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  • Influence of Playing Standard on Upper- and Lower-Body Strength, Power, and Velocity Characteristics of Elite Rugby League Players

    Fernandes, John F. T.; email: jfmtfernandes@hotmail.co.uk; Daniels, Matthew; email: mattdaniels@saintsrlfc.com; Myler, Liam; email: liamm@widnessviking.co.uk; Twist, Craig; orcid: 0000-0001-6168-0378; email: c.twist@chester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2019-04-17)
    Background: To compare load–velocity and load–power relationships among first grade (n = 26, age 22.9 ± 4.3 years), academy (n = 23, age 17.1 ± 1.0 years), and scholarship (n = 16, age 15.4 ± 0.5 years) Super League rugby league players. Methods: Participants completed assessments of maximal upper- and lower-body strength (1RM) and peak velocity and power at 20, 40, 60, and 80 kg during bench press and squat exercises, in a randomised order. Results: Bench press and squat 1RM were highest for first grade players compared with other standards (effect size (ES) = −0.43 to −3.18). Peak velocities during bench and squat were greater in the higher playing standards (ES = −0.39 to −3.72 range), except for the squat at 20 and 40 kg. Peak power was higher in the better playing standards for all loads and exercises. For all three groups, velocity was correlated to optimal bench press power (r = 0.514 to 0.766), but only 1RM was related to optimal power (r = 0.635) in the scholarship players. Only squat 1RM in the academy was related to optimal squat power (r = 0.505). Conclusions: Peak velocity and power are key physical qualities to be developed that enable progression from junior elite rugby league to first grade level. Resistance training should emphasise both maximal strength and velocity components, in order to optimise upper- and lower-body power in professional rugby league players.
  • From Surveillance to Intervention: Overview and Baseline Findings for the Active City of Liverpool Active Schools and SportsLinx (A-CLASS) Project

    McWhannell, Nicola; Foweather, Lawrence; Graves, Lee; Henaghan, Jayne; Ridgers, Nicola; Stratton, Gareth; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University, Laude Lady Elizabeth Junior School, Deakin University, Swansea University (MDPI, 2018-03-23)
    This paper outlines the implementation of a programme of work that started with the development of a population-level children’s health, fitness and lifestyle study in 1996 (SportsLinx) leading to selected interventions one of which is described in detail: the Active City of Liverpool, Active Schools and SportsLinx (A-CLASS) Project. The A-CLASS Project aimed to quantify the effectiveness of structured and unstructured physical activity (PA) programmes on children’s PA, fitness, body composition, bone health, cardiac and vascular structures, fundamental movement skills, physical self-perception and self-esteem. The study was a four-arm parallel-group school-based cluster randomised controlled trial (clinical trials no. NCT02963805), and compared different exposure groups: a high intensity PA (HIPA) group, a fundamental movement skill (FMS) group, a PA signposting (PASS) group and a control group, in a two-schools-per-condition design. Baseline findings indicate that children’s fundamental movement skill competence levels are low-to-moderate, yet these skills are inversely associated with percentage body fat. Outcomes of this project will make an important contribution to the design and implementation of children’s PA promotion initiatives.
  • New Evidence of an Additional Population of the White-naped Mangabey Cercocebus lunulatus in Western Ghana

    Stanley, Christina R; Geary, Matthew; Nolan, Ryan; Welsh, Adam; Hartley, Matthew; Dempsey, Andrea; Mono, Joseph Cudjoe; Osei, David; University of Chester; West African Primate Conservation Action; The Forestry Commission of Ghana; Zoo and Wildlife Solutions Ltd (IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, 2019)
    The white-naped mangabey Cercocebus lunulatus is severely threatened by logging, mining, and hunting. In the last decade, wild populations have been confirmed in just three forested areas in Ghana and a handful of sites in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Sightings of this species were recently reported in a fourth area in Ghana, the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve, a forest patch in western Ghana, 60 km from the nearest recorded wild population, which is in the Ankasa Conservation Area. We deployed 14 camera traps across 21 different locations throughout the reserve, with the intention of confirming the presence of this species. Images of the white-naped mangabey were captured at four locations, confirming the existence of a fourth sub-population of this species in Ghana and providing only the second-ever photograph of a wild member of this species in the country. We observed evidence of numerous illegal anthropogenic activities in the reserve, which threaten these mangabeys, and we make recommendations for the protection of the reserve, essential for the conservation of this highly endangered species.
  • High drug related mortality rates following prison release: Assessing the acceptance likelihood of a naltrexone injection and related concerns

    Murphy, Philip N.; Mohammed, Faizal; Wareing, Michelle; Cotton, Angela; McNeil, John; Irving, Paula; Jones, Steve; Sharples, Louisa; Monk, Rebecca; Elton, Peter; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-07-04)
    Background and aims. High drug related mortality amongst former prisoners in the 4 weeks following release is an internationally recognised problem. Naltrexone injections at release could diminish this by blockading opioid receptors, but naltrexone is not licenced for injection for treating opiate misuse in the United Kingdom and some other countries. This study examined the likelihood of accepting a naltrexone injection at release, and the relationship of this likelihood to other relevant variables. Method. Sixty-one male prisoners with a history of heroin use, who were approaching release from two prisons in the north-west of England, provided likelihood ratings for accepting a naltrexone injection if it were to have been available. Additional data was gathered regarding demographic and drug use histories, and also from psychometric instruments relevant to drug misuse and treatment preparedness. Results. Maximum likelihood ratings for accepting a naltrexone injection were recorded by 55.7% of the sample with only 9.8% indicating no likelihood of accepting an injection. Likelihood ratings were positively related to serving a current sentence for an acquisitive offence compared to drug related or violence offences, and negatively related to peak methadone dosages during the current sentence. Conclusions. Although naltrexone injections were not available to participants in this study, the findings suggest that the potential uptake for this intervention is sufficient to warrant a clinical trial with this population of British prisoners, with a view to potential changes to its current licencing status

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