Bryanston School in Dorset has recently been the home to world-class sports science research. The study, which included 35 pupils volunteering, aimed to find if targeted muscular training could mitigate the risk of common and serious injuries faced by young athletes.
The research programme was organised by the Department of Health at Bath University and is centred around investigating the risk factors of knee ligament damage in adolescent female athletes, who are eight times more likely to suffer such injuries than male athletes. The results from the study will explain the reasons for a higher number of knee injuries in female athletes and will suggest preventative training exercises.
The study took place at Bryanston School’s Performance Sport suite. The sport suite was created under the guidance of experienced strength and conditioning coach Alex Chapman and is one of the most advanced in the UK, providing an innovative environment and evidence-based research to help young athletes. The suit is frequently used by AFC Bournemouth, Southampton FC and Team Bath Netball.
The research team at the University of Bath was keen to capitalise on our facilities and the specialist skills of our Performance Sport team led by Jack Phillips as there are few, if any, other academic environments with such resources – Alex Fermor-Dunman, Bryanston
Bryanston’s director of Sport, Alex Fermor-Dunman expressed the school’s desire to help aspiring young athletes reach their full potential through delivering personalised training and support to fit individual requirements.
He continued: “The research team at the University of Bath was keen to capitalise on our facilities and the specialist skills of our Performance Sport team led by Jack Phillips as there are few, if any, other academic environments with such resources. And, of course, we also have a large group of willing volunteers on hand to participate in such a research project”
The study findings will feature in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, one of the world’s most famous sports science publications. The injuries this study is aiming to prevent can often be season-ending and are sometimes career-ending for athletes. Dr Sean Cumming, who led the University of Bath’s project described the research results as “quite literally, game-changing for adolescent female athletes”.
Alice Smith, a 17-year-old who took part in the study, commented: “As a motivated and determined young sportswoman, I felt great doing something really positive that could shape sports science thinking and coaching delivery into the future. Participating in the research was an eye-opening experience and it provided real insight into the science and technology for improving performance and reducing the risk of injury.”
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