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Kinesiology scholars and students make an impact in preventing injury in sport

Latest research to be showcased at prestigious International Olympic Committee World Conference in Monaco March 16-18
March 15, 2017
Among the postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergrads presenting at the International Olympic Committee World Conference are, from left: Ash Kolstad, Clodagh Toomey, Muge Bulat, Sarah Kenny, Oluwatoyosi Owoeye, and Amanda Black. Also presenting but not in the photo are Carla van den Berg, Paul Eliason, Maciej Krolikowski, Declan Patton, Tracy Blake, and Sarah Richmond. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Among the postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergrads presenting at the International Olympic Committee World Conference are, from left: Ash Kolstad, Clodagh Toomey, Muge Bulat, Sarah Kenny, Oluwatoyosi Owoeye, and Amanda Black. Also presenting but not in the photo are Carla van den Berg, Paul Eliason, Maciej Krolikowski, Declan Patton, Tracy Blake, and Sarah Richmond. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary 

Injury and illness in sport are ongoing concerns and can have devastating outcomes for an athlete’s performance and health. Researchers in the Faculty of Kinesiology are evaluating ways to prevent injuries, in a variety of sports and recreational activities, and will share some of their latest findings at the upcoming International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport, held in Monaco March 16-18.

“Preventing injuries can have a significant impact in reducing the burden of injury on the health-care system and long-term consequences, including decreased participation in sport, obesity and osteoarthritis,” says Carolyn Emery, professor and chair of the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre (SIPRC) in the Faculty of Kinesiology. “This conference is important to stimulate international collaboration and discussion regarding novel and interdisciplinary approaches to injury and illness prevention in sport that will have global impact.”

Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre is an IOC Centre of Excellence

The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary is one of nine IOC Centres of Excellence in Injury and Illness Prevention in Sport in the world, and the only such centre in the Americas.

“We have a number of novel research projects that are informing prevention strategies in many different sports. It is very exciting to be part of such a productive and innovative team that has great potential to have a global impact,” says Kathryn Schneider, clinician scientist and assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology.

Young UCalgary researchers to have strong presence at conference

At the international conference in Monaco, SIPRC researchers Carolyn Emery, Brent Hagel, Willem Meeuwisse, Kathryn Schneider, Patricia Doyle-BakerLuz Palacios-Derflingher, and Alberto Nettel-Aguirre will be joined by three postdoctoral scholars, six PhDs, two MSc's, and three undergraduate research students with an impressive contribution to the program through several symposia, workshops, free communications, and poster presentations. 

“It’s terrific that many of our young researchers are joining us this year,” says Emery. “The accomplishments of these emerging new researchers in the field are impressive. They represent a new generation of energetic researchers focused on injury prevention in sport, which is promising for the future of the field and the impact on reducing the burden of injury in a diversity of sport populations.”

Sarah Kenny is a dancer, dance instructor, and PhD candidate who will defend her PhD next month. She will present research examining pre-participation musculoskeletal evaluation in pre-professional youth and young adult dancers. This research highlights risk factors for injury in dancers through a better understanding of injury definitions and surveillance in this unique population.

“I am very excited to represent dance at a primarily sport-based conference. Dancers are not often given recognition for being athletes as much as they are artists. And yet, dancers are just as prone to injury as their sporting counterparts. The opportunity to share my dance research at IOC will hopefully inform future strategies for best practices in injury prevention for the dance community,” says Kenny.

More Faculty of Kinesiology presentations in Monaco 

Amanda Black is an athletic therapist and PhD candidate who will defend her PhD in April 2017. She will present the evaluation of bodychecking policy change in British Columbia (2014-15) and Calgary (2015-16) disallowing bodychecking in non-elite levels of Bantam (ages 13-14) youth ice hockey.

Oluwatoyosi Owoeye is an Eyes High postdoctoral scholar joining SIPRC in 2015 from Nigeria. He will present the findings of initial evaluation associated with the national Canadian Soccer Association implementation of the FIFA 11+ coach workshops aimed to reduce the burden of injuries in youth soccer nationally.

Ash Kolstad is a third-year undergraduate kinesiology student who has worked in the SIPRC for more than three years, starting as a high-school research student. He suffered a life-altering concussion in youth ice hockey and has made impressive contributions to the Alberta Program in Youth Sport and Recreational Injury Prevention as an external advisory board member (youth injury survivor) and undergraduate research student. His video-analysis research demonstrates that policy change disallowing bodychecking in Bantam does not have any negative effect on offensive performance in youth ice hockey.

Kathryn Schneider, physiotherapist and assistant professor, will lead a workshop that highlights our research in the area of prevention of concussion related to the cervical spine (neck) and balance systems. This will include a presentation and practical hands-on workshop.

Carolyn Emery and Kathryn Schneider will also present at a symposium, with other researchers from the U.S. and Australia, on the topic Concussion Prevention in Child and Adolescent Sport: Are Our Children’s Brains Different?