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Sport scientists to share research insights

Researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast will provide insights into the day-to-day life of a sport scientist at a free public lecture tomorrow, Friday 11 December.

As part of USC’s Friday Night Sports Talk series, Lecturer in Motor Control and Motor Learning Dr Adam Gorman and PhD candidate Colin Gavagan will discuss how their research into basketball and karate is helping to provide a better understanding of the factors influencing sports performance.

Mr Gavagan, who is studying the relationship between biomechanics and skill acquisition in karate techniques, will also share the highlights and challenges of his journey from undergraduate student to PhD researcher.

Having practised karate for most of his life, Mr Gavagan said he first considered postgraduate research during the second year of his USC Sport and Exercise Science degree.

“When I saw the biomechanics lab I knew I wanted to use it to research karate, but I didn’t know how I could go about that,” he said.

“I spoke with my biomechanics lecturer, Dr Mark Sayers, about further study in biomechanics, which led to an Honours project in martial arts and now a PhD.”

Dr Gorman, who previously worked as a skill acquisition specialist with elite basketballers at the Australian Institute of Sport, will present the findings of two recent studies, which were aimed at guiding the design of basketball practice sessions to enhance players’ skills.

He said the talk would highlight how those interested in sport could translate that passion into a research career.

“A degree in Sport and Exercise Science is aimed at providing the skills and knowledge students need to work in a broad range of roles within the industry, including research and working with elite teams,” he said.

The 30-minute talk will begin at 5.30pm at the USC Sports Stadium recreation room.

The talks are a joint initiative of USC Sport Science, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT), the USC Junior Basketball Club (USCBC) and USC Sport.
They were initiated through an Office of Engagement Research Support Grant and are sponsored by local sport retailers.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Tania Stevenson at or 5459 4823.

— Jarna Baudinette

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