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Sports science goes global

Thursday, 19 April 2012


ECU’s sports scientists are getting an international reputation as leaders in their field.

Professor Rob Newton, Dr Greg Haff and Dr Sophia Nimphius, along with PhD students Jake Earp and Tai Tran were recently invited to Surabaya, Indonesia to test 280 of the country’s elite athletes.

The team transported their sophisticated testing equipment and conducted a complete performance evaluation including aerobic capacity, strength, power, agility, and speed.

“The mission provided excellent experience for the two PhD students, both of which are researching in the discipline of strength and conditioning science,” Professor Newton said.

For the staff involved the visit provided an opportunity to build collaborations with academics, sport scientists and coaches in Indonesia and to promote ECU teaching and research programs to our nearest neighbouring country.

Professor Newton praised the skills and work capacity of the team, who evaluated the 280 students in just three days.

“To travel to a developing country such as Indonesia and deliver state of the art performance measurements on 280 athletes, none of which could speak English, and then convey a detailed report to the coaches at the conclusion was a logistical and endurance challenge but the team were outstanding,” Professor Newton said.

East Java is currently the front runner to host the Asian games in 2019. After such a successful visit the Indonesians have asked ECU to continually contribute to their sports science program. A return visit is being planned for September 2012.

The International Project Director for the WA Department of Sport and Recreation, Mr Hallam Pereira said the State Government views such assistance to East Java as critical for developing trust and building the relationship with Indonesia.

“This mission will leverage considerable business for West Australian companies, as East Java is the most prosperous state in Indonesia and sporting partnerships such as this show our capacity in a very positive light. This has certainly been a fantastic showcase for WA and Edith Cowan University,” Mr Pereira said.

The visit was supported by the West Australian Government, the Government of East Java and Garuda Airlines.

For more information on ECU’s Sports Science courses visit


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