Dr Mark Sayers

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Dr Mark Sayers


Teaching areas

  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Science
  • Biomechanics 1 and 2
  • Performance Enhancement

Research areas

  • biomechanics of team sports
  • biomechanics of rugby union
  • performance analysis
  • agility training and assessment
  • spinal biomechanics

Program coordinator


Dr Mark Sayers joined the University in 2005, having worked as a sports scientist since the 1980’s. He has an extensive background in the biomechanics of team sports, technique analysis, and the development of sports specific speed and power.

Mark is an extremely experienced and popular lecturer, having held academic positions in sport science since the late 1980’s. In 2012 he received a national Office of Learning and Teaching Citation and in 2010 was voted one of the top ten lecturers in the country.

Dr Sayers has been a consultant biomechanist and coach for several national and international high profile sporting bodies and is recognised internationally for his work on the key skills in the sport of rugby union.

He was the biomechanist and special skills coach for the New Zealand All Blacks between 2000 and 2001 and again from 2004 to 2008 and has been credited as being a key aspect of the team’s success over the past 10 years.

Dr Sayers has over 60 peer reviewed publications in scientific journals, has authored or co-authored 8 book chapters, and has presented at more than 30 national and international conferences.

Mark has successfully supervised more than 30 HDR and Honours students.

Research grants

  • A biomechanical analysis of throwing using spear throwers: A 21st Century examination of 17,000 year-old technology, USC Internal Research Grant, $4,500 (Sayers M, Neill H, Czok C, Gould S, Calder A. 2010)
  • Towards an understanding of Neutral Spine Posture (NSP) to health and wellness: The role of postural cues in the attainment of NSP, USC Internal Research Grant, $5,000 (Mellifont D, Sayers M, Richardson C. 2009)
  • The biomechanics of lawn bowls, USC Internal Research Grant, $15,000 (Sayers M, Mellifont R. 2008)
  • Biomechanical analysis of rugby skills, New Zealand Rugby Union, $25,000 (Sayers M. 2007)
  • Biomechanical determinants of agility in rugby union, New Zealand Rugby Union, $65,000 (Sayers, M. 2007)
  • Pathology of shoulder injury in high performance rugby union players, New Zealand Prime Minister’s Scholarship, $90,000 (Sayers M, Hore A, Gallagher P, Robertson D, Jones A, Mohammad K. 2007)
  • Functional gait analysis as a screening tool for the prediction of soft tissue injury in high performance rugby players, USC Internal Research Grant, $3,892 (Sayers M, Mellifont R. 2005)
  • Physiological and biomechanical responses to pedometer guided walking in older adults, USC Internal Research Grant, $3,892 (Askew A, Sayers M. 2005)
  • Strength requirements for high performance rowing, Australian Olympic Athlete Program, $20,000 (Hahn A, Sayers M, Tanner R. 1997)
  • Biomechanical analyses of surfboard paddling, National Sports Research Program, $5,000 (Draper J, Sayers M. 1986)
  • Biomechanical analysis of surf-ski and surfboard paddling, Rothman’s Foundation, $5,000 (Draper J, Sayers M. 1986)

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