The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a strong and energetic research culture. In the RAE2008, a proportion of the Department’s research was considered to be “world-leading” and other esteem indicator scores designated 70% of staff submitted to the Sports-Related studies Unit of Assessment as being “ internationally excellent” or “world leading”. Its research activity can be divided into two distinct groups – Sociology of Sport and Exercise and Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences – which focus on advancing knowledge through high quality research that is of benefit to numerous recipients as a consequence of its impact on the exercising and sporting populations, society, public policy, culture and quality of life. Staff and postgraduate research is positively developed in an energetic environment which provides the opportunity to disseminate and discuss research through Department research seminars. This facilitates an interdisciplinary approach to a number of research questions which have evolved from identified real life problems.

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  • Beyond the Rainbow: A Discourse Analysis of English Sports Organisations LGBT+ Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policies.

    Spurdens, Bradley; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester
    LGBT+ issues and advocacy are becoming more considered in various policies throughout society. However, sport is often described as a resistive space to such policies. This paper examines the effectiveness of current LGBT+ equality policies within English sports organisations. Specifically, 188 National Governing Body (NGB) policies were reviewed as well as 67 policies from other relevant organisations. We utilised a Foucauldian discourse analysis to identify the dominant narratives within the policies. From our analysis we suggest that what is explicit throughout the policies is a partial stasis. This stasis takes the form of organisations gesturing towards change but failing to implement it concretely in their policies. We describe this process using the concept of ‘equality-proofing’ where just enough is done by organisations to gesture towards change or equality. Finally, recommendations for future policy praxis are considered.
  • Weight loss practices and eating behaviours among female physique athletes: Acquiring the optimal body composition for competition

    Alwan, Nura; Moss, Samantha; Davies, Ian; Elliott-Sale, Kirsty; Enright, Kevin; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University (Public Library of Science, 2022-01-14)
    Little is known about weight loss practices and eating behaviours in female physique athletes. This study investigated the weight loss history, practices, and key influences during the pre-competition period in a large cohort of female physique athletes stratified by division and experience level. Eating attitudes and behaviours were assessed to identify whether athletes were at risk of developing an eating disorder. Using a cross-sectional research design, female physique athletes (n = 158) were recruited and completed an anonymous online self-reported survey consisting of two validated questionnaires: Rapid Weight Loss Questionnaire and Eating Attitudes Test-26. Irrespective of division or experience, female physique athletes used a combination of weight loss practices during the pre-competition phase. Gradual dieting (94%), food restriction (64%) and excessive exercise (84%), followed by body water manipulation via water loading (73%) were the most commonly used methods. Overall, 37% of female physique athletes were considered at risk of developing an eating disorder. Additionally, 42% of female physique athletes used two pathogenic weight control methods with 34% of Figure novice athletes indicating binge eating once a week or more. The coach (89%) and another athlete (73%) were identified as key influences on athletes' dieting practices and weight loss. The prevalence of athletes identified with disordered eating symptoms and engaging in pathogenic weight control methods is concerning. In future, female physique athletes should seek advice from registered nutritionists to optimise weight management practices and minimise the risk of developing an eating disorder.
  • ‘If you haven’t got the contacts… you have no choice’: A figurational examination of unpaid work in football scouting in men’s professional football in England.

    Griffiths, Jacob; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (Sage, 2022-03-09)
    Association football has been viewed as an industry with considerable lucrative career prospects; however, this has not prevented the use of unpaid staff throughout football in the UK. There has been increasing academic research regarding the professionalisation and commercialisation of football, yet there has been little acknowledgement of the role of those working in football in an unpaid capacity. Therefore, this paper examines the culture of unpaid work in football scouting, by exploring the motivations of 12 unpaid scouts at professional clubs, from a figurational perspective. Our findings suggest that scouts want to work in the industry because of their ‘love of the game’, in a ‘quest for excitement’ in their career. Unpaid work was in the pursuit of experience and contacts, the latter of which was highly valued in the industry. Football clubs are enclosed figurations and the scouts placed importance on developing interdependent social relations to gain entry to the industry, demonstrating how football may be perceived nepotistic. The likelihood of gaining a paid role directly from an unpaid position was low and therefore the decisions to continually accept unpaid work represented the notion of fantasy-laden thinking.
  • Raising the bar in sports performance research.

    Abt, Grant; orcid: 0000-0002-4079-9270; Jobson, Simon; orcid: 0000-0002-1377-2128; Morin, Jean-Benoit; orcid: 0000-0003-3808-6762; Passfield, Louis; orcid: 0000-0001-6223-162X; Sampaio, Jaime; orcid: 0000-0003-2335-9991; Sunderland, Caroline; orcid: 0000-0001-7484-1345; Twist, Craig; orcid: 0000-0001-6168-0378 (2022-01-06)
  • Bi-exponential modelling of W' reconstitution kinetics in trained cyclists

    Chorley, Alan; Bott, Richard P.; Marwood, Simon; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University (Springer, 2021-12-18)
    Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the individual W′ reconstitution kinetics of trained cyclists following repeated bouts of incremental ramp exercise, and to determine an optimal mathematical model to describe W′ reconstitution. Methods Ten trained cyclists (age 41 ± 10 years; mass 73.4 ± 9.9 kg; V˙O2max 58.6 ± 7.1 mL kg min−1) completed three incremental ramps (20 W min−1) to the limit of tolerance with varying recovery durations (15–360 s) on 5–9 occasions. W′ reconstitution was measured following the first and second recovery periods against which mono-exponential and bi-exponential models were compared with adjusted R2 and bias-corrected Akaike information criterion (AICc). Results A bi-exponential model outperformed the mono-exponential model of W′ reconstitution (AICc 30.2 versus 72.2), fitting group mean data well (adjR2 = 0.999) for the first recovery when optimised with parameters of fast component (FC) amplitude = 50.67%; slow component (SC) amplitude = 49.33%; time constant (τ)FC = 21.5 s; τSC = 388 s. Following the second recovery, W′ reconstitution reduced by 9.1 ± 7.3%, at 180 s and 8.2 ± 9.8% at 240 s resulting in an increase in the modelled τSC to 716 s with τFC unchanged. Individual bi-exponential models also fit well (adjR2 = 0.978 ± 0.017) with large individual parameter variations (FC amplitude 47.7 ± 17.8%; first recovery: (τ)FC = 22.0 ± 11.8 s; (τ)SC = 377 ± 100 s; second recovery: (τ)FC = 16.3.0 ± 6.6 s; (τ)SC = 549 ± 226 s). Conclusions W′ reconstitution kinetics were best described by a bi-exponential model consisting of distinct fast and slow phases. The amplitudes of the FC and SC remained unchanged with repeated bouts, with a slowing of W′ reconstitution confined to an increase in the time constant of the slow component.
  • ‘I didn’t realise the variety of people that are climbers’: A sociological exploration of young women’s propensities to engage in indoor rock climbing

    Hewitt, Jack R.; McEvilly, Nollaig; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2021-12-02)
    This paper focuses on the increasingly popular leisure pursuit of indoor rock climbing amongst young women in the UK. Adopting a Bourdieusian perspective, we draw on the concepts of field, habitus and capital to explore the factors associated with young women’s propensities to start, and continue, engaging in this activity. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews with 12 women (aged 18-25), who had been regularly engaging in indoor climbing for at least six months. Thematic analysis of the transcripts led to the construction of three themes: preconceptions of a masculine field; habitual feelings of intimidation and inferiority; and deploying and accruing ‘climbing capital’. The findings indicate that climbing’s deep-rooted classification as a ‘man’s sport’ initially facilitated feelings of intimidation and inferiority amongst the women, inhibiting their propensity to participate. However, having been introduced to climbing (often by men, such as their boyfriends or brothers), the women found that the social aspects of the activity, along with the sense of achievement they felt when participating, meant they re-evaluated their preconceptions of the field. Their access to various forms of capital facilitated their continued engagement in the field.
  • The content and load of preseason field-based training in a championship winning professional rugby league team: A case study

    Fairbank, Matthew; Highton, Jamie; Daniels, Matthew; Twist, Craig; University of Chester; St Helens RFC (Sage, 2022-01-07)
    This study reports on the content and periodisation of the preseason field-based training for a professional rugby league team. Thirty elite male rugby league players (26 ± 5 y, 180.9 ± 6.5 cm, 94 ± 9 kg) completed an 8-week preseason. Global positioning system devices and heart rate were used to monitor physical and physiological responses of different field-based training components (speed, conditioning, rugby skill and game-based training). Rugby skill training contributed the most to total distance covered, conditioning was the greatest contributor to high-speed running (>15 km.h-1) and game-based training provided the greatest high metabolic distance (>20 W.kg-1) and overall external load. Game-based training provided the greatest time with heart rate 80% estimated maximum. Field-based training comprised a 4-week increase in total distance, followed by a “regeneration week” in week 5 before a peak in load during week 6. The weekly pre-season cycle had lower loads on Monday and Thursday whereas Tuesday and Friday produced the highest loads. The preseason described herein adopted a progressive overload comprising a weekly undulating cycle. This study emphasises how skill and games-based training contributes significantly to the overall load of a professional rugby league team’s preseason with more traditional conditioning promoting high speed running load and high metabolic load.
  • The internal and external demands of multi-directional running and the subsequent effect on side cut biomechanics in male and female team sport athletes

    Smith, Grace; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; Oxendale, Chelsea L. (University of Chester, 2021-11)
    The aim of this thesis was to examine the physiological and biomechanical responses to multi-directional running in male and female team sport athletes. Chapter 4 compared measures of energy expenditure derived from indirect calorimetry and microtechnology, as well as high power and high-speed activity, during linear and multi-directional running. Measured energy expenditure was higher during the multidirectional trial (9.0 ± 2.0 cf. 5.9 ± 1.4 kcal.min-1), whereas estimated energy expenditure was higher during the linear trial (8.7 ± 2.1 cf. 6.5 ± 1.5 kcal.min-1). Whilst measures of energy expenditure were strongly related (r > 0.89, p < 0.001), metabolic power underestimated energy expenditure by 52% (95% LoA: 20-93%) and 34% (95% LoA: 12-59%) during the multi-directional and linear trial, respectively. Time at high power was 41% (95% LoA: 4-92%) greater than time at high speed during the multidirectional trial, whereas time at high power was 5% (95% LoA: -17-9%) lower than time at high speed during the linear trial. Chapter 5 explored the internal and external responses to linear and multi-directional running, specifically examining if measures of high speed and high power reflect changes in internal load. High speed distance (p < 0.001) was higher during the linear trial, whereas time at high power (p = 0.046) and accelerations performed (p < 0.001) were higher during the multi-directional trial. Summated HR (-0.8; ±0.5, p = 0.003), B[La] (-0.9; ±0.6, p = 0.002) and RPE (-0.7; ±0.6, p = 0.024) were higher during the multi-directional trial. There was a large difference in the ratio of high speed:summated HR (1.5; ±0.5, p = 0.001) and high speed:total V̇O2 (2.6; ±1.2, p < 0.001) between linear and multi-directional running, whilst high power:summated HR (0.3; ±0.5, p = 0.246) and high power:total V̇O2 (0.1;±0.8, p = 0.727) were similar. A small decrement in knee flexor torque was observed after the multi-directional (0.4; ±0.4, p = 0.017) and linear (0.2; ±0.3, p = 0.077) trials, respectively. Collectively, Chapters 4 and 5 reveal that more directional changes induce a greater internal response, despite reducing the high-speed distance someone is likely to cover. High power better reflects internal responses to multidirectional running than high speed, but microtechnology cannot be used to determine the absolute energy cost of multi-directional running. Chapters 6 and 7 explored alterations in side cut biomechanics in males and females immediately (Chapter 6) and 48 h (Chapter 7) after multi-directional running. In Chapter 6, 20 m sprint time was higher (ES: 0.65 – 1.17, p < 0.001) after multidirectional running, indicating the presence of fatigue. Males and females displayed trivial to moderate changes in trunk flexion (0.16 – 0.28, p = 0.082), peak hip internal rotation (0.46 – 0.54, p = 0.090), and knee flexion (0.17 – 0.41, p = 0.055) and higher knee abduction (0.40 – 0.51, p = 0.045) and internal rotation (0.59 – 0.81, p = 0.038) angular velocities, during the weight acceptance phase of side cuts after multidirectional running. Peak hip extensor (0.19 – 0.29, p = 0.055) and knee internal rotation moment (0.22 – 0.34, p = 0.052) displayed trivial to small increases after multidirectional running, whereas peak hip external rotation (0.44 – 0.57, p = 0.011), knee extensor (0.33 – 0.45, p = 0.003) moment and knee to hip extensor ratio (0.15 – 0.45, p = 0.005) were lower. In addition, IGRF displayed trivial to moderate changes (0.04 – 0.79, p = 0.066) and lateral GRF was lower (0.29 – 0.85, p = 0.002) after multidirectional running. In Chapter 7, CK concentration (2.4 – 4.94, p = 0.009), perceived muscle soreness (4.2 – 4.8, p < 0.001) and 20 m sprint time (0.6 – 0.9, p < 0.001) were higher 48 h after multi-directional running, indicating the presence of EIMD. Males and females displayed trivial to moderate changes in peak torso flexion (0.13 – 0.35, p = 0.055), hip internal rotation angular velocity (0.43 – 0.64, p = 0.073) and more knee internal rotation (0.31 – 0.5, p = 0.009) 48 h after multi-directional running. A tendency for an interaction between sex and time was noted for peak knee flexion (p = 0.068) and internal rotation angular velocity (p =0.057), with males only displaying a moderate increase. Males and females also displayed a lower peak knee extensor moment (0.43 – 0.56, p = 0.001) and a small increase in extensor moment (0.21 –0.46, p = 0.066) and knee external rotation moment (0.34 – 0.78, p = 0.062). An interaction between sex and time was noted for IGRF (p = 0.037); there was a large increase in IGRF at 48 h in females (1.4) but not males (0.08). For the first time, these data highlight multi-directional running which elicits fatigue and EIMD causes alterations in side cut biomechanics which can persist for at least 48 h. Specifically, both males and females performed side cuts in a more extended position, with higher peak angular velocities, and peak knee external rotation moments and less knee extensor moments both immediately and 48 h after multi-directional running.
  • Sporting celebrity and conspicuous consumption: A case study of professional footballers in England

    Law, Graeme; orcid: 0000-0001-5047-6208; email: g.law@yorksj.ac.uk; Bloyce, Daniel; orcid: 0000-0003-4114-3588; Waddington, Ivan (SAGE Publications, 2020-11-01)
    Association football is a lucrative sport with high financial rewards for top players. However, there has been little empirical work on the lifestyles of professional footballers. Based on interviews with 29 current and former male professional footballers, this paper examines the relationship between money, status and image management within and outside the changing room. The concept of conspicuous consumption is used to help explain players’ attitudes to money, their relationships with others within the football environment and how they advertise their earnings in an environment where open discussion of wages is seen as taboo. Our findings suggest that professional footballers are expected to display a particular image of the professional footballer and this constrains players, even those on lower incomes, to buy expensive clothes and accessories in order to be accepted by others. Players who do not conform to the expected image may be subject to sanctions by their teammates.
  • Sleep disruption and depression, stress and anxiety levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) during the lockdown measures for COVID-19 in the UK

    Kite, Chris; Atkinson, Lou; McGregor, Gordon; Clark, Cain C T; Brown, James E; Kyrou, Ioannis; Randeva, Harpal S; University of Chester; Aston University; University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire National Health Service (NHS) Trust; Coventry University; University of Warwick (Frontiers Media, 2021-06-04)
    Background: Lockdown measures have been enforced globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the comorbidity burden in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), these lockdown measures may have a particularly negative impact on sleep health, quality of life (QoL), and depression/stress levels in this population. The aim of this study was to explore whether such potential problems were present in women with PCOS during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. Methods: UK women with PCOS were recruited through social media into a cross-sectional study during the COVID-19 lockdown. The study survey was delivered online, and included demographic and COVID-19 relevant questions, as well as validated questionnaires/scales, namely the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and PCOSQOL questionnaire. Results: Three hundred and thirty-three women with PCOS [median age: 30.0 (9.0) years] were recruited. Participants were dichotomized based on responses regarding the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on their sleep [negative (N = 242) vs. no/positive (N = 91) impact]. No differences were noted between groups regarding age, time since PCOS diagnosis, body mass index, or number of comorbidities. Based on the ISI, 44.2% of participants reporting a negative impact on sleep exhibited at least moderately severe clinical insomnia. Compared to those who reported no/positive effect on sleep, the participants reporting a negative impact on sleep also reported poorer QoL, based on the total PCOSQOL score, with a greater impact of PCOS and poorer mood in the corresponding PCOSQOL domains. Based on the DASS-21, the latter also had statistically higher depression and stress levels compared to the former. Finally, for this cohort significant inverse correlations were noted between the ISI and PCOSQOL scores (total and domain scores), whilst the DASS-21 and ISI scores were positively correlated (all p-values <0.001). Conclusion: The majority of recruited UK women with PCOS reported that the COVID-19 lockdown had a negative impact on their sleep, which was also associated with impaired QoL and higher depression/stress levels. Whilst further research is required, women with PCOS should be considered a vulnerable population that may experience an adverse impact on sleep, QoL and mental health well-being due to lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviour due to enforced covid-19-related lockdown and movement restrictions: A protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Kite, Chris; Lagojda, Lukasz; Clark, Cain C T; Uthman, Olalekan; Denton, Francesca; McGregor, Gordon; Harwood, Amy E; Atkinson, Lou; Broom, David R; Kyrou, Ioannis; et al. (MDPI, 2021-05-14)
    Prolonged lockdown/restriction measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have reportedly impacted opportunities to be physically active for a large proportion of the population in affected countries globally. The exact changes to physical activity and sedentary behaviours due to these measures have not been fully studied. Accordingly, the objective of this PROSPERO-registered systematic review is to evaluate the available evidence on physical activity and sedentary behaviours in the general population during COVID-19-related lockdown/restriction measures, compared to prior to restrictions being in place. Defined searches to identify eligible studies published in English, from November 2019 up to the date of submission, will be conducted using the following databases: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, PSYCinfo, Coronavirus Research Database, Public Health Database, Publicly Available Content Database, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar. The applied inclusion criteria were selected to identify observational studies with no restrictions placed on participants, with outcomes regarding physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour during lockdown/restriction measures, and with comparisons for these outcomes to a time when no such measures were in place. Where appropriate, results from included studies will be pooled and effect estimates will be presented in random effects meta-analyses. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first systematic review to evaluate one complete year of published data on the impact of COVID-19-related lockdown/restriction measures on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Thus, this systematic review and meta-analysis will constitute the most up-to-date synthesis of published evidence on any such documented changes, and so will comprehensively inform clinical practitioners, public health agencies, researchers, policymakers and the general public regarding the effects of lockdown/restriction measures on both physical activity and sedentary behaviour.
  • Deteriorations in physical qualities during a 10-week unsupervised off-season period in academy rugby union players

    Twist, Craig; Williams, Jack; Dobbin, Nick; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University
    Purpose: To determine the changes in physical qualities of academy rugby union players over a 10-week unsupervised off-season period. Methods: Body mass, jump height, sprint performance, and intermittent running (30:15 IFT) of 64 academy rugby union players (age = 17.2 ± 0.4 y) were recorded before and after the off-season. Results: Changes in body mass (+1.4 ± 1.3 kg), countermovement jump (-2.2 ± 1.2 cm), squat jump (-1.5 ± 1.8 cm), 10 m sprint (+0.06 ± 0.05 s), 40 m sprint (+0.13 ± 0.11 s) and 30:15 IFT (-0.8 ± 0.8 kmh-1) were observed (P < 0.001, d = -1.77 to 0.47). Only changes in body mass were greater in forwards than backs (P = 0.036, d = 0.46). Players with higher end-of-season body mass, squat jump and 30:15 IFT had greater off-season changes (P = < 0.001 to 0.044; d = 0.63 to 0.94), whilst the pre-post difference in body mass influenced CMJ (P = 0.005, d = 0.75) and 10 m momentum change (P <0.001, d = 1.61). Conclusion: Understanding the individuality of the changes in physical qualities of academy rugby union players during the off-season is important to ensure players return safely to pre-season training loads.
  • Physiological characteristics of female soccer players and health and performance considerations: A narrative review

    Randell, Rebecca; Clifford, Thomas; Drust, Barry; Moss, Samantha; Unnithan, Viswanath; De Ste Croix, Mark; Datson, Naomi; Martin, Daniel; Mayho, Hannah; Carter, James; et al. (Springer, 2021-04-12)
    Female soccer has seen a substantial rise in participation, as well as increased financial support from governing bodies over the last decade. Thus, there is an onus on researchers and medical departments to develop a better understanding of the physical characteristics and demands, and the health and performance needs of female soccer players. In this review we discuss the current research, as well as the knowledge gaps, of six major topics: physical demands, talent identification, body composition, injury risk and prevention, health, and nutrition. Data on female talent identification are scarce, and future studies need to elucidate the influence of relative age and maturation selection across age groups. Regarding the physical demands, more research is needed on the pattern of high-intensity sprinting during matches and the contribution of soccer-specific movements. Injuries are not uncommon in female soccer players, but targeting intrinsically modifiable factors with injury prevention programmes can reduce injury rates. The anthropometric and physical characteristics of female players are heterogenous and setting specific targets should be discouraged in youth and sub-elite players. Menstrual cycle phase may influence performance and injury risk; however, there are few studies in soccer players. Nutrition plays a critical role for health and performance and ensuring adequate energy intake remains a priority. Despite recent progress, there is considerably less research in female than male soccer players. Many gaps in our understanding of how best to develop and manage the health and performance of female soccer players remain.
  • Differences in the vertical and horizontal force-velocity profile between academy and senior professional rugby league players, and the implications for strength and speed training.

    Dobbin, N; Cushman, S; Clarke, J; Batsford, J; Twist, C; Manchester Metropolitan University; Reasheath College; England RFU; Salford Red Devils Rugby League Football Club; University of Chester (Edizioni Minerva Medica, 2021-03-26)
    BACKGROUND: This study compared the vertical and horizontal force-velocity (FV) profile of academy and senior rugby league players. METHODS: Nineteen senior and twenty academy players from one professional club participated in this study. The vertical FV profile was determined using a series of loaded squat jumps (0.4 to 80 kg) with jump height recorded. The horizontal FV profile involved a 30-m over-ground sprint with split times recorded at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 m. Theoretical maximal force (F0), velocity (V0) and power (Pmax), optimal F0 and V0, and activity specific variables (e.g. vertical FV imbalance) were determined. RESULTS: Absolute F0 and Pmax from the vertical and horizontal profile were moderately different between groups (standardised mean difference (SMD) = 0.64-1.20, P <0.001-0.026), whilst for V0, differences were small (SMD = 0.33-0.41, P = 0.149-0.283). Differences in relative F0, Pmax and optimal F0 during both assessments were trivial to moderate (SMD = 0.03-0.82, P = 0.021-0.907). CONCLUSION: These results highlight senior and academy players present with different FV profiles and highlight some potential developmental opportunities for senior and academy rugby league players that sport scientists, strength and conditioning and rugby coaches can implement when designing programmes and considering long-term athlete development.
  • What is PE and who should teach it? Undergraduate PE students’ views and experiences of the outsourcing of PE in the UK

    McEvilly, Nollaig; University of Chester
    This paper investigates beginning BSc Physical Education (PE) students’ views and experiences of the outsourcing of PE in the UK. Outsourcing involves the provision of PE by external providers such as sports coaches. PE in the UK (and other neoliberal Western contexts) is a site in which outsourcing has become increasingly normalised. I anticipated that, as first year undergraduates, the participants would have relatively recent experience of outsourcing as pupils/students (i.e. experience of receiving outsourced PE provision). Data were generated through written narratives (n = 16), completed on the participants’ first day at university, and follow-up semi-structured interviews (n = 10). Drawing on a Foucaultian theoretical framework, I employed a poststructural type of discourse analysis concerned with analysing patterns in language. Referring to PE, the participants drew heavily on a sport discourse, often conflating PE and sport and emphasising the necessity of teachers having knowledge and experience of sports content and skills, as well as a pedagogical discourse (and, to a lesser extent, a ‘healthy lifestyles’ discourse). The participants had a range of experiences of outsourcing in PE, particularly at primary level. They were in favour of primary PE being taught by either specialist PE teachers, or sports coaches (rather than generalist teachers alone). They spoke positively about their experiences of external provision at both primary and secondary school. While few critical comments were provided, participants raised concerns about external providers’ pedagogical knowledge, and some questioned if teachers might feel devalued by external providers being brought in to teach aspects of their curriculum. In general, while the participants recognised teachers’ pedagogical expertise, they also valued external providers’ perceived content knowledge and sporting experience. As such, by conflating PE and sport, they considered that PE should be taught by sport ‘experts’ and that external providers could enhance schools’ internal capabilities.
  • Low body fat does not influence recovery after muscle-damaging lower-limb plyometrics in young male team sport athletes

    Fernandes, John; Lamb, Kevin; Twist, Craig; University of Chester
    Aim: This study assessed the influence of fat mass to fat-free mass ratio (FM:FFM) on recovery from plyometric exercise. Method: After assessment of body composition, 20 male team sport players (age 20.7 1.1 years; body mass 77.1 11.5 kg) were divided into low- (n = 10; 0.11 0.03) and normal- (n = 10; 0.27 0.09) fat groups based on FM:FFM ratio. Thereafter, participants completed measurements of knee extensor torque at 60 and 240 s􀀀1, countermovement jump flight time, plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity and perceived muscle soreness (VAS) before and at 0, 24 and 48 h after 10 10 maximal plyometric vertical jumps. Results: Evidence of muscle damage was confirmed by alterations in VAS, peak torque at 60 and 240 s􀀀1 and flight time at 0, 24 and 48 h after plyometric exercise (P < 0.05). CK was increased at 0 and 24 h (P < 0.05) but returned to baseline values by 48 h. No time by group e ects were observed for any of the dependent variables (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The current findings indicate that while muscle damage was present after plyometric exercise, the magnitude was similar across the two body composition groups. Applied practitioners can allow for a similar recovery time after plyometric exercise in those with low and normal body fat.
  • High speed running and repeated sprinting in male academy football players

    Twist, Craig; Gibson, Neil V (University of Chester, 2019-08)
    High speed running and repeated sprinting are component parts of training and match play among academy football players. Despite players having to self-pace running speed and the intervening recovery periods during match play, the way these qualities are trained and tested are often externally regulated with specific work-to-rest ratios and prescribed intensities. The aims of this thesis were to investigate high speed running separated by externally regulated and self-selected recovery periods under conditions that replicate training and testing practices analogous with football. Under controlled conditions replicating training practices common amongst academy players, Chapter 4 showed that high speed running and repeated sprinting separated by externally regulated recovery periods resulted in running speeds that differed by a smaller magnitude than those used in their prescription. These data question the fidelity of this approach and the ability of players to replicate prescribed running speeds in the field. Data from Chapter 4 also demonstrated that neuromuscular function was likely reduced 14 hours after high speed running (-5.6%; ES –0.44 ± 0.32; P = 0.01) and combination running (-6.8%; ES -0.53 ± 0.47; P = 0.07) . During 10 x 30 m repeated sprints there was a most likely higher percentage decrement (65%; 0.36 ± 0.21; P = 0.12) and most likely increased physiological load evidenced by between sprint heart rate recovery (-58.9%; ES -1.10 ± 0.72; P = 0.05) when sprints were interspersed by self-selected compared to externally regulated recovery periods (Chapter 5). Performance decrements were, however, attenuated in more mature players (Chapter 6). When considering biological maturity, prePHV players displayed a lower percentage decrement (2.1 ± 1.1%) than post-PHV (3.2 ± 2.1%) players across all sprints when recovery periods were externally regulated (37%; ES 0.41 ± 0.51; P = 0.03). When self-selected recovery periods were used, percentage decrement was lower in the post-PHV group. In Chapter 7, ratings of perceived exertion were used to guide 4 running speed and recovery distribution during a high speed running test performed to volitional exhaustion. Peak running speed in the self-paced (21.8 ± 1.4 km·h-1 ) was likely (4.1%: ES 0.63 ± 0.43; P = 0.03) higher than in the externally regulated YYIRT1 (20.9 ± 1.1 km·h-1); however, average running speed in the self-paced (13.5 ± 1.2 km·h-1) was likely (6.5%; ES 0.67 ± 0.51; P = 0.05) slower (12.7 ± 1.6 km·h-1). There was a moderate difference in total between shuttle recovery periods (13.3%; ES 0.58 ± 0.81; P = 0.16) in the self-paced (552 ± 132 s) compared to externally regulated versions (634 ± 125 s) of the YYIRT1. When exposed to running drills separated by self-selected and externally regulated recovery periods, academy footballers allocate insufficient recovery to preserve running performance and are unable to differentiate between sprinting and high speed running when prescribed according to specific speeds (Chapter 4) and subjective ratings of exertion (Chapter 7). Prescribing self-paced high intensity running interspersed with self-selected recovery periods results in higher physiological loads when compared to externally regulated recovery intermissions and therefore should be considered during training programmes that target adaptations in aerobic capacity. Despite this, where coaches are using high speed running programmes to improve speed and/or speed endurance, externally regulated recoveries are likely to result in the preservation of performance across the repetition range and, as such, are more beneficial to the intended adaptation.
  • Development of a reliable and valid kata performance analysis template

    Augustovicova, Dusana; Argajova, Jaroslava; Rupcik, Lubos; Thomson, Edward; University of Chester (Piteşti Editura Universităţii din Piteşti, 2020-12-30)
    Abstract With the new kata evaluation procedure, examination of the underpinning features of successful kata performance appears warranted.The purpose of the study was to create a valid and reliable analysis template for the assessment of the movement characteristics of competitive kata. Following the creation, and scrutiny, of action variables and operational definitions, three observers were provided with the operational definitions of the performance indicators, example kata clips and instructions detailing the method of ‘tagging’ using a computerized analysis software. Intra- and inter-rater reliability assessment and median sign tests, and Cohen’s Kappa coefficient were conducted. There were no significant differences (p ˃ 0.05) between the observer’s and analyst’s test-retest observations for all the performance indicators. The intra-rater reliability was found to be “almost perfect” in all raters (LA K = 0.99 [95% CI: 0.98-0.99]; PA K = 0.94 [95% CI: 0.93-0.95]; KR K = 0.94 [95% CI: 0.93-0.95]) and the inter-rater Kappa coefficients were moderate (K = 0.55 ± 0.05). This study has demonstrated that a novel performance analysis template yields reliable observations of the key movements during kata and the procedures could therefore be used to objectively appraise features of successful performance.
  • Aging and Recovery After Resistance-Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage: Current Evidence and Implications for Future Research

    Fernandes, John F. T.; Lamb, Kevin L; Norris, Jonathan P; Moran, Jason; Drury, Benjamin; Borges, Nattai; Twist, Craig; University of Chester; Hartpury University; University of Essex; The University of Newcastle (Australia); Derbyshire County Cricket Club
    Aging is anecdotally associated with a prolonged recovery from resistance training, though current literature remains equivocal. This brief review considers the effects of resistance training on indirect markers of muscle damage and recovery (i.e., muscle soreness, blood markers, and muscle strength) in older males. With no date restrictions, four databases were searched for articles relating to aging, muscle damage, and recovery. Data from 11 studies were extracted for review. Of these, four reported worse symptoms in older compared with younger populations, while two have observed the opposite, and the remaining studies (n = 6) proposed no differences between age groups. It appears that resistance training can be practiced in older populations without concern for impaired recovery. To improve current knowledge, researchers are urged to utilize more ecologically valid muscle-damaging bouts and investigate the mechanisms which underpin the recovery of muscle soreness and strength after exercise in older populations.
  • Perfectionism Among Young Female Competitive Irish Dancers: Prevalence and Relationship with Injury Responses

    Pentith, Rebecca; Moss, Samantha; Lamb, Kevin; Edwards, Carmel; University of Chester
    The present study investigated the prevalence of perfectionism among young competitive Irish dancers and examined the relationships between three different types of perfectionistic tendencies and coping strategies ultilised when experiencing injury. Sixty-eight female dancers (Mage = 14 ± 2.3 years) completed the Child-Adolescent Perfectionism Scale and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire, alongside a record of injuries incurred during their championship careers. Participants reported 189 injuries, mostly involving lower extremities. Seventy-nine percent of dancers reported perfectionistic tendencies (mixed perfectionism 40%, pure self-oriented perfectionism 29%, pure socially prescribed perfectionism 10%), and most frequently adopted planful problem-solving, seeking social support, distancing, and self-controlling strategies to cope with injury. Perfectionism and the utilisation of two coping strategies were found to be significantly (p = .03) related; planful problem-solving was used typically ‘quite a bit or a great deal’ by the mixed perfectionism group, but only ‘somewhat’ by the non-perfectionism group, whereas confrontive coping was typically not used by the non-perfectionism group, but was used ‘somewhat’ by the mixed perfectionism group. Given the high frequency and intensity of perfectionism and the simulaneous employment of problem- and emotion-focused strategies when coping with injuries, it is suggested that practitioners acknowledge such tendencies when supporting their athletes’ in order to reduce the likely negative psychological impact.

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