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Scottish athletes to benefit from new sports science facilities

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Scotland’s top athletes are to benefit from a major investment in world-class sports science and sports medicine facilities at the University of Stirling.

The £750,000 development at the Gannochy Sports Centre includes the creation of two new sports performance assessment laboratories, with the facilities to be shared jointly between Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and the sportscotland institute of sport.

Artist's impression of the external re-development at the Gannochy Sports Centre

Building work begins in early March to create the new labs and re-configure existing space to provide: an analytical lab; a consultancy room for doctors and nutritionists; a pilates reformer space and three treatment areas for physiotherapy. The building work is being part funded by the University of Stirling, and sportscotland.

One new laboratory will house an active rehabilitation space which can be used for biomechanical analysis. The other will contain a further £200,000 of equipment provided by sportscotland, including a state-of-the-art treadmill worth more than £100,000.

The facilities will be shared by the 80 sports scholars at the University and by the 600 high performance athletes who are part of the sportscotland institute of sport network.

It will also be available for use to athletes from governing bodies and clubs not currently serviced by the sportscotland institute of sport, while members of the local community will be able to access the physiotherapy services on offer.

Jak Scott, photo by Tom Main

Swimmer Jak Scott, a silver medallist at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, and second-year Accounting and Finance student, welcomed the new integrated sports science development.

Jak, 19, said: “The new facilities will give us more space and more opportunities to access sports science, which is great news. Sports science helps us to understand our sport better and the way our body works, which makes us smarter athletes. It also helps our coaches to tailor our training schedules. All the extra knowledge gained in the laboratory helps to improve our performances in the pool – which is what it’s all about.”

Stirling is positioned as the leading University in Scotland for sports research and in the top five in the United Kingdom. Last year, the University unveiled state-of-the-art sport, health and exercise research facilities within the School of Sport and this new development will complement these facilities, increasing the capacity for applied sports research.

Stephen Morrow, Head of the School of Sport, said: “The development provides a fantastic opportunity to improve the quality of support offered to elite athletes. Just as important, however, is the new facilities’ role in further strengthening the relationship between Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and the sportscotland institute of sport.”

Mike Whittingham, Director of High Performance at sportscotland, said: “The new facility will add to the world class services offered by the experts within the sportscotland institute of sport, and it highlights our important relationship with the University of Stirling. The laboratories will be of huge benefit to athletes in the institute network, university scholars, governing bodies and clubs.
 
“I am delighted that we have been able to make an award of £200,000 Scottish Government funding from our Sports Facilities Fund, along with an additional £200,000 investment in High Performance Sports Science equipment.”

It is anticipated the project will be completed in October, and all facilities and services at the Gannochy Sports Centre will remain open during the re-development.

For any media enquiries, please contact the University Sports Communications Officer David Christie on 01786 466 653 or email: david.christie1@stir.ac.uk

For enquiries regarding sportscotland and the sportscotland institute of sport, please contact: Stuart Mackenzie (Media Officer) on 0141 534 1154, or email stuart.mackenzie@sportscotland.org.uk

 

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