Jun 27 2012 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Wednesday
TV PRESENTER Rhona McLeod officially opened a new £1.1m sports science and medicine facility at the University of Stirling recently.
The development will be used by the university’s sports scholars, top athletes backed by Sportscotland and researchers.
Two main laboratories will enable biomechanical analysis and performance assessment of athletes.
The facility also boasts physiotherapy treatment areas, a Pilates reformer and consultancy rooms for doctors and nutritionists.
Guests watched scholarship footballer Jack Nixon and triathletes Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon showcase the facilities’ potential.
The triathletes ran on a high-gradient, high-velocity treadmill – the only one of its kind in the UK – which is also designed for cross country skiers and athletes in wheelchairs.
Physiologists can programme courses and routes for the treadmill to replicate.
Stirling student Marc (18) has represented Great Britain at the European and World junior triathlon championships.
He said: “The new sports science facility will enable us to gauge exactly how our training is improving our performance levels.
“I am aiming to be selected for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and I’m delighted to be able to stay in Scotland to work towards my dream.”
As well as supporting elite athletes, the new facility will be available to sports clubs and to national governing bodies. The physiotherapy service will be open to the local community.
Louise Martin, chair of Sportscotland, said: “This new facility will bring real benefits to the local community and high-performance athletes.
“The new performance assessment laboratory, biomechanics analysis centre and sports medicine facilities will foster even closer links between sport scientists at the Sportscotland institute of sport and researchers at the university.”
Professor Gerry McCormac, principal of the University of Stirling, said: “We are proud to be Scotland’s university for sporting excellence and this stunning new sports science facility underlines our determination to contribute to a successful sporting future for Scotland.”
Six current and former members of the university’s Winning Students programme have qualified for the London Olympics and Paralympics, joining Stirling graduate badminton player Susan Egelstaff and Irish triathlete Gavin Noble.