• Delivering a sports participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: evidence from sport development workers in Birmingham and their experiences of a double-bind

      Lovett, Emily; Bloyce, Daniel; Smith, Andy; Edge Hill University; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2020-03-11)
      Legacy promises from London 2012 meant that those working in sport in local, non-host areas in Britain were expected to facilitate more sporting opportunities for local citizens. Legacy preparations occurred in the context of many other constraints that stemmed from Government budget cuts and provision of leisure-time sport and other leisure activities. This paper presents new evidence on a significantly under-researched area of leisure studies, namely: the experiences of those delivering leisure-sport opportunities in a non-host city and how they responded to national legacy promises. Using Elias’s concept of the double-bind, we explain the ‘crisis situation’ in which some local sports workers were enmeshed and how their acceptance of ‘fantasy-laden beliefs’ of expected demonstration effects from mega-events exacerbated their ‘crisis’ (Elias, 2007). We also draw upon participants’ post-Games reflections to consider how future host nations may wish to leverage greater leisure-sporting legacies from a mega-event.
    • Developing children: developmental discourses underpinning physical education at three Scottish preschool settings

      McEvilly, Nollaig; Atencio, Matthew; Verheul, Martine; University of Chester; California State University; The University of Edinburgh (Taylor & Francis, 2015-11-20)
      This paper reports on one aspect of a study that investigated the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschool settings in Scotland. We employed a poststructural type of discourse analysis to examine the developmental discourses the 14 participating practitioners drew on when talking about ‘physical education’ at preschools, during semi-structured interviews. Three main discourses around the notion of developmentalism were identified during analysis of the adults’ interview data: (1) preschool children learn and develop through play; (2) preschool children should have choices and freedom; and (3) sometimes more structured activities are needed. The practitioners were heavily invested in developmental ‘truths’ about how preschool children learn and develop. They were in agreement that play is a vital element of preschool education, and that, consequently, children should be provided with opportunities for exploration and making choices. However, they also talked about sometimes ‘needing’ to restrict children’s freedom and provide more adult-led activities. Our findings illustrate the strength of developmental discourses at the three settings. We suggest that preschool practitioners, as well as policy-makers and researchers, should critically reflect on the effects of taken-for-granted developmental discourses, and move beyond thinking in terms of binaries such as ‘physical education versus play’ or ‘structure versus freedom’.
    • The development and effectiveness of perceptual training programme for coaches and judges in gymnastics

      Lafferty, Moira E.; Page, Jennifer L. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-03)
      This thesis investigated the development and effectiveness of a perceptual training programmes for coaches and judges in gymnastics. Study one examined the variability of visual search for coaches and judges when viewing handspring vaults. The study found that there were no significant differences between the mean number of fixations, fixation duration and number of areas fixated across two time-points four weeks apart. In addtion, the natural range of variation of the number of fixations, fixation duration and number of area fixated was found to be 9/7%, 5.7% and 14.2% (expressed as coefficient of variation). Study two examined differences between expert and novice gymnastics coaches' and judges' visual search. Analysis of gaze behaviour showed that experts make significantly more fixations of significantly longer duration to significantly fewer areas than novies. There was no significant difference between the outcome juddgements made by the expert and novice coaches and judges. These findings suggest that visual search may be a contributing factor to expert performance in judgement formation. Study three explored the visual search pattern and knowledge used by expert coaches and judges when making decisions. Data were gathered through the used of eye-tracking and semi-structered interviews. Analyses established that experts tend to fixate on the torso and shoulders of gymnasts throughout the vault, and that there are three to four specific areas which are explored during each phase of a vault. Study four examined the effectiveness of a perceptual training programme for a perceptual traning and control group. Fixation number, fixation duration, number of areas fixated and outcome judgement were recorded at baseline, immediently after the programme and four weeks after it had been withdrawn. 2 (control vs. perceputal training) x 3 (intervention phase) ANOVA's with repeated measures showed that the perceptual training group produced significantly less error at the retention stage for number of fixations (F (2,6) = 12.57, p = 0.01, effect size n2 = .81), at the post-test for fixation duration (F (2,6) = 7.49, p = 0.02, effect size n2 = .71). However post-hoc analyses could not detect the difference for number of areas fixated. In study five, four participants that took part in the experiental condition watched a perceptual training DVD twice a week for six weeks. The case study data showed that the expert and novices who watched the perceptual training DVD made changes to their visual search variables and judgements and therefore became more analogous to the experts from study three to baseline to the post-test. However, only the novices retained the beneficial effects of the intervention. To conclude, this programme of research examinaed the development and effectiveness of a perceptual training programee for coaches' and judges' in gymnastics. This thesis suggests that a perceptual training programme based on the visual search and declarative knowledge of expert coaches and judges is effective at altering visual search and enhancing decision making for noveice coaches and judges. This research programme therefore promotes the use of perceptual training programmes for novice coaches and judges in sport.
    • The development of a novel rugby league match simulation protocol

      Twist, Craig; Nicholas, Ceri; Lamb, Kevin L.; Sykes, Dave (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)University of Chester, 2011-12)
      The effectiveness of recovery interventions following prolonged multiple sprint team sports matches has rarely been studied despite the potential for exercise-induced muscle damage to adversely affect training in the days following games. The lack of research related to this topic is probably owing to the wide variability that exists in the movement demands of players between matches and the impact that this has on the subsequent rate and magnitude of recovery which makes it difficult to detect meaningful differences when conducting research with small sample sizes. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to develop a rugby league-specific match simulation protocol that replicates the movement demands, physiological responses and subsequent recovery from matches in order to study the effectiveness of recovery interventions. Hence, two time-motion analysis studies were conducted using a semi-automated image recognition system to inform the development of the rugby league match simulation protocol (RLMSP). Whilst mean total distance covered over the duration of the match was 8,503 m, ball in play and stoppage work-to-rest ratios were 1:6.9 and 1:87.4, respectively, for all players. Furthermore, a significant decline in high and very high intensity running locomotive rates were observed between the initial and final 20 min periods of the match. Thus a RLMSP was devised to replicate the overall movement demands, intra-match fatigue and recovery from a senior elite rugby league match. Not only was there a low level of variability in the movement demands during the RLMSP over consecutive trials, but with the exception of creatine kinase, the rate and magnitude of recovery following the RLMSP was similar to that that has been published following competitive matches. Therefore, the RLMSP devised in this thesis may be a more appropriate research tool for assessing the effectiveness of recovery interventions following match related exercise than following actual match play.
    • The development of a reliable amateur boxing performance analysis template

      Thomson, Edward; Lamb, Kevin L.; Nicholas, Ceri; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2012-11-02)
      The aim of this study was to devise a valid performance analysis system for the assessment of the movement characteristics associated with competitive amateur boxing and assess its reliability using analysts of varying experience of the sport and performance analysis. Key performance indicators to characterise the demands of an amateur contest (offensive, defensive and feinting) were developed and notated using a computerised notational analysis system. Data were subjected to intra- and inter-observer reliability assessment using median sign tests and calculating the proportion of agreement within predetermined limits of error. For all performance indicators, intra-observer reliability revealed non-significant differences between observations (P > 0.05) and high agreement was established (80-100%) regardless of whether exact or the reference value of ±1 was applied. Inter-observer reliability was less impressive for both analysts (amateur boxer and experienced analyst), with the proportion of agreement ranging from 33-100%. Nonetheless, there was no systematic bias between observations for any indicator (P > 0.05), and the proportion of agreement within the reference range (±1) was 100%. A reliable performance analysis template has been developed for the assessment of amateur boxing performance and is available for use by researchers, coaches and athletes to classify and quantify the movement characteristics of amateur boxing.
    • The development of an amateur boxing simulation protocol

      Thomson, Edward (University of Chester, 2015)
      There is a dearth of research attempting to quantify the external (physical) and internal (physiological) demands of amateur boxing performance. Therefore, the purpose of this programme of research was to investigate the external demands of amateur boxing performance, and subsequently, develop a sport-specific simulation protocol that could replicate these demands and the accompanying physiological responses while appraising the reliability and validity of the attempt.To achieve this it was necessary initially to identify key offensive and defensive performance indicators and assess the intra- and inter-observer reliability with which such actions could be quantified. Intra-observer reliability was deemed excellent with high agreement (>92%) for all actions identified. Inter-observer reliability was less impressive (>75%), though remained consistently high nevertheless. Subsequently, research utilising this template quantified the offensive and defensive external demands and effectiveness (i.e. frequency of actions deemed successful) according to the independent and interactive influences of contest outcome, weight class and ability using post-contest video analysis. Main effects, two- and three-way interactions were established when appraising the frequency of actions and their outcomes in relation to the independent variables. Whilst the ability of the boxers evidenced the most prominent impact, contest outcome and weight class remained important influences for most actions. Moreover, substantial (CV >30%) within-group variation was evidenced implicating the role of boxer ‘styles’ and strategies in modifying the demands. The offensive and defensive demands were then supplemented with Global Positioning System (GPS) analyses of the boxers’ sport-specific time-displacement movements. Having established the GPS’s reliability and validity for assessing the boxingmovements, it was observed that boxers typically moved a distance of 35.9 m·min-1 at an average speed of 0.6 m·s-1. Such data was amalgamated with the technical demands to produce a boxing-specific simulation protocol that was reflective of the average competitive demand and thus had the potential to be a boxing conditioning and fitness test (BOXFIT). Despite providing the most valid external demand to-date, owing to confounding influences and within-group dispersion, application of the typical external demand was shown to afford only an approximation of the actual demands in all boxers. As such an issue is characteristic of simulation protocols, the BOXFIT was still employed to evaluate the physiological response and appraise the associated reliability and validity. The internal demand was characterised by a high aerobic cardiopulmonary response (peak heart rate > 189 b·min-1; peak 𝑉̇O2 > 55 ml·kg-1·min-1) coupled with a marked indication of anaerobic energy provision (blood lactate = 4.6 ± 1.3 mmol·l-1). The reliability of the physiological responses elicited by BOXFIT performance was generally sufficient to enable the detection of moderate effects (i.e. 0.6 x pooled SD) and practically relevant changes in physiological and physical performance owing to training and nutritional interventions. However, the BOXFIT-induced responses underestimated selected markers of internal load (e.g. Mean heart rate ≈ -4.5%), questioning its validity. Thus, application of the average external demand typically approximated, rather than replicated, the actual physiology of boxing. With modifications, the validity of the external demands and internal response could be improved. The BOXFIT might therefore be used as part of a boxer’s conditioning, providing a sport-specific means of training and offers an ergonomic framework to assess the impact of systematic, intervention-based changes in boxing-specific exercise physiology.
    • Development of anthropometric characteristics in professional Rugby League players: Is there too much emphasis on the pre-season period?

      Morehen, James; Clarke, Jon; Batsford, Jake; Highton, Jamie; Erskine, Robert; Morton, James; Close, Graeme
      Rugby League is a team sport requiring players to experience large impact collisions, thus requiring high amounts of muscle mass. Many players (academy and senior) strive to increase muscle mass during the pre-season, however, quantification of changes during this period have not been thoroughly investigated. We therefore assessed changes in body-composition using Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) in eleven academy players over three successive pre-seasons and ninety-three senior players from four different European Super League clubs prior to, and at the end of, a pre-season training period. There was no meaningful change in lean mass of the academy players during any of the pre-season periods (year 1 = 72.3 ± 7.1–73.2 ± 7.2kg; ES 0.05, year 2 = 74.4 ± 6.9–75.5 ± 6.9kg; ES 0.07, year 3 = 75.9 ± 6.7–76.8 ± 6.6kg; ES 0.06) with small changes only occurring over the three-year study period (72.3–75.9kg; ES = 0.22). Senior players showed trivial changes in all characteristics during the pre-season period (total mass = 95.1–95.0kg; ES −0.01, lean mass = 74.6–75.1kg; ES 0.07, fat mass = 13.6–12.9kg; ES −0.17, body fat percentage = 14.8–14.1%; ES −0.19). These data suggest that academy players need time to develop towards profiles congruent with senior players. Moreover, once players reach senior level, body-composition changes are trivial during the pre-season and therefore teams may need to individualise training for players striving to gain muscle mass by reducing other training loads.
    • Disability and inclusion policy towards physical education and youth sport

      Smith, Andy; University of Chester (Routledge, 2008-12-08)
      This book chapter discusses UK governmental policy relating to social inclusion in sport, particuarly using of physical education and youth sport to promote the inclusion of young people with disabilities and/or special educational needs in mainstream schools.
    • Disability, sport and society: An introduction

      Thomas, Nigel; Smith, Andy; Staffordshire University; University of Chester (Routledge, 2008-12-05)
      This book discusses key themes in disability sport including disability theory and policy, the development of disability sport, disability sports in schools, elite disability sport (including the Paralymics), and media involvement in disability sport.
    • The discriminant validity of standardised testing battery and its ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical characteristics between youth, academy and senior professional rugby league players

      Dobbin, Nicholas; Moss, Samantha L.; Highton, Jamie M.; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2019-01-31)
      Purpose: To assess a standardised testing battery’s ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical qualities between youth, academy and senior rugby league players, and determine the discriminant validity of the battery. Methods: A total of 729 rugby league players from multiple clubs within England categorised as youth (n = 235), academy (n = 362) and senior (n = 132) players completed a standardised testing battery that included the assessment of anthropometric and physical characteristics during preseason. Data was analysed using magnitude-based inferences and discriminant analysis. Results: Academy players were most likely taller and heavier than youth players (effect size (ES) = 0.64 to 1.21), with possibly to most likely superior CMJ, medicine ball throw and prone Yo-Yo IR1 performance (ES = 0.23 to 1.00). Senior players were likely to most likely taller and heavier (ES = 0.32 to 1.84), with possibly to most likely superior 10 and 20 m sprint times, CMJ, CoD, medicine ball throw and prone Yo-Yo IR1 compared to youth and academy (ES = -0.60 to 2.06). The magnitude of difference appeared to be influenced by playing position. For the most part, the battery possessed discriminant validity with an accuracy of 72.2%. Conclusion: The standardised testing battery differentiates anthropometric and physical qualities of youth, academy and senior players as a group and, in most instances, within positional groups. Furthermore, the battery is able to discriminate between playing standards with good accuracy and might be included in future assessments and rugby league talent identification.
    • Drug use in English professional football

      Waddington, Ivan; Malcolm, Dominic; Roderick, Martin J.; Naik, Ravin D.; University College Chester ; University of Leicester ; University of Leicester (British Association of Sport and Medicine, 2005-03-25)
      Objectives: To examine several issues related to drug use in English professional football. More particularly the project sought to gather data on: players’ use of permitted supplements (mineral and vitamin pills and creatine); whether they sought advice, and if so from whom, about their use of supplements; their experience of and attitudes towards drug testing; their views on the extent of the use of banned performance enhancing and recreational drugs in football; and their personal knowledge of players who used such drugs. Methods: With the cooperation of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), reply paid postal questionnaires were delivered to the home addresses of all 2863 members of the PFA. A total of 706 questionnaires were returned, a response rate of just under 25%. Results: Many players use supplements, although almost one in five players does so without seeking qualified professional advice from anyone within the club. Blood tests are rarely used to monitor the health of players. One third of players had not been tested for drugs within the preceding two years, and 60% felt that they were unlikely to be tested in the next year. The use of performance enhancing drugs appears to be rare, although recreational drugs are commonly used by professional footballers: 6% of respondents indicated that they personally knew players who used performance enhancing drugs, and 45% of players knew players who used recreational drugs. Conclusions: There is a need to ensure that footballers are given appropriate advice about the use of supplements in order to minimise the risk of using supplements that may be contaminated with banned substances. Footballers are tested for drugs less often than many other elite athletes. This needs to be addressed. The relatively high level of recreational drug use is not reflected in the number of positive tests. This suggests that many players who use recreational drugs avoid detection. It also raises doubts about the ability of the drug testing programme to detect the use of performance enhancing drugs.
    • Education and welfare in professional football academies and centres of excellence: A sociological study

      Bloyce, Daniel; Lamb, Kevin L.; Platts, Chris (University of Chester, 2012-01)
      A career as a professional footballer has long been regarded as a highly sought after occupation for many young males within the UK and, against this backdrop, since the 1970s increasing attention has come to be placed on the way young players are identified and developed within professional clubs. Particular concern has been expressed over the number of players who, having been developed by professional clubs, fail to secure a professional contract, and the ways in which clubs should help young players safeguard their futures through alternative career training. There, have, however, been very few studies that have analyzed the education and welfare provisions that are offered within professional football Academies and Centres of Excellence, and fewer still that have done this from a sociological perspective. By drawing upon the figurational sociology of Norbert Elias, concepts derived from symbolic interactionism, and existing work in the sociology of youth, the objective of this study is to examine the realities of young players' day-to-day working-lives, the experiences they have of the educational programmes they follow, and the welfare-related matters that arise within present-day Academies and CoE. Using data generated by self-completion questionnaires and focus groups with 303 players in 21 Academies and CoE in England and Wales, the findings of the study suggest that players continue to be socialized into a largely anti-academic culture that has traditionally underpinned the world of professional football, and in which the demonstration of a 'good attitude' and commitment to the more central members of players' interdependencies (especially coaches and managers) dominated all other concerns. Indeed, it was also clear that the deep-seated values players held in relation to the professional game as part of their individual and group habituses were shaped by the figurations into which they were born and had been developed during the more impressionable phases of childhood and youth. Players' welfare needs were significantly compromised by the strong degree of suspicion and obvious degree of mistrust that characterized their relationship with club management, which emanated from players' fears that confidential matters would always 'get back' to others inside the club. This was exacerbated, in almost all cases, by players' observations that they were treated as if they were 'bottom of the club' and whose welfare needs were not generally well understood by those working within Academies and CoE.
    • Education, Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Edge Hill University; University of Chester; Innland Norway University (Routledge, 2017-12-18)
      This chapter examines: (i) the policy rationale for viewing education and schools as an appropriate setting for PA promotion; (ii) the apparent role PE is expected to have in fostering lifelong participation in PA and sport; and (iii) the limits of education in promoting PA given the significance of wider social inequalities in families and the wider societies of which they are a part. It is suggested that while engaging in PE may help promote PA among young people in schools, and may strengthen their sporting predispositions and biographies, whether the content, organization and delivery of curricula promotes PA often depends on the predispositions, habits and experiences that are acquired and reproduced outside of education in childhood and family contexts characterized by varying degrees of social inequality.
    • The effect of carbohydrate-protein ingestion on simulated multiple-sprint sport performance

      Highton, Jamie M.; Nicholas, Ceri; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (2011-04)
    • The effect of imagery modality on golf putting performance

      Smith, Dave; Holmes, Paul; University College Chester ; Manchester Metropolitan University (North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, 2004-09)
      This study examined the effect of various imagery modalities on golf putting performance. Forty experienced male golfers were randomly assigned to one of four groups. A “written script” group received a personalized, response proposition-laden script. Participants in the audio and video groups either listened to an audiotape or watched an internal-perspective videotape of themselves putting. Control participants spent an equivalent amount of time reading golf literature. Each participant completed a 15-ball putting task twice a week for 6 weeks and also performed his imagery or reading daily during this period. Pretests revealed no significant differences in performance. Posttests, however, showed that the video and audio groups performed significantly better than the written script and control groups. This indicates that the form in which an imagery intervention is delivered can have a significant impact on its performance effectiveness
    • The effects of a carbohydrate-protein beverage on muscle function and performance following simulated multiple-sprint sport activity

      Highton, Jamie M.; Nicholas, Ceri; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (2010-09)
    • The effects of a cycling warm-up including high-intensity heavy-resistance conditioning contractions on subsequent 4 km time trial performance

      Chorley, Alan; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2017-03-25)
      Prior exercise has been shown to improve subsequent performance via different mechanisms. Sport-specific conditioning contractions can be used to exploit the 'post-activation potentiation' (PAP) phenomenon to enhance performance although this has rarely been investigated in short endurance events. The aim of this study was to compare a cycling warm-up with PAP-inducing conditioning contractions (CW) with a moderate intensity warm-up (MW) on performance and physiological outcomes of 4 km time trial. Ten well-trained male endurance cyclists (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max 65.3 +/- 5.6 ml[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1) performed two 4 km cycling time trials following a 5-minute recovery after a warm-up at 60% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max for 6.5-minutes (MW), and a warm-up with conditioning contractions (CW) consisting of 5 minutes at 60% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max then 3 x 10-seconds at 70% of peak power interspersed with 30-seconds recovery. Blood lactate concentrations were measured before and after time trial. Expired gases were analysed along with time, power output (PO), and peak forces over each 500 m split. Following CW, mean completion time was reduced (1.7 +/- 3.5 s p > 0.05), PO increased (5.1 +/- 10.5 W p > 0.05) as did peak force per pedal stroke (5.7 +/- 11 N p > 0.05) when compared to MW. V[Combining Dot Above]O2 increased (1.4 +/- 1.6 ml[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1 p < 0.05) following CW, whilst RER decreased (0.05 +/- 0.02 p < 0.05). Physiological and performance differences following CW were greatest over the first 1500 m of the trials. The results suggest a PAP-inducing warm-up alters V[Combining Dot Above]O2 kinetics and can lead to performance improvements in short endurance cycling but work and recovery durations should be optimised for each athlete.
    • Effects of a four-week touch rugby and self-paced interval running intervention on health markers in active young men.

      Dobbin, Nick; Bloyce, Daniel; Hughes, Stephen; Twist, Craig (Springer, 2020-03-29)
      Background: Modified team sport activity has been proposed as effective exercise modality for promoting markers of health that are comparable or greater than continuous forms of activity. However, research using modified team sports is currently limited to sedentary populations using 2-3 sessions across a minimum of 8 weeks. Aim: To investigate the effects of a four-week touch rugby and self-paced interval running intervention on a range of health markers in active men. Methods: Sixteen participants (age 26.4 ± 6.4 years) were matched for age, demographic and physical activity before completing a single touch rugby (n = 8) or running (n = 8) session per week for four weeks. Measures of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate (RHR), body composition and biochemical status were recorded pre- and post-intervention. Results: ANCOVA analysis revealed between-group differences for impedance (P = 0.027), fat mass (P = 0.008), percentage body fat (P = 0.008) and fat free mass (P = 0.002), with greater changes after touch rugby. Systolic blood pressure decreased for both groups with greater reductions observed after touch rugby (P = 0.002). No between-group difference was observed for RHR, interleukin-6 or C-reactive protein (P > 0.05). Contrasting internal, external and perceptual loads were observed. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that a single session of touch rugby over a 4-week period elicited greater improvements in body composition and SBP that self-paced running, with both equally beneficial for improving RHR, diastolic blood pressure and improved inflammatory status in active young men.
    • The effects of a high carbohydrate diet on cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) during a period of increase exercise workload amongst Olympic and ironman triathletes

      Costa, Ricardo J. S.; Jones, G. E.; Coleman, Robert C.; Lamb, Kevin L.; Williams, John H. H. (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2005-04-11)
      This article discusses a study of the effects of a 6-day high carbohydrate (H-CHO) diet on salivary cortisol and IgA during a period of increased exercise workload with thirty-two competitively trained male triathletes.