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Centre for Sports Performance

Led by Professor Sue Backhouse, the research undertaken within this Centre is focused on understanding and optimising sport performance at all levels. Common intellectual, scientific, policy and practice themes, which apply across all sports, unite our research interests; be they mono-, multi- or interdisciplinary in nature.

Postgraduate student research forms an important part of the Centre’s activity and we currently have a critical mass of students working towards higher degrees. Our capacity for field and laboratory based data collection and analysis is also a key factor in the Centre’s programme of research.

Key research areas include: protecting and promoting sporting integrity and clean sport; physiological changes at high altitude; talent identification and development; the effect of nutrition and training on performance and recovery from sport; commercialisation of sports drinks; life story research in elite sport; physiological demands of adolescent rugby; biomechanics and motor control of elite sporting performance; perception and impression-based research; the impact of sport on bone health; strength-injury profiling and neuromuscular assessment and managing stress.

UK/ Global Rugby Health Research Project

How’s the mind and body holding up now that you’ve retired from rugby?

If you are a retired rugby player or non-contact sports athlete, or someone who has never taken part in competitive sport post-school, we need your help to find out more about the long-term health implications of playing rugby – and it’s all for the good of the game.

This is the first international study of its kind - the findings will be combined with those from the recently completed New Zealand Rugby Health project in an international effort for large scale evidence on player health post-retirement. This information will be shared with World rugby and national governing bodies. By participating, you’ll be making a vital contribution to the welfare of future generations of rugby players. Read more…
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