On Saturday night (November 5) at the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) Awards Gala Dinner in Melbourne, JCU's Associate Professor Stephen Bird took out the inaugural ASCA Professional Coaches Association – “Mentor Coach of the Year”.
The award is an initiative of the ASCA Board to recognise outstanding contributions made by members who provide support and mentoring to fellow coaches to allow the continual growth and recognition of the value of accreditation.
The award aims to build on ASCA’s philosophy that it is important to recognise those who give their time, experience and guidance to Strength and Conditioning Coaches at all levels of the ASCA Professional Coaching Scheme.
Associate Professor Stephen Bird, PhD, BHMvt(Hons), CSCS, AEP, RNutr, is a senior academic within Sport and Exercise Science through the College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns. With over 15 years experience teaching and researching in strength and conditioning (elite athlete preparation) and sports science (fatigue monitoring and recovery management) A/Prof Bird has been responsible for overseeing physical preparation of pre-elite and elite youth athletes since 2006 (WRAS), and professional athletes in Australia (1996-2008; 2012-15) and Indonesia (2007-2012). A/Prof Bird was directly responsible for implementation of the Indonesian High Performance Program, in conjunction with the Indonesian Olympic Committee, National Sports Committee of Indonesia and the State Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs of Indonesia, attending the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing, China as part of the Indonesian Olympic Contingent in his role as Department Head, Strength and Conditioning (1x Gold; 1x Silver; 3x Bronze). His portfolio was responsible for overseeing athlete preparation and coach education for scheduled events by Olympic Council of Asia (2007 SEA Games, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2009 SEA Games, 2010 Asian Games, 2011 SEA Games and 2012 London Olympic Games). Assisting youth athlete development, A/Prof Bird served as Director of Strength and Conditioning at the Western Region Academy of Sport (2006-2015) coordinating the S&C Internship for final year exercise science students providing professional mentorship for more than 30 intern, with placements also conducted through the Australian Rugby Union. The SCI program provides interns with proficiency skills and knowledge required as early career S&C professionals following the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Professional Coaching Structure.
Bridging the gap between theory and practice, A/Prof Bird’s current research agenda examines the application of strength and conditioning methods, nutritional supplementation and sports science technology on health and athletic performance. Current research themes include: Injury prevention through prediction (musculoskeletal movement screening and analysis); Nutritional supplementation for performance (nutrient timing, nutrient/gene interactions; multi-nutrient supplementation, nutritional knowledge and supplementation usage); Trunk stability and athletic performance (pre-determined movement strategies and movement optimisation); Fatigue monitoring and recovery management (frameworks for quantification of athlete load tolerance levels, immune function, illness and injury; travel-related fatigue). These professional works and research areas have resulted in publication of major consultancy reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, text-book chapters, invited position stands and expert reviews.
As an educator, A/Prof Bird’s primary teaching context relates to the field of strength and conditioning science, and exercise rehabilitation. Teaching clinically-oriented courses specialising in musculoskeletal rehabilitation and injury prevention, A/Prof Bird has fulfilled roles of Course Director (Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology); Course review team facilitator; Expert Panel Member, Curriculum Renewal in Exercise Science Project; Facilitator, National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Program. Current professional appointments occupied by A/Prof Bird include Associate Editor Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, Director of Strength and Conditioning, Western Region Academy of Sport and consultant with MUSASHI Performance Nutrition. Please view StephenBird.co for further information about A/Prof Bird's academic and professional works.