In mid-May, researchers collaborated with Italian para swimmers to add data to a large-scale project about para swimming. The project, funded by World Para Swimming and UK Sport, looks to measure the effects that physical impairment has on a swimmer’s athletic performance. This data can then help to revise the current classification system for para swimmers.
Four researchers carried out their work in Italy– Prof. Carl Payton and Dr. Hannah Jarvis from Manchester Metropolitan University (GBR) and Prof. Brendan Burkett and Dr. Luke Hogarth from the University of Sunshine Coast (AUS). They worked with 19 different Italian swimmers, some of which were Rio Paralympic medalists. Data collection included water-based measures including 3-D video analysis, tethered swimming and drag analysis, and land-based measures of range of motion, strength and co-ordination.
“We had a fantastic time in Italy,” said Dr. Jarvis. “The swimmers, coaches and support team definitely made the trip for us. They were all excellent to work with and we cannot thank them enough. The data we collected there will be instrumental in informing this research project.”
“We were very excited to participate in the test sessions,” said Italian Paralympic medalist Francesco Bettella. “We are very happy to give our contribution to a study that can be useful to draw up a new classification system and at the same time we are curious about the results. Personally, I’m very happy to have met the scientists and have exchanged some ideas.”
The Italy trip is just the first of multiple further data collection trips planned for the year.