School children invited to take part in sports research at fun half-term event

Research news

Tuesday 07 February 2017

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School children will take part in sports science research as part of a fun two-day educational event at Coventry University.

The CU Young Scientists days will give up to 20 youngsters aged between seven and 10 a chance to contribute to the university’s research into fundamental movement skills, which include running, jumping and catching, and postural control, which involves maintaining balance while standing still or carrying out an activity.

They will also be able to use the technology in the university’s sport and exercise science laboratories to explore topics such as strength, balance, fitness and how the brain responds when people exercise.

The equipment, used by professional athletes, includes a giant running treadmill, force plates (which measure the force generated when a person stands or move across them) and machines that record visual tracking and anticipation.

The research the youngsters will contribute to involves measuring how much people sway when they stand up, which can be an indicator of how likely people are to have falls when they are older.

They will stand on foam and force plates, as researchers record the relevant data.

The event takes place on February 20 and 21 from 9.30am until 3pm.

If you are interested in your child taking part contact Places must be booked in advance.

Professor Michael Duncan, from the university’s Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences, said:


This will be beneficial for the children and an interesting and fun experience for them. We wanted to show them what we do with athletes, but then build our research in to that.”


“As sway can be used as a measure of falling, one of the things we are looking at is whether we can do anything in childhood that would be beneficial for children but also have knock on effects in adulthood that could lead people to have healthier and more active lives."

For further press information, please contact Alison Martin, Coventry University, on 024 7765 9339 or email