The Department of Health and Kinesiology is part of a grant that will have impact on the world’s most popular sport. The Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, a sporting academy in the nation of Qatar, has been awarded a grant from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) to develop ground-breaking research designed to analyze hamstring injuries in soccer players and to create new injury prevention strategies.
The research project is entitled ‘A multi-continental approach to advance exercise methods and technologies to promote general health and sports performance’. The three year project is a collaborative effort between the Department, Aspire Academy, the Karoliska Institute (Sweden), FC Barcelona (soccer) and NASA. The cooperation between the Academy and the well renowned partners reinforce the value of a unique and without precedents projects of its kind. Dr. Richard Kreider, head of the Department of Health and Kinesiology, traveled to Qatar to participate in the presentation.
Professor Valter Di Salvo, Director of Football Performance & Science at Aspire Academy, commented on the partnership, “It is a pleasure and an honor for Aspire Academy to lead a project endorsed by the Qatar National Research Found. We are working with four global organizations that are experts in their specific areas, and the overall experience and outcomes gained from this exciting collaboration will be of great value to Aspire Academy.”
“More importantly however, the research will help improve player performance levels and ultimately empower the development of our Qatari youth soccer players – the nation’s soccer stars of the future. The project demonstrates our ongoing commitment to nurturing our athletes’ potential and creating a new generation of sports champions,” Di Salvo added.
The project is divided into three separate phases. The majority of existing research is derived from studies using adult players; therefore, the study will aim to collect data from senior and youth players, as well as professional and semi-professional soccer players. A range of clubs and teams are set to collaborate including Aspire Academy, QSL, QFA, and FC Barcelona.
By furthering research that helps prevent injuries, the results will not only benefit Qatar but are also likely to bring multiple advantages globally. In addition, the results will contribute towards the development of a successful national team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Jose Alberto Villanueva, Aspire Academy, said, “Hamstring strains are well documented in soccer and account for 12%-16% of all injuries sustained by soccer players, making it the most prevalent injury in the sport. The over-arching goal of this project is to tackle this issue and lead the way in setting new prevention strategies for both young and adult players.”