UCLan has been helping double winning Wigan Warriors prepare for the defence of their rugby league titles.
The Super League and Tetley's Challenge Cup holders are back in training and have been put through intensive pre-season fitness tests by staff and students from the Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Science (CASES).
The Warriors players were subjected to a range of physiological checks, including the gruelling VO2 max assessment which pushes the athlete to exhaustion to test their aerobic endurance.
Warriors have visited UCLan for fitness testing for the last four years, and the session comes on the back of a demanding pre-season training camp in Florida ahead of their opening Super League game against Huddersfield on 7 February.
Head Coach Shaun Wane was on hand to watch the players' assessments: "Wigan have won six trophies in four years following a very thorough pre-season fitness regime. The scientific tests performed allow us to tailor individual training programmes for the players and over the last few years we have set a very high endurance standard, which can give us an edge going into the new season.
"I'm really impressed not only with the top quality facilities, but also with the professionalism and expertise of all the staff and students we have worked with today."
The test day enabled our undergraduate Sports Science students to gain practitioner experience in working with professional athletes and gave an insight into the practical developments of elite sports players. Several students, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, have also worked with the Super League club alongside their studies.
Division Leader Dr Steve Atkins said: "We are proud of our long-running and mutually beneficial relationship with Wigan Warriors. It provides our students with a fantastic opportunity to work with elite athletes and gain valuable experience that will be an asset when applying for jobs within the industry."
The fitness tests are part of an on-going sponsorship deal UCLan has as the 'official university' of the Super League club. The Warriors also benefit from video analysis support and a number of university degree places for its players and staff.