AECC University College Partners with Bournemouth Lions Wheelchair Rugby Team

Before lockdown restrictions came into force earlier this year, the team at AECC University College’s Human Performance Laboratory was excited to start working with the Bournemouth Lions Wheelchair Rugby squad

The team at the Sport Performance Centre is working with the squad to offer sport science and psychology support; developing mental performance and offering wellbeing support to the Bournemouth Lions and their support staff. Support will also include increasing awareness of mental health.

The team at AECC University College is also exploring what physiological and fitness testing would be helpful for the team – something that can be developed further once lockdown restrictions begin to ease further.

The Sport Performance Centre team already works in a similar way with the Armed Forces Para Snow Sport Team and GB Para Snowsport. During 2018, Sport and Exercise Scientist and Lecturer in Exercise Science, Phill Heritage, worked closely with the team, helping them to prepare for World Cup season in December that year.

This included supporting the team in the snow tunnel in Oberhof, Germany, monitoring their hydration status and sweat rates throughout training, conducting skills audits with the athletes and the team’s head coach, and helping to develop new athlete monitoring and assessment protocols. 

Head of the School of Sport, Psychology and Physical Activity, Professor Stewart Cotterill, said: “This is a really exciting partnership for us. We are proud of the specialist focus that our Sport Performance has built, working with players who live with disabilities and Paralympic athletes. This is a fairly new partnership and we are working with the squad to identify how we can support players with fitness testing on campus (when it is safe to do so) as well.

“More than anything, we are hoping that the support that we give the Bournemouth Lions will have a positive impact upon the overall quality of life of players – as well as enhancing their performance on the court.”

This collaboration is part of an existing partnership that the University College is pleased to have with Bournemouth Rugby. 

You can find out more about the Sport Performance Centre here.