Science of ice hockey explored by researchers to boost Olympic chances

The science of ice hockey will be explored by researchers, in a bid to boost Great Britain’s Olympic chances.

The University of Essex will work with the governing body England Ice Hockey to develop a world-class programme, while the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (SRES) will work closely with top clubs when the partnership launches this month.

The first phase of the partnership will see academics examine the coach education programme.

Dr Simon Quick will develop this in collaboration with the national governing body, and follows his PhD in ice hockey coaching.

He said: “I have seen first-hand how hard the players, coaches and staff work in this fast-paced, full-contact sport. Everyone involved is so dedicated to the game, and I know how much coaches want to learn and progress.

“The development of a world-class coaching programme is essential to growing the sport and achieving success at all levels.”

The collaboration follows the University establishing the Eastern region’s only FA Women’s High Performance Centre to develop talent.

It comes after SRES launched a partnership with Colchester Rugby Club to explore concussion in the amateur game.

Professor Nelson Cortes, head of school, welcomed the collaboration, saying: “This is an exciting opportunity which will allow our researchers to help shape and change a fast-growing sport.

“The University of Essex and SRES are dedicated to working with partners and using our expertise to make change happen and accelerate our excellent research.

“This agreement builds upon our already excellent links with partner organisations and will help further establish Essex as the region’s leading sporting institution.”

England Ice Hockey has welcomed the opportunity to work with Essex’s world-leading experts.

The body boasts more than 400 clubs, 9,000 players and over 1,000 volunteers, and oversees the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL), which features 51 clubs from England and Wales.

Alan Moutrey, director responsible for coaching, said: “England Ice Hockey is delighted to partner with the University of Essex. Effective coaching is the key to the success of any sport, and input from coaching experts to guide our coaching programme is most welcome.

“With responsibility for grassroots ice hockey in England and Wales, ensuring our coaching programme is right is key to the future of our athletes for all levels.

“Our aim is to prepare players as best as we possibly can, to help achieve the ultimate goal of reaching the Winter Olympic Games and competing with the top nations in the world – having a modern and effective coaching programme is essential to meeting this target.

“We look forward to this fruitful partnership in helping us drive the sport forward.”

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