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College begins work with Canadian National Wheelchair Rugby Team

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Camosun has taken centre stage with its partners at the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence to work with the Canadian National Wheelchair Rugby Team. Staff and students have been involved with assisting sport scientists from Canadian Sport Centre-Pacific test the athletes in a range of sport-specific protocols.
"The science behind making these athletes faster and stronger is absolutely cutting-edge and an amazing opportunity to be part of," says Emily Vickers, a third-year Bachelor of Sport and Fitness Leadership student. The national camps have also provided students in the Bachelor of Athletic & Exercise Therapy program the opportunity to observe national team therapists work with quadriplegic athletes.

Olympic research

It is not only the students getting involved with the team. Camosun’s Sport Innovation Centre (SPIN), led by Dr. Tim Walzak has begun research projects related to chair design and glove technology. Working with staff and faculty in Camosun’s School of Trades and Technology, Walzak is excited about the opportunities to bring applied technology to the London 2012 medal hopeful team. "The athletes are amazing to work with and we are confident that the applied research being undertaken will enhance their training and performance," says Walzak.

Learning with athletes

Figuring out performance-enhancement strategies for the athletes, as well as integrating student learning into the training camps, were the brainchild of Dr. Andy Van Neutegem, Chair of Sport Education in Camosun’s Centre for Sport & Exercise Education. In addition to being an instructor, Van Neutegem serves as a sport psychology consultant for the National Wheelchair Rugby Team and provides the performance planning for the national program. Having been with the team for five years, Van Neutegem has a good grasp of the athletes’ physical and mental demands during this exciting and often, violent sport. “They call it ‘muderball’ for good reasons,” says Van Neutegem.

The Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence at Camosun’s Interurban campus serves as the National Wheelchair Rugby training centre for the team, which will conduct four national camps at the new facility over the next nine months, including staging for the 2010 World Championships at the Richmond Oval, Vancouver , September 26-30.

For more information

Andy Van Neutegem, PhD
Chair, Diploma in Sport Management, Sport & Fitness Leadership Degree,
Diploma in Sport Performance
Centre for Sport and Exercise Education
Camosun College

Last updated: February 4, 2010 2:52 pm

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