Featured News JCU academic pursues Olympic dreams

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Tue, 19 Jul 2016

JCU academic pursues Olympic dreams

Indonesia’s badminton team is planning on a haul of medals at the Rio Olympics and expertise from James Cook University’s High Performance Sport Initiative will be assisting them every step of the way.

Sport and Exercise Science Associate Professor Stephen Bird will leave the Cairns Campus on Sunday (July 24) for Jakarta to attend an official send off for the Indonesian Olympic team on July 27 before joining their final training camp in Brazil’s Sau Paulo for seven days.

“The team and I will arrive in Rio on August 7 and stay at the Olympic Village until the Closing Ceremony,” he said.

“I will be working with Indonesia’s medal prospect athletes to ensure they arrive in Rio as healthy as possible in order to achieve their personal best at the Games.

“This will be my second Olympic Games after assisting the Indonesian team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which was their most successful Olympics with one Gold, one Silver and three Bronze medals.

“Indonesia was not as successful at the London Olympics in 2012 and so Satlak PRIMA, the National High Performance Program reached out again for sport science support to assist in fatigue monitoring and recovery management at the Rio Games.”

Associate Professor Bird had worked with Indonesian athletes in several disciplines from 2007 to 2011 to develop the team’s strength and conditioning when he was previously with Charles Sturt University.

“I was directly responsible for implementation of the Indonesian High Performance Program with Achmad Sutjipto Program Director, in conjunction with the State Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs of Indonesia,” he said.

Since joining JCU in July last year, Associate Professor Bird has worked with colleagues on the JCU High Performance Sport Initiative which specialises in all facets of athlete preparation including strength and conditioning, fatigue monitoring, recovery management and sports nutrition.

This initiative has also resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding being signed with Papua New Guinea High Performance Sport this week.

JCU also has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Northern Pride High Performance Unit which involves a PhD student and an intern assisting the Cairns-based Queensland Rugby League Team with sports science and fatigue management.

JCU High Performance Sport Initiative interns will be working with Australian Baseball team the Emeralds in the lead to the World Cup in September and recently commenced with Cairns semi-professional soccer team FNQ FC Heat.

Netball Australia and Mountain Biking Australia use the JCU High Performance Sport Initiative which is also involved with a push to establish an FNQ Regional Academy of Sport to help talented youth athletes transition from pre-elite youth to elite youth and senior programs.


For more information contact Associate Professor Stephen Bird on 0403 213 461 or stephen.bird@jcu.edu.au