The Cardiff School of Sport (CSS) Biomechanics Group is based within the National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC) and comprises academics who are dedicated to the production of a research-driven learning and teaching strategy that places the students at the centre of the experience.
The group integrates a variety of traditional teaching modes (e.g. lead lectures, group tutorials, practical sessions and demonstrations) with contemporary technologically-driven teaching methodologies (e.g. virtual learning environments, on-line assessments, and free standing lectures) to provide an interactive student-centred learning experience.
Students in the CSS experience sports biomechanics in a user friendly fashion that caters for those who wish to understand the fundamental principles at level 1 through to those at postgraduate level that wish to employ innovative analysis to understand technique and performance.
Three central themes define the groups learning, teaching and research perspectives:
3) Coaching biomechanics interface.
All three themes employ the grounded underlying principles of physics, mathematics and biology to understand and explain how the athlete or sports performer interacts with their environment. Within the context of injury, understanding of the physical forces and loads that the performer experiences under challenging movement conditions is gained. Understanding techniques that are associated with excessive loading and a high potential for injury can assist biomechanists, coaches and medical practitioners in understanding an individual’s predisposition to injury. Secondly, the performance perspective uses biomechanical techniques to understand and explain those variables (movement patterns and forces) that are directly related to successful performance. Technologies used to obtain this information are innovative and integrated into the NIAC building, which boasts over £500,000 of investment into contemporary biomechanics equipment. The third theme, coaching biomechanics interface is a unique perspective that aims to use fine-grained biomechanical data to help develop effective training strategies for skill learning and performance. These data are then fed back to the coach in a meaningful and user friendly fashion. The research-informed learning and teaching pathway of the CSS Sports Biomechanics group is illustrated in Figure 1.
The learning and teaching experience is enriched by the research active staff, post doctoral researchers and post graduate students that form the CSS Sports Biomechanics Research Group. The group comprises a world-leading academic (Professor David Kerwin) and internationally recognised award-winning researchers (Dr’s Gareth Irwin and Marianne Gittoes, and the newest member of the team Dr Ian Bezodis). The group have engaged in research with national and international governing bodies of sport (e.g. Federation of International Gymnastics, British Gymnastics, Welsh Rugby Union, Federation of International Football Association and UK athletics), and have collaborated with world leaders within this country and abroad (e.g. Professor Steve Hailes; UCL, Professor Andrew Hopper; University of Cambridge, Professor Karl Newell, Penn State). The group has a strong publication profile in international standard academic journals (e.g. Journal of Biomechanics, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Sports Biomechanics), and also possesses a strong profile of secured cherished funding for research (most recently £3.7m SESAME project: www.sesame.ucl.ac.uk/). Members of the team have also been invited to give key note lectures and presentations to national and international academic societies (e.g. Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, ASPIRE Sport Science Conference, International Conference of Biomechanics in Sports, International Society of Sports Engineering and British Society of Sport and Exercise Sciences).
For further information relating to the group please see their individual staff profiles.