Everton football star Enner Valencia, Club Fitness Coach Jan Kluitenberg and Club Ambassador Graeme Sharp were the first official visitors to Liverpool Hope University’s new Sports Science Avenue.
The visit was part of Liverpool Hope University’s British Science Week celebrations, and helped mark the new five year research partnership between Liverpool Hope and the premiership club.
The University’s new £14.47m Sports Science Avenue includes a main sports hall with six courts and a viewing gallery, squash courts, gym and fitness rooms, strength and conditioning suites and a new café as well as dedicated nutrition, biomechanics, genomics, cell biology, psychology and robotics labs. The complex is designed to bring theory and research together in one building, allowing students and researchers easy access to top facilities.
The Everton visitors toured the biomechanics and physiology labs, where they viewed motion capture demonstrations, gait and EMG analysis, and anticipation motor control tasks. They also watched a VO2max demonstration, which tests the limits of aerobic performance.
Liverpool Hope students and lecturers spoke about their latest research, which includes recovery interventions in football and team sports, training load and athlete monitoring strategies in elite professional footballers, tennis and ageing and nutrition, exercise and ageing.
Jan Kluitenberg also took part in a Q and A, answering questions on tailoring individual training plans for players, teamwork, and the importance of self-management in staying at the maximum fitness levels.
Sport and Exercise Science student Ragul Selvamoorthy asked fitness coach Jan how he works with new players to help them adapt to his training regimes.
The first-year student said: “It was great to have the opportunity to talk to someone in the field and events like this build a good relationship between the club and the University.
“It would be great if we could develop the partnership and see if there would be potential for student placements with the coaching team in the future.
“When I heard about the Q&A, I was keen to see what insights an expert could share and take advantage of something that doesn’t happen very often.
“It was particularly interesting for me, as I’m hoping to go on and do research into molecular adaptations of exercise, across a range of different sports.”