Festive Lecture: The Science of Sport

By Alex Adderley, Year 10

On 7th December, a group of eleven separate science and GCSE PE students went to the Centre for Life for a Sports Science lecture, accompanied by Miss Edwards and Miss Craigen. We arrived and took seats near the front of the room amongst the other schools. Before the lecture, there was a show where the story of the world from the beginning to present day was told in a poem. Throughout the story, the team did experiments such as inflating a balloon filled with dry ice using only the heat from our hands to keep us entertained.

The lecture started with Professor Emma Stevenson, from the medical sciences department of Newcastle University, who explained what Sports Science was and its relevance today. She also talked about the different ways sports performance can be measured and factors that affect it. One of the most common measurements of performance is VO2max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen our body can take in during exercise. Tom, a recreational athlete, hopped on a bike and his VO2 max was measured live using the university’s equipment.

Later, Dr Paul Catterson, club doctor at Newcastle United FC, explained how Sports Science can be applied in the field and how it is used to help the players. He showed us different statistics and graphs from data that they had been given from the players and equipment they use to measure performance. It was really interesting to see how the club use Sports Science to help players perform at their best. The lecture was interesting and gave us an insight to where a degree in Sports Science can take us in the future.