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The Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance research vision is “To Be a Globally Respected Research Hub of Human Performance Science”. This is enabled by executing applied research meaningful to the industry and community in regional, national, and international settings. The Centre’s research directions are led by Dr Peter Maulder (Research Leader) and conducted by nine staff researchers.

Research directions

Athlete Development Science
The Athlete Development Science team's research focus is to identify and enhance the physical, physiological, and mental capability of athletes in either the adult or youth space. This involves speciality services from the disciplines of strength and conditioning, nutrition, biomechanics, coaching, physiology, psychology, and rehabilitation. The Centre is working closely with several external partner schools, sports, and athlete organisations providing innovative strategies and support to improve their athlete development programmes.

Community Wellbeing Through Exercise
The Wellbeing and Lifestyle Science team's research focus via the Biokinetic Centre is to encourage applied research in the field of clinical exercise physiology that will encourage participation in an exercise or physical activity leading to better health outcomes. Exercise will be used as a stimulus to elucidate the mechanisms and define adjunctive therapy by which people will optimally adapt, heal, and overcome debilitating disease or injury.

Research includes:   

  • Long-term effectiveness of the New Zealand Green Prescription primary health care exercise initiative
  • Physical activity coaching by clinical exercise physiologists is cost-effective for patients referred from general practice
  • Physical activity coaching by a clinical exercise physiologist is cost-effective for clients engaged in a corporate wellbeing project

Ergogenic Science
The Ergogenic Science team utilises ergogenic strategies which are processes or products that can be followed or consumed to aid adaptation to exercise or an environment. Examples may be using a heat chamber to acclimatise prior to an event in a hot environment, or creatine supplementation to preserve and/or increase muscle mass. Ergogenic strategies overlap the athletic and clinical populations; whilst our research interests appear currently to lie in the performance sector, translation of these strategies to a clinical population will produce innovative outputs in a novel area. This research arm will typically employ an intervention of some kind, but may also assess attitudes, beliefs, and barriers to adopting strategies.

Polo Science
Polo science engages in authentic and meaningful sports science for players, coaches, and grooms of polo. This research is translated into improved polo performance on the pitch and communicated in publications such as Polo Times and academic outlets.

Postgraduate student research


Staff research



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