Over the weekend of 14th – 15th January 2017, the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at Manchester Met Cheshire hosted the British Orienteering Coaching Conference.
The conference attracted more than 70 coaches, from all over the UK. The day included talks from the British Orienteering National Performance Manager, Great Britain team coaches and sports physiologists from the Cheshire campus.
In the afternoon, delegates were provided with a demonstration of the fitness testing protocols that the Great Britain squad regularly complete as part of the performance physiology service delivered by Clare Pheasey and Sue Pinner.
Using the world class laboratories on campus, Alice Leake (a senior national athlete) completed the UK Athletics protocol for lactate profiling and measuring maximal oxygen uptake of an athlete. Following the demonstration, a discussion forum allowed coaches to better understand the meaning of the data collected and, using Alice as a case study, how these data have been used to inform training prescription and performance improvement over the 18 month period that she has worked with Sue and Clare.
Jackie Newton, Performance Manager for British Orienteering said, “Manchester Metropolitan has provided inter-disciplinary sport science support for our Talent and Performance Programme since 2012 and it was great to be able to host the bi-annual coaching conference at the University this year. Bringing club, regional and national coaches together we were able to demonstrate how the physiology support from Manchester Met has be used to make meaningful gains in the performance of elite athletes. As a minority, high performance sport we appreciate the expertise and resources available to our athletes through our partnership.
“Before 2012 we’d had just two international podium finishes at JWOC [Junior World Orienteering Championships], in 2004 and 2010 and we have now had athletes on the podium for the last three consecutive years. We are also seeing more success all the way through the age groups and, for the first time, last year we had at least one athlete on the podium at every international competition from European Youths to Senior World Championships.”