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St Gabriel’s

St Gabriel’s

Sport Scholars Sport Science Trip

On a sunny Friday morning, the Sports Scholars in Year 7 - Year 10 & Year 12 from St Gabriel's set off to the University of Bath to see Sports Science in action and how it is applied to elite athletes.

The University of Bath has had a recent £35 million investment into their Sports Training Village. The opportunity to see some of the best sports facilities in the UK was inspirational for our scholars. The university accommodates 50 sports, regularly hosts major international competitions, and provides a dedicated sports training space for professional athletes. 

The students started with a strength and conditioning session, followed by a field-testing session which included using state-of-the-art equipment, such as timing gates, radar and footpads. The students had plenty of practice and had their results recorded. Finally, the students reflected as a group on how they could improve.

Lunch was unique and enjoyable, with students having it outside overlooking the athletics track, where international athletes trained. The students soaked up the sun and the experience and enjoyed the professional atmosphere. The students also found time for a quick tour of the swimming and tennis facilities. 

The afternoon consisted of a lecture from Amelia Coltman, who talked about her route into her skeleton racing career and being crowned the overall Europa Cup winner in her debut season. She was the first Brit to take the title in her maiden season, winning five medals across seven races. Coltman was the first to finish at the top of the standings in her first competition season. She spoke in detail about her struggles with injury and her change of sport from tennis to skeleton. This inspirational talk was followed by some eager questions from the students. 

The afternoon finished with VO2 max testing on the treadmill and bike, putting on a facemask measuring the volume and gas concentrations of inspired and expired air. The students learnt about how the test provides data on how much oxygen you use as you exercise, overall indicating the student's cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. The students learnt this is the gold standard for determining cardio-respiratory fitness. They left the lab with an excellent idea of their fitness levels and how to use this information to improve their own fitness.

Throughout the day, students met Netball, Skeleton and Rowing Internationals and were delighted to get selfies and chat with them. The students are a credit to the school. They certainly embraced the moment, were very positive, fantastic ambassadors and a pleasure to work with on the day.

- Mr James