Avantidrome conference

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National Sport and Exercise Science Conference comes to Waikato

Sport, exercise science, coaching, health and human performance are just some of the major topics coming under the spotlight at an upcoming National Sport and Exercise Science Conference.

Being held at the Avantidrome in Cambridge October 28-29, the event is the annual conference of Sport and Exercise Science New Zealand (SESNZ); bringing together an impressive collection of minds and experience.

avantidrome-conference-2A national organisation, SESNZ aims to take the lead in developing a national co-ordinated approach to integrating sport science into sport at all levels, as well as providing accreditation credentials for sport science professionals.

University of Waikato academics Professor Rich Masters and Dr. Matt Driller are national board members for SESNZ. This year, they are organising the conference, which is taking place in the Waipa district for the first time.

“We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to host the conference in Waikato and are excited to bring together like-minded people with a passion for the science of sport and exercise,”. says Professor Masters.

And Dr. Driller reveals: “we have big ambitions to turn the SESNZ conference into one of the best in Australasia. We would like to see it become a regular fixture on the calendar for anyone working in the sport, exercise and health industry”.

The conference will see a mix of academics, students, coaches, athletes, health practitioners and community sport workers come together to hear university and industry experts share their views on a wide range of topics.

avantidrome-conference-3This year, the conference title is Changing NZ Perspectives on Active Health and Human Performance.

Themes will include health and human performance, as well as sport, exercise science and coaching.

Professor Alan St Clair Gibson, will headline the conference as a keynote speaker. Recently appointed Dean of the University of Waikato’s new faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance, Professor St Clair Gibson is famous for his work in the ‘90s and early 2000s on the Central Governor Theory.

The Theory claims that your brain paces your muscles to keep them from reaching exhaustion. When the brain decides enough is enough (as avid readers of Fitness Journal will be familiar with), it creates sensations that you interpret as muscle fatigue, which causes you to slow down to protect yourself.

Professor St Clair Gibson is well known for his other work too, and has published more than 150 research articles in the areas of basic brain function, control system mechanisms, exercise regulation, psychophysiology and complex system integration.

The second keynote speaker is Professor Damian Farrow. Professor Farrow holds a joint appointment at Australian Institute of Sport and the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living at Victoria University in Melbourne. Professor Farrow is the world’s foremost expert on the role of practice in developing expert skill in sport and is famed for his very popular book on how to improve human performance in sport, entitled “Run Like You Stole Something”.

Professor Masters and Dr Driller say that they are delighted in the interest shown in the conference this year.

More than 70 abstracts have been submitted by researchers and practitioners from all over New Zealand, as well as from Australia, the UK and even Hong Kong.

Other speakers and their topics include:

  • Dr. Daniel Plews (High Performance Sport NZ), Chasing the 0.2: Striving for impact in high performance sport.
  • Danielle Salmon (University of Otago), A baseline profile of brain health in a semi-professional Rugby Union team.
  • Associate Professor Jim Cotter (University of Otago), Combined stressor training and cross tolerance for health and performance.
  • Associate Professor Mike Hamlin (Lincoln University), Effect of repeated sprint training under hypoxia on normoxic repeated sprint performance.
  • Dr. Stacy Sims (University of Waikato), Sex differences in hydration, thermoregulation and performance.
  • Dan Archer (Unitec Institute of Technology), Standing workstations: Experience, acceptability, and effects on occupational sedentary behaviour and metabolic health of office workers.
  • Dr. Blair Crewther (Imperial College, London), The direct immunoassay of blood-free testosterone: is it valid in sport?
  • Dr. Peter Maulder (Wintec), The acute effects of ballistic jumps as a pre-conditioning contraction on sprint performance.
  • Julia Cassadio (High Performance Sport NZ/AUT), Accounts from Rio: Optimising performance support in a challenging environment.
  • Liis Uiga (University of Hong Kong), The role of consciousness in balance performance.
  • Daryl Foy (University of Tasmania), What we do in the (ONLINE) shadows – an investigation of behavioural systems design and social dynamics in an online exercise community.
  • Dr. Sarah-Kate Millar (Auckland University of Technology), Using contrast textures to enhance perceptual coupling in high performance rowing.
  • Francisco Tavares (University of Waikato/Chiefs Rugby), Effect of training load on acute fatigue and wellness during an in-season non-competitive week in elite rugby athletes.
  • Tanja Allen (Wintec), Assessing the potential for clinical exercise physiology in the Waikato region of New Zealand: A pilot study.
  • Dr. Matt Driller (University of Waikato), What do we know about the sleep habits of elite athletes and how can we attempt to quantify these?
  • Richard Ward (University of Newcastle), Duration of concurrent muscular strength and endurance training in soccer players and effect on performance: A review.
  • Dr. Martyn Beavan (University of Waikato), Salivary hormones and sport science applications
    SESNZ has developed a new website (sesnz.org.nz) to reflect its evolving role in the health, sport and exercise of New Zealanders.

The conference is open to anyone working in the sport, exercise and health industry. To register visit sesnz.org.nz


Sport and Exercise Science New Zealand (SESNZ) objectives:

•  To promote, encourage and develop the proper use of exercise science and technology to improve the exercise, sport and health performance of New Zealanders;

•  To promote the importance of exercise for optimal sport performance and health;

•  To educate people involved in sport and exercise in the principles of sport and exercise science and their appropriate applications;

•  To develop, promote and manage standards for individuals or agencies specialising in sport and exercise assessment and development programmes;

•  To promote SESNZ and the role of sport science in New Zealand sport and to take the lead in developing a nationally coordinated approach to integrating sport science into sport at all levels


Conference name: Changing Perspectives on Active Health and Human Performance

What is it: Sport & Exercise Science New Zealand’s annual conference

Where is it: Avantidrome, Cambridge on October 28-29, 2016

What is it about: Themes of the conference will include health and human performance, as well as sport, exercise science and coaching.

Who can go: Anyone working in the sport, exercise and health industry

To register or for further information: www.sesnz.org.nz

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