Australian first research to test the physical capabilities of junior star gridiron players will be conducted next week by staff and students of the University of Newcastle.
The research will help grow the sport in Australia, Dr Robert Lockie, Lecturer in Exercise and Sport Science at the University’s Central Coast campus, said.
“Gridiron is increasing in popularity in Australia and this is an opportunity to evaluate the strengths of our junior star players and assess how they can progress in their sport.
“The tests are the same used for collegiate and professional gridiron players in the USA. We will use state-of-the-art equipment to measure the speed, power and agility of the athletes from Gridiron Australia’s Future Stars Program who are the top-level players under the age of 19 in the country.
“The research will compare the results of the Australian and American players, and will identify areas that can be targeted to improve the athletes’ performance and set training regimes to help them achieve peak performance.”
The testing will create a physiological profile of elite junior gridiron players in Australia and will provide a benchmark to identify the star players of tomorrow.
Honours student Matthew Jeffriess and a group of Exercise and Sport Science undergraduate students will assist Dr Lockie with the athlete testing at the Junior National Championships held in Narrabeen from Monday 18 April to Friday 22 April 2011.
Photo opportunity and interviews: Dr Lockie, Exercise and Sport Science Students and Central Coast gridiron players who will compete in the Junior National Championships will be available for photograph and interview at Bill Sohier Park, Shirley Street, Ourimbah, on Thursday 14 April 2011 at 2pm.
For more information contact University of Newcastle Media and Public Relations Officer Leonie Brann on 02 4921 6856 or 0448 898 813.