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Monday 14 July 2014

Saints' players team up with Solent's sports science department

Determined to build on last year’s performance in the Premier League, Southampton Football Club is back working with Southampton Solent University’s sports science department to analyse the team’s fitness ahead of the new season.

The whole squad is being put through their paces by Solent’s sport scientists at the University’s BASES accredited sport science laboratories in the run up to their pre-season training.

Jack Cork VO2 Max fitness testing at Southampton Solent University


Paulo Gazzaniga VO2 Max fitness testing at Southampton Solent University

Working alongside the Club’s experts, Solent staff and students – headed up by Professor Stewart Bruce-Low, Head of Sport and Exercise Science – are carrying out a series of physiological tests to create individual fitness profiles of the whole squad.

Least favoured by the players is the dreaded VO2 Max test, where they are pushed to their limit while wearing facemasks to monitor how much oxygen their bodies are using and having blood samples taken during their treadmill run. The information gathered from the samples will be used to tailor the training the players undertake.

As the official university partner, Solent enjoys an excellent working relationship with the Premier League side. As well as offering student work placement and employment opportunities, the Club works with the University’s sport scientists to identify joint research projects in the areas of strength conditioning, exercise physiology and nutrition.

Professor Bruce-Low says, “Staff and students enjoy using their skills and our BASES accredited laboratories and equipment to help analyse and assess professional athletes of this calibre.”

“The University – whose sport science courses rank first for personal development in the National Student Survey for student satisfaction – has become a regular fixture for the region’s football clubs.

“Managers, coaches and players now recognise the need to use sport science to obtain optimal individual performances and to increase the squad’s competitive edge. Undertaking work experience of this calibre gives our students the edge when it comes to starting their careers. Many of our graduates are already playing key roles at some of the top sporting clubs in the country,” he added.

The University’s physiology laboratory has been recognised as one of the UK’s leading sport and exercise science facilities, joining an elite group that includes Manchester United Football Club. It has been officially awarded accreditation by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Accreditation, which is widely recognised as the leading UK professional body in sport and exercise sciences.