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Case Studies

Our department work alongside some of the worlds most elite individuals and world leading companies in Sport from Sailing to Boxing to ex Premiership footballers and much much more. Here are a handful of examples.


British Diving 10m Synchro duo Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor win Olympic silver medal.
Dr Mike Lauder and Dr Neal Smith provided performance analysis support for Pete Waterfield from 2001 to 2004. Mike and Neal aided in analysing Pete's technique with high speed video at the Eddie Read diving complex in Southampton. Since working with Pete, he has gained increased success in the 10m platform event, where he won Commonwealth Gold in 2002, and added the Olympic silver medal with Taylor in the 2004 Athens games.

Sailing and Yachting

RYA Sports Science Support Programme
The Olympics, Commonwealth and World Championship hopes of British sailors have been monitored and aided by the Sports Science Support Programme
The support programme comprises of one full-time member of staff under Paul Mullan, Head of Sports Science and Sports Medicine at the RYA working alongside senior and development squads of the RYA. The University has had a long standing relationship with the RYA with a former student and member of staff, Peter Cunningham, working with the Olympic sailing squad since September 1993. Since March 1998 this has been a full time position funded by the Royal Yachting Association in conjunction with their World Class Performance and will continue through a sponsored Pathway sports scientist post from 2012 to 2017..


ABA Sports Science Support Programme
British Boxers have been aided during their campaigns for the Olympic games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Home Nations competitions by Dr Marcus Smith. Marcus provided advice on training programmes, and nutrition, in order for the athletes to `make the weight´ for their important bouts. In addition, the boxers also had their performance monitored in terms of fitness, and punching ability, at regular intervals.
Dr Smith has worked as an exercise physiologist with the England and Great Britain Amateur Boxing Associations since 1987 and is considered an expert in the area.

Quintic Consultancy Ltd

Biomechanics staff Dr Neal Smith and Dr Mike Lauder teamed up with staff from Quintic Consultancy Ltd. led by ex-Chichester graduate Dr Paul Hurrion to perform biomechanics testing on a new development range of hiking boots for Hi-Tec footwear in the University of Chichester laboratory. Hi-Tec are designing a new sole unit for their hiking footwear which they hope will offer greater cushioning and stability, and therefore comfort to the wearer. The team made comparison ground force measures of foot impact forces and generated propulsion forces during walking with hiking gear. Two different prototype shoes were investigated. Three dimensional reconstruction of the walking pattern, force platform measurements, and underfoot pressure profiles were collected simultaneously under close scrutiny from the team. Recommendations have been made to Hi-Tec, and the new-look boot should be on general release early in 2008.

Dr Iain Greenlees, Reader in Sports Psychology

Iain was a consultant for the BBC Horizon programme on colour, which featured the research he carried out at Chichester on the effects of the colour of football goalkeeper shirts on penalty takers. Dr Greenlees also conducted a study with Dr Russell Hill from Durham University for the purposes of the programme on a similar theme. The episode was first aired on 8 August 2011 on BBC 2, the first in a new series of the popular science programme.

RONALDO- Documentary consultancy

Academics from the University of Chichester tested football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to the limit for a new primetime Sky Sports documentary.
Dr Neal Smith, lecturer in Sports Science, Zoe Wimshurst, Sports Science Support Officer, and Russell Peters, Sports Science Technician, flew out to Spain in order to carry out a series of tests on Ronaldo, with the aim of discovering what makes him one of the best players in the world.
The team spent five hours in a film studio decked out with AstroTurf performing tests on the Portuguese international, assessing his sprinting and free-kick taking amongst other attributes.The programme, 'Ronaldo – Tested to the Limit', will air on Sky Sports 2 on the 8th September at 8pm.

One of the tests, extracts from which can be seen in the trailer for the programme, involved Ronaldo kicking a football as hard as he could through a series of panes of glass in order to measure his maximum kick speed. Neal explains: “We had a camera operating at 300 frames per second taking footage of Ronaldo kicking a ball as hard as possible through a series of panes of glass. Using special Quintic analysis software, developed in conjunction with the University of Chichester, enabled us to measure ball speed, trajectory, and spin rate in each of the three rotational axes.” 

In collaboration with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the university has previously conducted experiments to assess the legality of bowling action in leading cricketers. Using the same technology, Neal was able to analyse Ronaldo's famous free-kick technique. 

He said: “For the free-kick test, a series of 47 reflective markers were placed over key anatomical landmarks of Ronaldo's body to reconstruct his free-kick techniques. A specialist Vicon motion capture system was used, with 10 infra-red cameras operating at 500 images per second to track each of the body markers. Vicon then reconstructed a series of Ronaldo's curved and dipping free kicks and generated a computer animation of his skeleton, from which we could measure joint angles, angular velocities, and gain an indication of the ratio of foot to ball velocities.” In sprint tests, Ronaldo was pitted against Ángel David Rodríguez Garcia, Spain's number one sprinter, and the two were also matched up for the Zig Zag test, which required Ronaldo and Ángel to mimic movements required during football.