Athletes power up for USC’s Imaginarium

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Athletes power up for USC’s Imaginarium

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Published on 30 July 2014

If you’ve ever wondered how much aerobic capacity an elite marathon runner has, come along to the first Sunshine Coast Imaginarium at USC on Sunday 10 August to find out.

Australian athlete Mel Panayiotou, fresh from competing in the marathon at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Sunday 27 July, will be put through her paces at the free public festival that includes USC’s annual Open Day.

Ms Panayiotou finished eighth in a strong field at Glasgow and was the second Aussie runner home over the gruelling 42.2km distance with a personal best time of 2:35:01.

She and her partner Tom Donald, an elite national road cyclist, have volunteered to participate in VO2Max Tests on a treadmill and a Velotron electronic bike respectively at noon and 1pm in one of USC’s sport science laboratories.

Their demonstrations at Imaginarium will showcase the high-tech testing conducted at USC’s Health, Sport and Exercise Facilities as well as the University’s engagement with the wider community.

Manager of the facilities Ava Kerr, who is researching body composition as part of her PhD, said USC gained high-quality data from regular testing of local elite athletes and this contributed to its accreditation with the Australian Institute of Sport.

“Our regional athletes can be tested to the same level as the AIS without having to go to Canberra,” Ms Kerr said. “Getting these types of sport science results can help them in training and performance, giving them an edge in competition.”

Ms Kerr encouraged the public to “come and cheer on our athletes” who would be enduring their maximum rate of oxygen consumption, called the VO2Max.

“VO2Max is the best measure of cardio-respiratory fitness and a key predictor of endurance exercise performance as it marks the upper limit of oxygen use,” she said.

Imaginarium is a community event featuring live entertainment, interactive activities, technology, games and sports from 11am.

It will highlight the transformative opportunities provided by USC, with prospective students encouraged to chat with academics and staff for study and career advice. For details, go to: www.usc.edu.au/Imaginarium.

Julie Schomberg

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