Sport Science Support

The Sports Science Support Programme is based within the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences and it is designed to allow clients access to high quality scientific staff, testing and research facilities.
Sports science support contributes the disciplines of physiology, psychology and performance analysis, adopting fundamental and applied research-informed approaches to optimise the performance of the individual(s) and/or team(s). Scientific assessment, intervention and various modifications can be used to monitor fitness, alter training, prevent injury, improve performance, alter technique, monitor the effectiveness of coaching and improve physical and psychological preparation prior to competition.

In order to ensure high ethical and professional standards of practice, all staff adhere to the BASES Code of Conduct and possess BASES accreditation or are undergoing supervised experience or, registered practitioner status and are chartered psychologists with the British Psychological Society.

Levels of Sports Science Support

Level 1 (Gold)

Where requirement necessitates (e.g. National Governing Body funding), Level 1 provides the highest standard of sports science support. The projects are led by an accredited member of staff in association with other appropriate sport scientists, without student involvement. Remuneration will be in accordance with the guidelines as set out by BASES

Level 2 (Silver)

In the case of limited funding and where permitted, Level 2 service provides sport science support led by individuals undergoing supervised experience under the supervision of an accredited sport scientist. Remuneration will be in accordance with the guidelines as set out by BASES

Level 3 (Bronze)

Where no funding is available and clients are in agreement, Level 3 permits the provision of sport science support from undergraduate and postgraduate students supervised by an accredited sports scientist. Where possible such work will be incorporated into the curriculum to allow students to develop appropriate skills and professional practice as recommended by the BASES Endorsement Scheme.

Current projects

Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club

The Department are currently engaged with Warrington Wolves, a local professional rugby league club playing in the Engage Super League. The project involves provision of long-term monitoring and training of all players within the club's Scholarship programme. In addition, work is also carried out providing periodic physiological assessment with both Academy and First Grade teams. The club are provided with sport science support utilising up-to-date sport science facilities, underpinned by sound scientific practice.

In addition to the research dimension, the project compliments the Department's traditional, high quality, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, inspiring the next generation of sport scientists to experience hands-on work with high performance athletes through their Sport Science degree. As part of their academic studies, students can apply to internship positions in Sports Physiology, Performance Analysis, Biomechanics and Strength and Conditioning.

The Rugby Football League (RFL)

The department has further enhanced its reputation for rugby league research with the appointment of a research student funded by the governing body.

Following development of the UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC), all governing bodies have been required to restructure their coaching qualification framework. In doing so, there has been an increased focus on the integration of sport science within all coaching frameworks. Given the dearth of sport-specific literature, the RFL approached the Department to contribute in providing a research-informed material to the new UKCC coaching qualification. The current project has focused on the use of small-sided games in enhancing the physiological and technical capabilities of rugby league players. As well as generating peer-reviewed research, which to date has been presented at international and national conferences, the data is contributing to the development of coaching resources for the UKCC programme.

In addition, several members of the Department currently work with the RFL as Coach Educators, delivering coaching and scientific elements of the new UKCC programme.