Friday, 16 October 2015

Danielle battles back to top level sport

UCLan SENS graduate Danielle Gibbons says she is proud of the comeback she has made to the FA Women's Super League after having a benign brain tumour removed.

The Liverpool Ladies FC goalkeeper missed five months of the season following surgery which left her deaf in one ear, but returned to play three matches before the end of the campaign. Danielle told BBC Sport she wasn't going to let anything stop her playing again.

She said: "There wasn't one point when I thought I wouldn't get back - if I couldn't have played for Liverpool again, then I was determined to play in the Olympics for the deaf team or something like that."

Gibbons was diagnosed with the non-cancerous tumour called acoustic neuroma in 2013 and initially kept it from her teammates as she did not want them to treat her any differently.

"I eventually told them at the beginning of this year and to be honest that was harder than telling my parents," said Danielle. "I didn't really expect them to be as upset as some of them were, which was nice in a way because it showed they cared."

Surgeons cut through her balance and hearing nerve to remove the tumour - a procedure which has left her completely deaf in her left ear, and the recovery was long and slow.

"At the beginning it was really basic, I just had to walk around the pitch turning cones over, which took me a really long time," she said. "It was really tedious and boring but you have to start with the basics. Even now I have to do a lot of standing on one leg with my eyes closed because my balance still isn't recovered."

After returning to training Danielle targeted getting back into the squad before the end of the season, but after regular keeper Libby Stout injured her shoulder she was called into action for Liverpool's final two league matches and their Champions League game at Brescia.

"I was incredibly nervous and physically shaking before the game, which has never happened before," she added. "But I was really excited to get playing again and proud to have overcome everything and then to get the chance to play in the Champions League was incredible."

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Warriors boosted by the appliance of science

Science is now a core element of elite level sport, helping athletes maximise their potential and perform to the very best of their abilities.

Wigan Warriors' march to the First Utility Super League Grand Final 2015 against Leeds Rhinos was backed by one of the sport's most innovative Sports Science departments, with their staff leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of success.

Mark Quinn, Warriors' Head of Sports Science and Analytics, is currently a PhD student at UCLan SENS and has recently completed extensive research into top class Rugby League.

The unique study looked at the physical demands of the World Club Challenge (WCC), comparing the differences between the Northern and Southern hemisphere competitions.

In recent years the Australian and New Zealand international teams have dominated their European rivals, while this season saw all three Super League teams lose to their NRL counterparts in the WCC.

By analysing player activity during the competition, the study found the WCC game produced more high speed sprints plus an increased number of accelerations and decelerations, and that when the values were analysed per minute of time the ball was in play these were accentuated, showing that the WCC game was played at a higher intensity than regular Super League games.

Whilst highlighting clear differences between the NRL and Super League competitions, the research also showed that finals are very physically demanding in comparison to regular season games - something the Warriors and Rhinos players showcased in abundance during this year's Grand Final.

The study, which will be Mark's first published paper, will appear in the December edition of the International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport.

Friday, 2 October 2015

International invite for new team member

A new member of the UCLan SENS team has been invited to present at a prestigious international conference.

Dr Jan Mei Soon will travel to Italy during October to take part in The European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) second Scientific Conference entitled 'Shaping the Future of Food Safety, Together' (EFSAExpo2015).

Dr Soon recently joined UCLan as a lecturer in food safety management systems after graduating with her PhD from Coventry University.

She previously worked in the food industry in Malaysia, before continuing her postgraduate studies. Dr Soon also lectured at University Malaysia Kelantan and spearheaded the Food Security and Technology undergraduate programme.

Her work has been recognised by The United Kingdom Federation for Food Science and Technology (UKFFoST) and The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), who both awarded scholarships to take part in showpiece international food industry events.

Dr Soon is passionate about food borne diseases and outbreak investigations, food safety handling practices and training. She is also a supporter of the ethos of social responsibility, giving 10% of her time and money back to society.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Food Safety expert delivers first Professorial lecture

Carol Wallace, Professor of Food Safety Management Systems at UCLan SENS, has delivered her first Professorial lecture.

Entitled 'From Rocket Science to People Power - evolution and effectiveness of food safety management approaches', the event was an opportunity for Professor Wallace to celebrate her 30 year career in the food industry and food safety education.

She said: "I was pleased to do my inaugural professorial lecture on a topic that has been close to my heart through all my time in industry as well as my career in academia.

"I was a little nervous because this was a public lecture, so it had to be relevant to both non-specialists and food safety professionals but everyone seemed really interested and I was delighted with how engaged the audience members were in the final Q & A session."

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Hammers placement expands student's knowledge

Our programmes offer students many opportunities to gain valuable industry experience.

Nik Kudiersky recently completed a placement as part of the elite performance team at West Ham United FC, which he hopes will provide a platform into a career in sport.

Nik spotted the role just after starting his final year and after successfully negotiating the interview process he was offered the position. With the help of UCLan staff Nik deferred his studies to join the Premier League outfit.

His placement focused on training analysis, via the use of GPS, accelerometry, and video footage. Nik learned how to use an array of high-tech equipment, and how to effectively apply analysis methods in an elite youth football environment.

Along with two other students, Nik was responsible for the collection and feedback of the time-motion data of all U18 & U21 players, as well filming all training sessions, and uploading the edited footage to an online video platform.

A key objective of the time-motion data analysis was to provide staff and players with objective feedback of each individual’s activity level throughout each pitch session. This data combined with subjective exertion feedback from the players, enabled the staff to assess the efficacy of each training session, make inter-individual comparisons and identify symptoms of overreaching.

Videoing training was an essential role, facilitating the interpretation of the time-motion data, and providing players and staff with the opportunity to analyse performance.

Soon after beginning the placement Nik became aware that the activity of each player is highly dependent on a number of contextual factors, including the chaotic and organisational behaviour of surrounding players, therefore the accompanying video footage was required to make sense of the data.

Working alongside sport scientists gave Nik a great insight into practice design, learning how to apply principles of skill acquisition and exercise physiology, to maximise productivity of each training session.

A high emphasis was placed on creating an optimal learning environment for the players both on and off the pitch.

On the pitch a game-centred, constraints-led approach was implemented to promote the retention and transferability of implicitly learnt skills.

A self-directed learning approach was encouraged off the pitch; training and match footage was made available within a couple of hours, allowing players to critically analyse their performance on a daily basis.

Working within a multi-disciplinary academy, exposed Nik to a wide variety of contemporary and practical methods in the domains of strength and conditioning, sport science, coaching science, and performance analysis.

Nik now has a much deeper understanding of the interacting elements that must be considered when designing and implementing a team development strategy, and will now be able to apply and expand on what he has learnt on his return to UCLan.

Monday, 8 June 2015

UCLan researcher attends food sustainability conference

Dr Marisol Warthon-Medina joined students from across the UK at Lancaster University for an innovative food sustainability event.

The NUS Student Eats Conference 2015 featured a range of interactive talks and workshops which gave delegates the opportunity to discuss the progress of the scheme and share examples of good practice.

Student Eats turns areas of campuses into versatile growing areas, installing poly-tunnels, greenhouses and cold frames to extend the growing season, as well as providing a range of gardening equipment and horticultural expertise.

Championed by a team of dedicated students, staff and members of the local community, these sites are used to grow produce which is shared among the volunteers, as well as sold at low cost to other students and often to on-campus catering services.

As more and more students become interested in growing their own produce, as well as being conscientious of the ethical and environmental impact of their food choices, Student Eats is a great opportunity to grow, eat and share food which is organic, nutritious, fresh, local, low-carbon and – most importantly of all – delicious.

Aside from promoting sustainable food patterns and localised economics, Student Eats uses these projects to strengthen community bonds and build cross-cultural connections. Each project endeavours to partner up with one off-campus community group such as a local school or a wellbeing charity, offering demonstration sessions, volunteering opportunities and cookery events.

Further to this, the sites also take pride in growing ethnic and exotic crops which might not often be seen on UK allotments – responding to as broad of a demographic of students as possible. For many participating institutions, Student Eats is the first time they have been able to host student-led food growing, despite the increasing demand for projects of this nature.

To find out more about UCLan's involvement in the project please click here.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Food Safety book gets Russian release

Professor Carol Wallace's latest book - 'HACCP: a practical approach (3rd Edition)' - has been published for the first time in Russian.

The book, co-authored with Sara Mortimore, is a compendium of up-to-date thinking and best practice approaches to the development, implementation and maintenance of HACCP programs for food safety management.

Written both for those who are developing HACCP systems for the first time and for those who need to update, the book refreshes and strengthens their existing systems.

New materials and new tools to assist the HACCP team have been provided and the current situation on issues that are still undergoing international debate, such as operational prerequisite programmes.

Previous books written by Professor Wallace, and earlier editions of this one, have been published in French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Indonesian.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Professor Wallace works on RSPH video project

Professor Carol Wallace is currently working with the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) on a series of videos discussing food safety culture with some of the industry's leading experts.

She recently interviewed Lone Jespersen, Head of Food Safety Strategy at Maple Leaf Foods, and will soon be speaking with Professors Chris Griffith and Lisa Ackerley as part of the project.

Professor Wallace has also been invited to The Buckingham Palace Garden Party in recognition of her ongoing work with the RSPH.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

UCLan SENS Lecturer presents at showpiece food studies event

A UCLan SENS Lecturer recently took part in a prestigious food studies event in Finland.

Dr Brigit Ramsingh travelled to the University of Helsinki to deliver a research presentation at an international interdisciplinary conference entitled: 'Food in Society and Culture – Research across the Social Sciences and the Humanities'.

The symposium aimed to develop new analytical approaches to the study of food in the Humanities, Economics and the Social Sciences by looking at issues of food production, consumption, and food cultures in contemporary society.

Dr Ramsingh's paper - 'Society's Kidneys: Food waste, freegans and the use of metaphor to define alternative food networks' - formed part of a session investigating sustainability, alternative movements and food waste.

The event featured leading experts from a variety of disciplines including Alan Warde, Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, and Johanna Mäkelä, Professor of Food Culture at the University of Helsinki.

Dr Ramsingh commented: "The conference was fantastically well organised, with interesting and provocative sessions that continued long after the scheduled program had ended.

"It was one of the most talkative meetings I've been to, and I met many new colleagues and friends from across Europe with whom I will keep in touch in order to develop some collaborative research plans."

For more information about the event please click here.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Sports Science student chases football dream

When a UCLan SENS student took to the football pitch in Cyprus for his weekly match, little did he know a spectator visiting on an educational trip would soon make his dreams come true.

Football mad Sergios Avraam was playing for UCLan's Cyprus team when he came to the attention of Preston North End Football Club's Deputy Chairman David Taylor, who is also Chairman of UCLan.

David spotted the striker's talents during a trip to our Pyla campus and invited him to train with the League One club.

Sergios, who is studying the first year of a Sports Science degree, has travelled to Lancashire to train at UCLan Sports Arena with the PNE Academy Team (U18s).

He said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it could be the one chance I need to change my life. To be able to play football professionally is a dream come true, so I hope I impress the coaches. I’m so thankful to David, Preston North End and UCLan for making this happen."

As well as playing for the university, the 22-year-old also stars for Cypriot Second Division team Elpida Xylophagou.

"Playing in England is very different to Cyprus," said Sergios. "The pace is so fast compared with the European style of play. Technically I feel I’ve done okay and I feel I've been strong enough up against other players, but I know my stamina needs to improve. Playing 90 minutes at a fast pace is physically very tough, but with more training I know I'll be able to perform.

"It's been very interesting and challenging so far, but it's definitely been enjoyable. The coaches and players have been very friendly and encouraging so I couldn't have asked for more."

Between his training sessions and daily gym session Sergios, who is away from home for the first time, has been taking in the local sights.

"Preston is a very good city," he said. "I've enjoyed running by the river in the beautiful park, walking around the Docks and spending time in the city in the sunshine. The football stadium is amazing and the training facilities at the Sports Arena are outstanding."

His UCLan coach Miodrag Stijovic met David in Cyprus and pointed Sergios out as the star player. Miodrag, who has travelled over for a week to watch him in training, said: "I'm very, very proud of him. He's a very special player with fantastic ability. All he needs to do is to train hard, improve his physical stamina and seize the chance to show what he can do. David has been a great help and we're all very grateful for everything he has done."

The duo were David’s guests of honour at Preston's recent home match versus Swindon Town. David said: "I'm delighted I had the chance to see Sergios playing while I was visiting our Cyprus Campus. To see him in Preston making the most of this opportunity is great. He's a very talented footballer and I'm delighted I could help. UCLan's Cyprus Campus is one of our best assets and this helps to build further links between us."

While in Preston he has been under the watchful gaze of PNE Academy Manager Nick Harrison. He said: "Credit to Sergios for coming over and joining in so well. He's taken to all the training sessions really well, coped with the physical demands, displayed his technical ability and shown he's a good footballer.

"For me it’s been a positive experience for both parties. He's been able to learn from us while the rest of the players have come up against an older player who has a different style of play to what they're used to. The way he's integrated so well with the group is a bonus."

Being a footballer does not mean Sergios has been able to avoid his academic studies as he has been using UCLan’s interactive educational software to compete his assignments.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Zinc-Net research gathers pace

Professor Nicola Lowe recently travelled to Spain to chair the latest Zinc-Net project meeting.

Colleagues from across Europe gathered in Granada for the three-day event which featured a series of discussion groups and presentations investigating Zinc biomarkers.

Leading nutrition expert Professor Bob Cousins was amongst the keynote speakers, offering fascinating insights live by Skype from Florida. Professor Cousins spoke about the issue of biomarkers from human studies of zinc status, to biomarkers of disease, and novel methodologies.

Network Coordinator Dr Marisol Warthon-Medina accompanied Professor Lowe to the event, which was part of ongoing research into the role of zinc in human biochemistry and physiology.

Zinc-Net, the 'Network for zinc in Biology', received £500,000 from the European Commission to fund the research over a four-year period.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Spanish trip cements future collaborations

UCLan SENS staff and students teamed up with colleagues from UCLan's School of Psychology for a study visit to Spain.

As part of the European Union's Erasmus+ scheme the group travelled to the Universidad de Extremadura to get a taster of the facilities on campus.

The students toured the Sport and Health Science department, as well taking a look around the food science and sensory laboratories.

The trip also provided first and second year undergraduates with the opportunity to conduct research as part of a study module.

A number of future collaborations are planned, with Spanish students making the return trip to UCLan this summer to work on research projects with Dr Howard Hurst and Dr Jonathan Sinclair, whilst a group from our Nutrition and Exercise Sciences programme are scheduled for a longer visit to Spain during the next academic year.

To view a selection of images from the trip please click here.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Diabetes event proves a big success

People living with diabetes and those at risk of the disease visited UCLan for a special event to learn more about coping with the condition and staying as healthy as possible.

Following the success of the inaugural Living with Diabetes Day last year, UCLan again teamed up with the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation and specialist diabetes teams from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to run the event.

Aimed at people with both type one and type two diabetes, people at risk of developing the disease, carers or people with a general interest in the condition, the event allowed them to meet healthcare professionals, exercise specialists and dietitians.

Visitors participated in interactive workshops, including how to prevent long-term complications, glucose monitoring and amputation prevention.

UCLan SENS' Lecturer, Dr Swrajit Sarkar, organised the event. He said: "Living with Diabetes Day provides a unique opportunity for people in Lancashire to access a wealth of information and support under one roof. It allows them to speak to visiting healthcare professionals from local specialist diabetes teams, researchers, academics and professionals in exercise, diet and nutrition.

"We recognise the benefits of sharing and discussing concerns and experiences with like-minded people and healthcare professionals outside of the surgery or clinic setting in a supportive, relaxed and informal environment."

Attendees also took part in an exercise class at the end of the day, delivered by UCLan Physiotherapy Lecturer Colin Hayes, to learn some basic exercises that can be done at home.

Christine Elwell, Diabetes Dietitian and Diabetes Education Coordinator at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: "We're really pleased to be part of this important awareness raising event. As a Trust we look to support any opportunity for people to understand more about living with diabetes and developing skills that can promote health for themselves and their families."

Lee Calladine, Educational Event Coordinator from Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, said: "We are extremely pleased to support and sponsor the second Lancashire Living with Diabetes Day, and to work collaboratively with Dr Swrajit Sarker, UCLan and the specialist diabetes teams from across the North West.

"This unique event brings together people living with both type one and type two diabetes, healthcare professionals, researchers and academics to create a day filled with helpful, informative and fun information about diabetes.

"We hope people who attended left feeling invigorated with new tools, skills and with an even greater understanding and enthusiasm of how to manage their diabetes so they can live life to the full."

To view images from the event please click here.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Nutrition Policy to Practice in Pakistan: Exploring the challenges and research opportunities

Professor Nicola Lowe recently visited Asia as part of her continuing research with the Abaseen Foundation, looking at the complex problem of malnutrition in Pakistan.

She met a number of key people during the visit, including, Professor Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, the chairman of the Higher Education Commission, Professor Dr Mohammed Hafizullah, Vice Chancellor of Khyber Medical University and Muhammed Mushtaq Jadoon, the Secretary of the Health Department at the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

To read Professor Lowe's blog about the trip, please click here. The Tribune newspaper in Pakistan also covered the event. To view the story please click here.

Monday, 2 March 2015

UCLan SENS Professor signed up by Gates Foundation

Professor Nicola Lowe has been invited by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to be a member of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG).

Professor Lowe will sit alongside a handful of other internationally-recognised scientists with long-standing expertise in zinc nutrition.

The IZiNCG is the go-to group on the world stage for expert technical and policy advice and is linked to the delivery of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it aims to promote and assist efforts to reduce zinc deficiency worldwide, through advocacy efforts, education, and technical assistance.

Professor Lowe holds a range of other advisory positions relating to zinc, and has also recently been invited to be a panel advisor for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission which selects overseas candidates for scholarships and fellowships tenable in the United Kingdom.

Zinc is an essential nutrient for human health. In spite of the proven benefits of adequate zinc nutrition, approximately two billion people still remain at risk of zinc deficiency.

Professor Lowe said: "It's an honour to be asked to join such a prestigious group. Zinc deficiency is something I feel incredibly strongly about and initiatives like the IZiNCG are crucial in raising awareness and effecting change."

Created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest foundation in the world, driving initiatives in education, world health and community giving.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Research reaps rewards for Chris

As a Lecturer of Sport at Burnley College on a range of FE and HE programmes and a sport science practitioner on the Elite Athlete Programme, Chris Kirk has always had a desire to improve his knowledge and applicable skills within his daily practice.

Chris decided to undertake a postgraduate qualification that would increase his understanding of more advanced methods and techniques within sports science, whilst also allowing him the opportunity to apply his learning to performance enhancement.

He commented: "The MSc (by Research) at UCLan provided the perfect balance of theoretical and practical studies, enabling me to utilise my existing undergraduate research methods and develop them to a much deeper level.

"Within my thesis - 'The Workload Demands of Mixed Martial Arts' - I was able to demonstrate the use of new technology alongside more traditional performance analysis techniques in the assessment of workload within a rapidly growing sport."

Whilst Chris found the process continuously challenging, he said it was made equally engaging by his tutor Dr Howard Hurst, whose guidance showed him how fulfilling and enriching research work could be.

"The tutor support continued throughout the programme of study, from fleshing out the experimental design to preparation for the final viva voce/examination - a valuable experience in the qualification which mirrors the peer review process vital to scientific research," said Chris.

"As well as attaining the final MSc degree, a key achievement for me was being able to rework parts of my thesis into two published, peer reviewed articles (click here and here to view).

"Completion of an MSc (by Research) is hard work and fraught with moments of frustration and difficulty, but it is also extremely rewarding and has awoken a passion in me for further research, both in the projects in which I'm currently involved and the future pursuit of a PhD.

"I fully recommend this degree course to anyone who has a desire to improve their own sport science research abilities, whilst also contributing to the knowledge base of the discipline."

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Graduate expands research work

UCLan's Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) offers students the opportunity to work with the University's academics on projects which have 'real world' impact.

Since its launch in 2008, approximately 200 interns have worked directly with researchers on a variety of projects across the university.

Hayley Vincent, who graduated with a First Class Sports Science degree, joined UCLan SENS as a URIS intern to work on a project focused on sports biomechanics.

In conjunction with Lecturer Dr Jonathan Sinclair, Hayley investigated how different squat techniques (front and back squat) affect the loads applied to the knee which may increase the risk of injury.

Dr Sinclair commented: "During Hayley's final year she investigated the effects of minimalist and sport specific footwear during netball movements. The results of the study were published in The Journal of Footwear Science.

"As knee injuries are extremely commonplace in squatting activities, the results of this research provides useful clinical information to those susceptible to injuries regarding the most appropriate squat lift to use."

The internship gave Hayley valuable experience in Sports Science research. She said she found the process extremely enjoyable: "I gained a real insight into the time and effort that goes into a research project.

"I was involved particularly in the recruitment and communication with participants and the testing process. It allowed me to get used to adjusting to different situations, as things can go wrong. For example, during the testing we had some equipment problems and I had to learn how to change and adapt to those circumstances.

"I had great support from my research team and I gained a lot of knowledge from the experience. It was great preparation for my Research Masters which I'm currently undertaking at UCLan."

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

26in/27.5in/29in - What's The Fastest MTB Wheel Size? - Part 2

The results of Dr Howard Hurst's study into wheel sizes and mountain bike performance have been published by the UK's top bicycle review website, BikeRadar.

The video above explains the findings. If you missed Part 1, please click here.

Friday, 23 January 2015

26in/27.5in/29in - What's The Fastest MTB Wheel Size? - Part 1

Dr Howard Hurst's study into wheel sizes and mountain bike performance is set to feature on the UK's top bicycle review website, BikeRadar.

The video above sets the scene for the study, with an article going on the BikeRadar website next week along with part 2 of the video which will discuss the findings.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

European Motocross testing enhances students' learning

Our programmes offer students the opportunity to enhance their career prospects by gaining 'real world' experience.

Master's students Misha Murtagh and Joe Wood recently accompanied a professional Motocross team to Spain, where they conducted a series of research tests on the riders.

Misha and Joe have kindly provided us with a blog about their trip:

We travelled to Lloret De Mar for a few days to conduct some basic testing and profiling on high level Motocross riders. The riders included Max Anstie and Mel Pocock (Dixon Racing) and Reece Desoer (Preston Docks MX).

The testing had begun in the Physiology Laboratory in Darwin Building, where we tested the riders’ VO2 Max and monitored the effect that incremental increases in intensity had on their blood lactate levels in correlation to heart rate. When we went to Spain we recorded their heart rate and blood lactate in a setting more specific to the demands of the sport.

During our stay we visited two different tracks, both of which placed different demands on the riders. We worked the best we could on the side of the tracks as these tests are generally conducted in clinical laboratory settings, so we had to adapt to the environment and find ways around any problems presented. With the cooperation of the riders we were successful – they were fantastic to work with and really showed an interest in what we were doing.

This trip gave us the opportunity to apply the theory learnt at UCLan into a practical setting, where we had to adjust the protocols used to fit in with the unique scenario we experienced.

An example of this is that we had the riders stop as if it was a pit stop every five laps to take results, but the time it took would vary dependent on the smoothness of each lap, the speed of the rider and the other riders on the track.

During testing even if we staggered the start times of the riders there would still be a chance of two coming in at the same time, so we allotted each other jobs and planned how to cope if two did come in at once. This only happened one time and was dealt with fluently causing minimal disruption to the training.

The testing links in well with our course and career opportunities as we were testing elite athletes in an extreme sport where little research has been conducted in these conditions.

We showed the ability to assess the physical demands of the sport and aim to identify areas in which their performance can be improved in the future - both of which are vital components of working in an elite sporting environment.

We'd like to thank John Desoer of Preston Docks MX and the Steve Dixon Racing Team for inviting us along to their training camp and taking good care of us while we were away, and Max, Mel and Reece for allowing us to test on them. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Workshop: Nutrition Policy to Practice in Pakistan - Exploring the Challenges and Research Opportunities

The British Council and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Pakistan has launched a new five-year programme to encourage international research collaboration between ambitious researchers from the UK and eighteen countries around the world.

The programme, 'British Council Researcher Links' provides opportunities for early career researchers from the UK and internationally to interact, learn from each other and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations.

As part of this programme, a 'call to action' was issued in April 2014 for leading researchers to propose themes for bilateral workshops to be held in one of these countries which will bring together early career researchers to discuss their research and start to build international relationships.

Professor Nicola Lowe is the UK coordinator for this workshop event which will look at nutrition issues in Pakistan.

For further details about the workshop and how to apply, please click here.