Associate Professor Mark Sayers | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Associate Professor Mark Sayers

PhD RMIT, MAppSci Canberra, BAppSci CCAE

  • Associate Professor, Sports Biomechanics
  • Deputy Director, High Performance Sport
  • School of Health
+61 7 5459 4703
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Mark Sayers

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

Grant/Project name


Funding body & A$ value


Focus (of research grant)

Kinetic Orthotics®: Move without Pain™ Sayers, M. & Burkett, B. CSIRO Innovation Connections Grant, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, $121,136 2016  
Applying a connectedness learning model to develop a networked approach to lifelong graduate employability at USC Goldsmith, B., Sayers, M. English, P., McIntyre, J. Scheepers, R. & Bridgstock, R USC Commissioned Learning and Teaching Grant, $29,800 2016  
Reliability and validity study for the assessment of lateral trunk strength – The Modified Obers Test Pesu, J., Mellifont, D. & Sayers M Sunshine Coast Health Service Wishlist Grant, $9,904 2016  
An investigation into the influence of differing levels of representativeness on landing technique in sport Gorman, A., Stuelken, M., Mellifont, D. & Sayers, M Centre of Excellence for Applied Sport Science Research, Queensland Academy of Sport, Queensland Government, $10,000 2015  
Exploring the collaborative advantage of a partnership model between the University of the Sunshine Coast and community junior sports clubs Sayers, M., Stevenson, T. & Brown, M. University Engagement Grant, $7474 2013  
A biomechanical analysis of throwing using spear throwers: A 21st Century examination of 17,000 year-old technology Sayers M, Neill H, Czok C, Gould S, Calder A. USC Internal Research Grant, $4,500 2010  
Towards an understanding of Neutral Spine Posture (NSP) to health and wellness: The role of postural cues in the attainment of NSP Mellifont D, Sayers M, Richardson C. USC Internal Research Grant, $5,000 2009  
The biomechanics of lawn bowls Sayers M, Mellifont R. USC Internal Research Grant, $15,000 2008  
Biomechanical analysis of rugby skills Sayers M New Zealand Rugby Union, $25,000 2007  
Biomechanical determinants of agility in rugby union Sayers, M. New Zealand Rugby Union, $65,000 2007  
Pathology of shoulder injury in high performance rugby union players Sayers M, Hore A, Gallagher P, Robertson D, Jones A, Mohammad K. New Zealand Prime Minister’s Scholarship, $90,000 2007  
Functional gait analysis as a screening tool for the prediction of soft tissue injury in high performance rugby players Sayers M, Mellifont R. USC Internal Research Grant, $3,892 2005  
Physiological and biomechanical responses to pedometer guided walking in older adults Askew A, Sayers M. USC Internal Research Grant, $3,892 2005  
Strength requirements for high performance rowing Hahn A, Sayers M, Tanner R. Australian Olympic Athlete Program, $20,000 1997  
Biomechanical analyses of surfboard paddling Draper J, Sayers M National Sports Research Program, $5,000 1986  
Biomechanical analysis of surf-ski and surfboard paddling Draper J, Sayers M. Rothman’s Foundation, $5,000 1986  

Research areas

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

Teaching areas

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

Mark's specialist areas of knowledge include: exercise science, biomechanics, rugby union, gait analysis, performance, analysis, team sports, strength, power training

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