Researchers from the Centre for Health, and Injury & Illness Prevention in Sport (CHi2PS) led a number of sessions at the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Monaco earlier this month.

The triennial event, which took place for the seventh time, brings together leading global experts to share the latest research in athlete health, and injury and illness prevention.

CHi2PS members, whose research focuses on improving the safety and welfare of athletes across all levels of sport, delivered 26 sessions across the event.

These explored a range of topics, including injury surveillance and prevention in cricket, dance, football, horse racing and rugby; as well as injuries in youth populations, the influence of gendered environments on injury, and LGBTQI+ athlete health and protection. The role of different analytical methodologies, including machine learning, in sports injury prevention research were also explored in a series of workshops delivered by the team.

Professor Keith Stokes gave a keynote lecture titled “Injury Prevention in Rugby: the past, the present and the future”, in which he described 20 years of work from colleagues at the University of Bath. He referenced research that has influenced the laws of the game relating to scrum engagement (you can watch a video about this research at the bottom of this page), and the development of an injury prevention exercise programme that has been rolled out globally by World Rugby.

He also described more recent work from within Bath to evaluate laws around tackle height in rugby, and ongoing research - in partnership with England Rugby, Premiership Rugby and Premiership Women’s Rugby - into using mouthguards with embedded sensors to measure head accelerations.

Speaking after the event, Professor Stokes said:

This event is the major academic conference in our field, and it is fantastic that we have made such a prominent contribution to the scientific programme.

This was a real opportunity to showcase the breadth and depth of our research in injury and illness prevention in sport, and highlighted our commitment to making sports safer for athletes ranging from young to old and recreational to elite.

Dr Carly McKay, Co-Director of CHi2PS, added:

It is so exciting to see UK researchers on the world stage, recognised as international leaders in injury and illness prevention in sport.

We are part of a global community that is trying to make sport safer, and this conference was an excellent opportunity to share our hard-earned knowledge and learn from other leaders in the field.

CHi2PS partners with colleagues at the University Edinburgh to form the UK’s IOC Research Centre in athlete health and injury prevention, named the UK Collaborating Centre on Injury and Illness Prevention in Sport (UKCCIIS). Members of UKCCIIS made a major contribution to the conference, delivering 38 different presentations spread across the scientific programme.

UKCCIIS will be hosting the inaugural conference of the UK’s IOC Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh on 8-9 July 2024. Find out more about this event.