Analysing Team GB’s Wheelchair Rugby performance

WHEN GB’s Wheelchair Rugby team take to the court on Wednesday, one Manchester Met student will be watching their performance with an especially keen eye – it’s his job.

PhD student Ian Britton is the performance analyst for the team, and is currently working on a thesis titled “The Use of Video in Elite Sport and Ethnography”.

Ian, who flies out to Rio today (Friday), films all the team’s matches and accompanies them to training camp. His feedback to coaches allows them to analyse “turnovers” – the point in a match where one team takes the ball from the other.

“If we lose the ball, we look at why it happened and if we can stop it happening again in the future,” says Ian.

“Videoing matches means we can watch back in case we missed something, or there is something that we want to see again. Additionally, while the coaches sit on the touchline I film from an elevated position, so it gives them a different angle.

“You don’t know what other options were maybe available – it’s useful for them to learn and develop.”

Ian started the role last December, and chose to pursue performance analysis after becoming interested during a module for his undergraduate degree in Coaching and Sports Development.

He says that videoing sports teams for analysis is not particularly new, but due to the increasing use of video to provide statistics during a match the public are now becoming more aware of it.

The GB team will play Australia in their first match on Wednesday, which starts at 2.30pm UK time.