Southern Cross University research group wins Australian Institute of Sport grant

Associate Professor Christian Swann at Coffs Harbour campus, Southern Cross University.

A NEW research group at Southern Cross University (SCU) has won an Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) grant allowing it to fast forward its work in elite sports.

The grant is worth $49,500 for projects to be undertaken by members of the Physical Activity, Sport and Exercise Research (PASER) team, which is led by SCU Coffs Harbour campus’ Associate Professor Swann with Associate Professor Chris Stevens and another early-career researcher, Dr Scott Goddard, who completed his PhD at Southern Cross University in 2022.

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It’s a significant move by the AIS, being its first-ever funding into the growing field of elite sports.

Professor Swann and the team will partner with Athletics Australia, University of Wollongong and the University of Canberra to build a research-based framework for understanding the psychology of optimal performance in elite sprint, power, and endurance athletes.

Speaking from SCU Coffs campus, Associate Professor Swann, explained the research.

“This project aims to embed the latest scientific evidence on the psychology of optimal performance states within Athletics Australia’s support system,” he said.

“We will work with athletes, coaches, and sport psychologists to develop understanding of how this scientific evidence should be implemented, by identifying where, when, and how to support athletes in achieving optimal performance states.

“By doing so, we aim to help Athletics Australia increase the frequency with which their athletes experience optimal performance states and, in turn, perform at their best when it matters most.

“The grant is a fantastic start for PASER and will lead to exciting outcomes,” said PASER lead Associate Professor Swann.

“We have around 25 members in total, all of whom are doing great research, so we’re expecting more successes as we build our profile in sport, exercise and physical activity research at Southern Cross University.”

Associate Professor Christian Swann, said the grants were significant given competition for AIS funding is very strong, coupled with the fact that PASER formed only last October.


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