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Southampton Solent University’s premier league sports laboratory suite helping Saints players
THERE are many factors that lead to footballing glory – from the management to the tactics and of course the players.
But Saints, who have soared into the top four of the Premier League, also have the use of Southampton Solent University’s state-of-the-art physiology sports laboratory that has now been recognised as one of the top centres in the UK.
The official accreditation by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences has put the centre, which put the city’s football stars through their paces ahead of their magnificent start to the season, in an elite group that includes Manchester United Football Club.
The university and the club became official partners ahead of this season, building on the four-year collaboration which sees the likes of Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana tested to their physical limits to ensure they are match ready.
In July the first players back from the football break were put through their paces for two days ahead of their return to Staplewood for preseason training.
The university’s sport science staff work alongside the club’s experts to help monitor the fitness of the playing squad, including using their laboratories for dreaded VO2 max testing, which monitors how much oxygen their bodies are using.
The test involves players running at increasing speeds while their breathing is measured until their aerobic energy is fully taxed.
The results are sent to the club’s sports medicine and science team where they impact on the training and match preparation of the players.
Now with this award the staff hope to build on their work with professional teams, as well as those in the local community taking part in physical activities.
The award is an industryrequired quality assurance that provides clients and users a means of confirming the appropriateness of the laboratory to conduct physiological testing. It illustrates the high professional standards that are being met.
Dr Stewart Bruce-Low, laboratory director, said: “This has been five years in the making so were are really pleased. Sport science is about marginal gain and making the small difference that hopefully make that final difference between winning and losing.
“This award is clear evidence of the high standards Solent shares with the other accredited laboratories in the country, such as the English Institute of Sport, Manchester United Football Club and Loughborough University.
“Staff and students from the Applied Sport Science and Sport Coaching degrees work extensively with a selection of elite athletes and clubs, and this assures our clients that they are using a premier service.”
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