A human performance hub – the first of its kind in Waikato – is set to open at Wintec’s Rotokauri campus next year.
It will offer exercise science services to amateur, competitive and professional athletes, as well as those looking to improve their health and wellbeing.
The hub will be a paid service, giving people access to expert staff and facilities and services such as individually prescribed exercise programmes for people with health issues; sports nutrition and exercise programmes; physiological and biomechanics testing and advice and strength and conditioning assessments.
Also on offer will be sports psychology services, food diary analysis and behaviour modification through exercise programmes.
The hub will be run by staff within Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance. Wintec’s students studying within the centre will also have the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience.
“The Waikato Human Performance Hub has been developed in response to a demand in the region for training, knowledge and expertise in this area,” says Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance director, Greg Smith.
“There’s currently limited access to services that allow people at all levels to improve their performance or benefit from clinical services.
“Waikato is the high performance hub of the country. We have huge numbers of athletes at all levels here – fifty percent of our Rio Olympic athletes, for example are from the region,” he says.
“We also have a lot of natural resources like river tracks, cycle ways, bush walks and hiking tracks that encourage physical activity.
“Our regional demographics and health statistics, alongside the fact that we have many developing and high-performance athletes in Waikato, is evidence of the need for these types of services to be made available to the public.
“Currently, the velodrome caters to a small segment of this population, but it’s targeted at high performance athletes and is over capacity with the increase of elite athletes in the region.”
One local athlete who is already making use of Wintec’s facilities and expertise is New Zealand netball player Laura Langman.
“I have used Wintec’s Sport Science tutors’ expertise and facilities for a number of years. It has been great to train in an environment that supports my performance goals so well.
“I am very pleased to see that Wintec’s staff and students will make the sport science services I have enjoyed available to everyone that wants to achieve their sporting and wellbeing goals,” says Laura.
Greg Smith says the hub will focus on two areas to begin with – exercise science and exercise as medicine within a health context.
Later, the services will extend into the outdoor recreation and education space which will include services such as short courses for teachers on outdoor activities, equipment hire and corporate team building challenges.