Leeds Beckett University puts focus on women's rugby league
LEEDS BECKETT University is conducting a study designed to boost women’s rugby league from national level to grass roots.
The initiative, commissioned by the Rugby Football League, is believed to be the most comprehensive study of its type undertaken in any sport.
It began in pre-season and will resume when the campaign kicks off following the coronavirus shutdown.
Every Betfred Women’s Super League squad member will be monitored across the entire season in order to study injuries, including concussion rates, generate more effective fitness programmes and ultimately improve standards.
A number of workshops for coaching and medical staff, to look at performance barriers and risk factors, will also take place.
The study is led by Leeds Rhinos’ head of science Ben Jones, who is also professor of sports physiology and performance at Leeds Beckett University.
He said: “We are excited about the opportunities this research will bring in helping to have a big impact in shaping the game for women’s rugby league moving forwards.
“We are hopeful its outcomes will not only improve standards at elite level, but over time have positive impacts at all levels, including grassroots and encourage wider participation.
“The fitness testing scores will allow players and coaches to identify strengths and weaknesses, not only in comparison to teammates, but also to other players across the league. This will create more competition and more world-class players.”
Jones added: “The data sets collected will provide information on the physical profile of female rugby league players and how they change over a season.
“This will provide information to support coaches on how to train the female athlete and, in turn, drive forward performance and standards.
“The research team is also quantifying the demands of match play to understand the suitability of the current structure for women’s rugby league across numerous areas. Any potential outcomes and improvements will be dependent on the data collected.”
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