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ISB Grant Reports

Posted on April 4, 2016

Valencia – Auckland (September-December 2015)

The ISB International Travel Grant allowed me to visit the SPRINZ Centre (Auckland University of Technology) in New Zealand for 3 months. It has been an amazing experience, not only from a professional point of view, but also from a personal one.

During these months, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of different projects, ranging from anthropometric studies of the Auckland City Football Club to laboratory tests using some of the most novel equipment used in biomechanics studies. Within these studies, I learnt how to use the equipment of their laboratory, in particular their integrated system that included the Vicon Motion Capture System with a treadmill with integrated force plates and inertial measurement units. This methodology allowed us to measure a great number of biomechanical parameters without barely placing any equipment on participants.

Moreover, it also surprised me in a very positive way how the centre is organised. With the injury clinic downstairs, some central offices for a number of NZ sports which allows for quick communication with the given field, and the high performance centre located on the top floor, this organization enabled sport scientist of different disciplines (biomechanics, nutrition, health, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, etc.) to work directly with elite athletes and organise meetings to design research projects that are of special interest for the athletes and which can be specifically applied to the field.

Last but not least, the people working there are amazing as well. It is very common to see teams of different areas of knowledge work together, and especially for the international students and visitors, everyone offers their help and make you feel welcome and comfortable in the new research environment. In this sense, my supervisors Patria Hume and Kelly Sheerin deserve a special thank you for all their help and support, not only before arriving but also throughout and after my visit to their lab. I would also like to thank the ISB organization for giving me the opportunity to live this wonderful experience abroad and put together these two labs, GIBD in Valencia and SPRINZ in Auckland, and sow what could be the first step of an international collaboration between the two research facilities.

Angel Lucas.

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