Olympic challenges for LJMU
30 July 2012
At LJMU research is pivotal to enhancement of the student experience, as well as engagement with our key stakeholders in industry and throughout the public sector.
Our research has impact beyond academia, benefiting individuals, communities, industry and commerce and policy-makers throughout the UK and Worldwide. Here are some examples of this work in relation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Face to Face with Sports Science
The University's Research Institute of Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES) based at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, tooks its knowledge and research on elite athlete performance to the public through a series of events in museums and schools leading up to the Olympics.
The Face to Face with Sports Science project, supported by a People Award from the Wellcome Trust and a Royal Society Partnership Grant, was awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark and recognised for its educational contribution by Podium, the Further and Higher Education Unit for the London 2012 Games.
The School also worked closely with the BBC on a variety of programmes bringing sports science to the public ahead of the Olympics. This included putting BBC North West Tonight presenter Stuart Pollitt and BBC Radio Merseyside presenters through a series of exercises that demonstrated the link between the practices of elite athletes and the general public. The project featured in Blue Peter's Big Olympic Tour Sports Lab Zone across the UK and in the BBC One North West Olympic Dreams programme.
Lindsey Prosser, Producer BBC TV, commented:
"In the run up to the Olympics all of the athletes we've spoken to have stressed how important sports science is to their performance. So we wanted to look at how Sports Scientists support our elite athletes and what difference their work makes to an athlete's performance. Filming at LJMU was fascinating and I know our viewers will be impressed by the work that goes on there."
Additionally, RISES research into 'Perceptual-cognitive mechanisms underpinning expert performance in Olympic shooting' research also won a Silver Medal in the 'RCUK Council Award for Exceptional Research Contribution' category at the Podium Awards.
It's All in the Mind
Chartered sports and exercise psychologist and BASES Fellow Dr Zoe Knowles and Conditioning Coach Dr Peter Angell from RISES are playing a major role in the preparations of local wheelchair tennis player Jamie Burdekin.
Professor David Mottram, Emeritus Professor of Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, sits on the Games' Clinical Pharmacy Services Group (CPSG). The group has organised comprehensive pharmacy services for athletes and other accredited personnel attending the London 2012 Games and has also facilitated emergency services for spectators.
A positive public health legacy
The Centre for Public Health (CPH) was commissioned by NHS London to conduct an 'Evaluation of the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics on alcohol-related illness and injury'. As part of the evaluation, CPH will conduct interviews with staff from key organisations who are working to minimise the impact that alcohol will have on the Games. In addition, a range of information will be collected and investigated, such as numbers of alcohol-related hospital admissions and Emergency Department presentations in the periods before, during and after the Games.