Members of the public are being invited to explore the ‘infinite possibilities of science’ at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) this week at its Festival of Sports Science, which forms part of a broad range of Science Week 2022 activities.
The event, which takes place tomorrow, November 10, from 6-9pm, at TUS’s International Arena in Athlone, will focus on women and girls’ physical fitness and wellbeing and consist of free workshops, demos, and ‘try-it’ opportunities.
Organised by the Department of Sport and Health Sciences and the SHE Research Group at TUS, the event is “open to everyone - from the casual gym goer, to athletes to club administrators to women going through menopause”.
“The Science Week ethos is that science is for everyone, and we want our facilities to be available to everyone,” said Dr Robin Healy, a lecturer in the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at TUS. “We want to let the public in to see what sports science is really all about – from the fun stuff to the high tech stuff.”
The SHE Research Group, whose research largely focuses on women and girls in sport, will be on hand throughout the event to give specialist advice on how attendees can improve their nutrition as well their performance in sport and exercise.
A must-see for attendees is a 3D motion analysis demo which will showcase how the technology can be used for injury reduction – particularly for identifying anterior cruciate ligament injury risk - the “biggest injury that affects females in sports”.
“We’ll have a volunteer wearing a motion capture suit with markers all over the body undertaking a variety of tasks, and attendees will get to see how they are turned into a virtual representation of themselves on a screen in 3D as they move around the lab,” Dr Healy said.
According to Dr Healy, performance tests – such as power testing on a bike, endurance testing on a rowing machine, and hang tough challenges – are another highlight of the event.
“It’s like the kind of thing you’d see on Ireland’s Fittest Families like measuring explosive jump power – so some of it is quite active and some of it is less so – like determining grip strength and explaining to people why it’s so important especially as we age,” he explained.
The team will also be running a demonstration of an ExWell exercise class, which is aimed at people with long-term co-morbidities and can be especially beneficial to older people. “This is all about using exercise as a health intervention,” Dr Healy said. “There really is something for everyone.”
All interested individuals, including students, athletes, parents, coaches, club administrators and members of the public, are welcome to attend this open door event and can register their interest here.