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UC and AIS take international biomechanics in sports conference virtual

Suzanne Lazaroo

3 September 2021: The very first virtual International Conference of Biomechanics in Sports 2021 kicked off today, jointly hosted by the University of Canberra and the Australian Institute for Sport (AIS).

The annual conference is held by the International Society of Biomechanics in Sport (ISBS), which aims to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners in biomechanics in sports.

Providing a forum for exchange and collaboration, the society has members from all over the world, with backgrounds in everything from exercise science to rehabilitation and medicine.

Conference Chair and University of Canberra Associate Professor Wayne Spratford organised the conference with Co-chairs Professor Nick Brown and Assistant Professor Celeste Coltman – also from the University of Canberra – and Dr John Warmenhoven, Data Science Fellow at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Spratford said the conference was always a good networking opportunity, and a chance to catch up on the latest issues and developments in the field of biomechanics.

“These include Dr Luke Kelly’s keynote presentation on how better understanding the complex functions of the human foot will greatly impact biomechanics applications, and a panel discussion on the applications of data science to sports biomechanics,” he said.

The conference has gone online this year after being cancelled in 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have 430 attendees from over 40 countries registered – and because it is virtual, we were able to set the program up to cross time zones,” Dr Spratford said.

“Regardless of where attendees are, they’ll be able to attend at least some of the conference events live within their own time zone.”

The entire conference will be recorded for all attendees.

The ISBS Student Mentor Programme, which sees researchers and practitioners paired with student mentees, is a popular segment of the conference. It has also gone online this year, with sessions starting prior to the conference itself.

The conference was opened by University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Paddy Nixon.

“We are honoured to be able to host this conference jointly with the AIS – our institutions have worked in such close collaboration for many years,” Professor Nixon said.

“The conference itself is closely aligned with the ideals and ideas within UC’s own Sport Strategy, as we look to grow our local, national and global sport and research collaborations, and create and adopt innovation and technology to positively impact sport performance and active living.”

Professor Nixon added that the conference also reflected the University’s own focus on women in sport, with strong female representation among keynote speakers and panels, including Emeritus Professor Julie Steele from the University of Wollongong and Associate Professor Clare Minahan from Griffith University.

There is also a dedicated panel on women in sport, and a Mother’s Café panel, both aiming to discuss and address inequity in STEMM.

For more information, visit the International Conference of Biomechanics in Sports 2021 website.