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Keeping eye on sport research

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Keeping eye on sport research

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic hosted its inaugural Sports Research Symposium at the Windermere Campus yesterday.

The symposium attracted 20 researchers and sports experts from some of New Zealand's leading institutions.

Presentations included myriad topics including sports science, health and nutrition and social impact and performance analysis.

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic's Group Leader Sport and Recreation Peter Sommers said it was about bringing together all the different researchers from institutions and universities in the North Island to share the great research that was going on.

``We also wanted to mix that in with the industry as well, with the likes of Bay Rugby and Sport Bay of Plenty, to make sure we are making that link between research and what is going on in the field,'' Sommers said.

``We are lucky to have Grant McLean up from Sport New Zealand, Lynn Kidman from AUT, Dawn Penny from the University of Waikato, and our locals from here in Paul Winwood and Stephen Lasslett.''

Lasslett's presentation provided insight into whether manipulating vision could improve sports performance. He has designed and manufactured sports training glasses to be used in practice that potentially improve vision and enhance sporting performance.

``The glasses make your vision worse and the idea is you put the glasses on before you do sport and then when you take them off, potentially your eyesight might be better and your performance might be better,'' Lasslett said.

He has tested the glasses on students playing cricket, hockey, golf, tennis, darts and squash and because he is

still trialing the glasses, Lassett has not measured the success.

But he said the feedback had been good.

``It is short-term [benefit] so it will suit sports like cricket where you might warm up and then go into bat, and for that first five minutes it is crucial you are seeing the ball well, but it will dissipate over time as your eyes adjust,'' he said.

``I wanted to make the change quite subtle, not a huge change in your vision that would make an athlete change their technique.''

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