Convener: Alyx Taylor

The Centre for Health, Exercise and Sport Science Research (CHESS) encompasses all physical and psychological aspects of exercise, health and sport science research.

Centre for Health, Exercise and Sport Science Research (CHESS)

The Centre for Health, Exercise and Sport Science Research (CHESS) encompasses all physical and psychological aspects of exercise, health and sport science research. There are two areas of special expertise within the centre:

1. Sports Performance

2. Physical Activity for Health

These areas of research interests form the activity hubs for innovative projects with International and UK external collaborators as well as specialist work within AECC University College.
CHESS benefits its members through a close and synergistic relationship with the consultancy centres in the School of Psychology, Sport and Physical Activity; including the Sport Performance Centre and the Physical Activity Referral Centre, both of which serve as rich environments for applied research data generation. 


Research centre aim:

1. Promote innovative research in all areas of health, exercise and sports science

2. Provide a central focus of a collaborative network of UK and international expertise in health, exercise and sports science research.


• Stewart Cotterill

• Micah Atkinson

Caroline Belchamber

Thomas Bennett 

Fiona Lucas

• Phill Heritage

• David Peacock

• Ana Soares

• Alyx Taylor

• Zoe Wimshurst


Introduction to CHESS 




• The relationship between physical activity and menopausal symptoms
• Introducing inclusive exercise classes at primary school for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and closely related behavioural problems
• The effectiveness of different visual skills training programmes on elite cricket
• Quality of life in new amputees before receiving a prosthesis 
• Use of virtual reality for decision-making training in sport
• Leadership development in elite sports teams and academies
• Developing mentally healthy environments in sport
• Maximising psychological preparation for performance

Latest projects

• The GB Para Nordic Ski team fielded the largest national squad in the recent World Para Nordic Ski World Championships in Prince George, Canada. Scott Meenagh achieved a career best performance in the long cross-country race and achieved an end of season ranking of 5th in the world while the rest of the team gained more experience in preparation for next season. AECC University College BASES accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist Phill Heritage is working with the team to implement new physiology testing and monitoring programmes. 

• Dr Alyx Taylor is currently leading a research project examining the physical effects of an exercise referral programme; exploring the facilitators and barriers to maintaining regular participation. The team are discovering the psychological aspects central to engagement and maintenance of regular exercise which open up practical ways to increase participation.


• Ana Soares is investigating the developmental differences in children and adolescents in relation to their experience of managing critical events in tennis matches. 

• Dr Zoe Wimshurst is helping professional athletes improve their visual skills, full journal article here.

Recent Research presentations

Dose Response To Plyometrics In Academy Rugby

Impact Of Different Leaders On Emotional State Of Teams


Factors Affecting Athletic Engagement And Academic Confidence In Dual - Career Student - Athletes


Get involved

CHESS welcomes new members and enquiries regarding collaboration, so if you are interested in health, exercise and sports science research please contact Dr Alyx Taylor:


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