed by British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES); all members will receive 5 BASES Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.

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