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Northumbria joins forces with England Athletics

Press release   •   Sep 12, 2013 00:00 BST

Northumbria University has confirmed a partnership with England Athletics by becoming a regional testing centre.

The centre will provide physiological support for athletes, as well as coach support within the England Athletics Coach Mentoring scheme. This agreement formalises the local athlete support that Northumbria University has provided for over 25 years.

The University’s state-of-the-art facilities, housed in its £30M Sport Central facility, makes Northumbria the ideal choice as a testing centre for talented athletes. The University’s sports science facilities consist of a dedicated suite of laboratories including physiology, biomechanics, performance analysis, gait, integrated performance, nutrition, strength and conditioning and a 55m indoor running track. The centre also boasts an environmental chamber that can simulate extreme temperatures and high or low altitude conditions, a neuroscience laboratory to investigate the role of the nervous system during exercise and a body composition laboratory to measure body fat.

The use of these facilities will elevate athlete testing above the traditional physiological and biomechanical analysis carried out during treadmill running.

The regional centre will be led by BASES (British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences) accredited Sport and Exercise Physiologist Phil Hayes, senior lecturer in the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria. Phil has published a number of research papers on the physiology and biomechanics of running, and has particular expertise in the physiology of running. He is also a Level 4 middle distance coach with over 20 years’ experience in both coaching and providing sport science support to athletes who have competed at club to international levels. This mix of scientific and coaching expertise enables Phil to provide a unique level of support for endurance runners.

Phil said: ‘Northumbria has a long history of providing sport science support to runners and we welcome the opportunity to both formalise and continue to develop this partnership. Working closely with England Athletics will provide Northumbria University staff and students with an opportunity to engage further with talented athletes, while enabling athletes and coaches to gain access to world class facilities and cutting edge sports science techniques. The North East has a long tradition of success in athletics and Northumbria is proud to be a part of it.’

Martin Rush, Endurance Event Group Lead, British Athletics said: ‘This is an excellent step forward for England Athletics. This partnership with Northumbria University to support endurance coaches and athletes in the North East of England expands on the number of centres around the country providing these resources and expertise. The North East has an incredibly successful and proud history of producing elite level endurance athletes trained by some of the best known names in coaching. Developing support opportunities like this is a key part of England Athletics’ ongoing role in present and future coach development. ‘

To find out more about Northumbria University’s Sport and Exercise courses visit Prospective students will be able to view Sport Central’s world-class facilities during the University’s open days on Saturday 28th September and Saturday 26th October. To find out more, or to register, visit

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go

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