Sport science event

Public engagement

Face to Face

Information about our past public engagement events

What Face to Face has been up to so far in 2018

2018 events

Team Extreme's latest project

LJMU recently opened its doors (or rather state-of-the-art environmental chambers) to a number of trekkers raising money for Alder Hey Children's Charity by walking up Kilimanjaro this October. Dubbed as ‘damage limitation sessions’, sport scientists gave the trekkers a supervised flavor of ‘altitude’, monitoring their responses as they exercise for an hour on on three difference days in an environment of 2000, 3000 and 4000 m respectively.

The trekkers were supported by ‘Team Extreme’ who consisted of a number of postgraduate and undergraduate students from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences as well as placement students from local schools. These facilities are run by Dr Ben Edwards, a specialist in Environmental Physiology.

“Thank you so much to Team Extreme for allowing the Alder Hey Children’s Charity Kilimanjaro trekkers to come into LJMU and undergo sessions in the hypoxic chamber. It was a great experience and has given us all really beneficial insights into how we’ll cope with the altitude – not to mention the additional advice you’ve given us for getting up the mountain. The feedback from all the team has been very positive, even the saddle sore bottoms! The sessions have instilled a steely confidence in their ability to successfully undertake the challenge. On behalf of us all, and everyone at Alder Hey who will benefit from the money raised on the challenge, thank you again – you rock!” Mrs Cath Harding, Head of Community Fundraising for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.

Team Extreme

FamilyFitFest

The first #FamilyFitFest took place at IM Marsh on Saturday 3 June, a new fitness and wellbeing event encouraging families to look after their health, especially after a childhood cancer diagnosis.

#FamilyFitFest featured a host of different sports and fun activities including football, cycling, racing, athletics, as well as tasters of health and nutrition and wellbeing such as yoga and clean-eating.

An under-researched area, exercise and fitness after childhood cancer is a key focus for Dr Dominic Doran, LJMU Lecturer in Exercise and Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Family Ft Fest

Dominic’s teenage son was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2013. He explains: “When you receive a life-changing leukaemia diagnosis your initial focus is just getting your child through treatment. You don’t think about the ‘after-treatment’ or the side effects that it may have on their physical and mental wellbeing.

“After his treatment for cancer at Alder Hey, my son has also received wellbeing support from The Joshua Tree which has seen him grow in body confidence, self-esteem and general fitness. It’s had a positive knock-on effect on the whole family and I wanted to ensure that other families affected by childhood cancers come along to this taster day to see how they can benefit from the many different types of fun fitness and exercise on offer.”

“It is critical that we better understand how lifestyle, nutrition and activity can help in not only living with the diagnosis, treatment and the after effects of childhood cancers, this event will help start this process of gathering knowledge on these issues.”

#FamilyFitFest is supported by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, North-West children’s cancer charity The Joshua Tree and the Teenage Cancer Trust with research support from LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

"We worked with Dr Dominic Doran, LJMU Lecturer in Exercise and Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences to better understand how lifestyle, nutrition and activity can help the families. The relationship between The Joshua Tree and the staff at LJMU was so valuable in creating such an amazing and successful event as the support offered helped to create, what we hope will be, a future annual event for all the North West and North Wales families going through and following such a traumatic time in their lives. Everyone at The Joshua Tree is looking forward to working closely and developing a strong partnership with Liverpool John Moores University in the future to benefit all our families." - The Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree logo

LightNight 2018

On Friday 18 May, Liverpool celebrated LightNight with over 100 free performances, exhibitions, installations, workshops and talks. The 2018 theme was Transformation, with exhibits and installations reflecting upon the transformative nature of the self and the world around us. LJMU was a principal sponsor and many students and staff were involved to make this year’s event bigger and better than ever. On the night, approximately 2,100 people visited LJMU and our partner sites. The Football Exchange exhibited for the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences as part of their celebrations of 20 years of the BSc Science and Football programme, the first programme of its kind in the world and how its graduates and research has ‘transformed’ the soccer industry globally. Visitors were able to use GPS systems used to track player performance in a short small-sided game and then able to view their scores and see how they fared against typical positional data from professional players.

Football at LightNight

Randox Health Week 2018

As part of an ongoing relation with Randox LJMU School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has again developed an educational series based around health and well-being, delivered by a combination of world-leading industry and academic speakers. Take a look at the 2017 event review below. The Randox Health Week programme focused in particular on aspects of mental health, physical activity and health diagnostics, which is particularly fitting given the nature of the Grand National sponsor’s line of work. With over 36 years’ experience in creating and manufacturing innovative and cutting-edge clinical diagnostic products, Randox Health has developed the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health check; so highly advanced that it can detect the earliest possible signs of disease even before a patient becomes symptomatic. It is this pioneering health check from Randox that led to Sir Anthony McCoy being diagnosed with prediabetes. Joining Randox Health Week Sir Anthony led a discussion on transforming our health behaviours from a reactive to a proactive approach. Public events focused on current research between Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and the Racing Welfare (funded by the Racing Foundation) focused on mental health in the racing industry and also a workshop giving insight into how Liverpool is leading global initiatives on becoming ‘An Active City’ with international keynote speakers local City representatives as discussants. Take a look at the details of our outreach work as part of this programme. Look out for announcements on our 2019 programme on our news page or Twitter feed @LJMUSportSci later this year.

On behalf of us all, and everyone at Alder Hey who will benefit from the money raised on the challenge, thank you again – you rock!

Mrs Cath Harding - Head of Community Fundraising for Alder Hey Children's Charity

"The relationship between The Joshua Tree and the staff at LJMU was so valuable in creating such an amazing and successful event as the support offered helped to create, what we hope will be, a future annual event for all the North West and North Wales families going through and following such a traumatic time in their lives. Everyone at The Joshua Tree is looking forward to working closely and developing a strong partnership with LJMU in the future to benefit all our families." 

The Joshua Tree

2017 events

20 Years of the Research Institute of Sport and Exercise Sciences

RISES was host to several public events including some on behalf of our partners and collaborators to celebrate 20 years since its beginnings in 1997. Take a look at the events and projects spanning 2017-2018.

Natural Health Service is improving health and reducing demands on services

LJMU Physical Activity Exchange hosted a free conference in conjunction with the Mersey Forest to showcase the Natural Health Service. Pioneering delivery partners gathered at Liverpool John Moores University to showcase the achievements of the Natural Health Service (NaHS) Consortium and offer practical resources for commissioners, practitioners and the public to develop the service across the UK. The NaHS is working with Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool to create a long-term research programme, a Centre of Excellence for Natural Health Service Research, that is set to influence policy and support for health and wellbeing in green environments. See the full story.

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at LightNight

This is the fourth year in a row that LJMU has been the principal sponsor of LightNight and this year’s event on Friday 19 May 2017 proved to be the best yet. Over 2,000 people visited activities on the University campus – up some 400 visitors on last year’s event. Sports Science staff showcased the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the Time to HIIT the Gym exhibit, with visitors working up a sweat on exercise bikes and many signing up to take part in future research. PhD researcher Katie Hesketh explained:

“Aligning with the LightNight theme, HIIT is becoming increasingly important as ‘lack of time’ prevents many from exercising. Children and adults got involved in the different stations, from Wingate sprints to trying out LJMU’s own Home-HIIT programme. There was considerable interest in our pioneering research, with visitors wanting to know more about how they could incorporate HIIT into their daily lives.”

Full LightNight story

Randox Health week 2017

New Grand National sponsors Randox Health completed a week of public health programmes in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and the University of Liverpool’s Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital, ahead of the main racing event.

As part of our outreach programme racing legend Franny Norton, boxing champion Derry Matthews and Olympic Athlete Matt McGovern worked alongside world-leading sport scientists, equine health experts and Randox to deliver interactive sessions and presentations to the public about the benefits of a preventive health approach in exercise and life in general.

This included Merseyside school pupils boxing with Derry Matthews, discovering the demands on jockeys through racing Franny Norton on Racewood Ltd’s horse simulator, and learning about different approaches to High Interval Training (HIT), all alongside world-class sport science support. Talks and presentations considered personalised approaches to athletic weightmaking and general healthcare and included an open tour of the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES), a source of expertise for many elite athletes and the community and was celebrating its 20th anniversary.

A Randox Health spokesperson commented:

“This has been a fantastic start to the Randox Health Grand National week. There has been some outstanding moments with the students and we particularly want to thank Franny and Derry for their very generous support. Having athletes of their level involved throughout the whole Randox Health Week really added to the enjoyment of all who participated. This was all complemented by the afternoon sessions featuring world-leading authorities sharing insights into a host of fascinating topics. We look forward to next year.”

View a full event report

There has been some outstanding moments with the students and we particularly want to thank Franny and Derry for their very generous support. Having athletes of their level involved throughout the whole Randox Health Week really added to the enjoyment of all who participated. This was all complemented by the afternoon sessions featuring world-leading authorities sharing insights into a host of fascinating topics. We look forward to next year.

A Randox Health spokesperson

Aligning with the LightNight theme, HIIT is becoming increasingly important as ‘lack of time’ prevents many from exercising. Children and adults got involved in the different stations, from Wingate sprints to trying out LJMU’s own Home-HIIT programme. There was considerable interest in our pioneering research, with visitors wanting to know more about how they could incorporate HIIT into their daily lives.

Katie Hesketh, PhD student on Light Night

2016 events

Anti-doping in sport

Greg Whyte at Face to Face anti-doping event 2016

A 2016 public engagement grant from the Society for Endocrinology was awarded to Professor Claire Stewart, Dr Neil Chester and Dr Zoe Knowles. This has funded the development and hosting of a successful “Doping in Sport” event held within the department of Sport and Exercise Sciences. With presentations from UK Anti-Doping, Stephen Watkins (Rugby Football Union), Prof Graeme Close and Prof Greg Whyte OBE (both School of Sport and Exercise Sciences), the day had an exciting and varied programme. Endorsement from the British Pharmacological Society, British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and The British Dietetic Association added weight to the day. Interviews with athletes: Katie Hesketh (water polo), Hannah Clowes (gymnastics), Chris McCready (football) and Henry Cookey (Taekwondo), put the event into real life perspective. Finally, afternoon interactive sessions around sport and outreach (led by RISES PhD students, post docs and staff as well as members of the Art and Design Academy and Humanities and Social Science) gave context and impact to the theme of the day. There were 72 GCSE/A level children and teachers, plus ten local coaches as the core of the audience. As we progress onwards from the event and in order to develop legacy, we are building a specific webpage linked to the F2FSS site – more details to follow.

Welcome home Tim!

A group of researchers from RISES and the F2FSS programme participated in the “Return to Earth” event at the Liverpool World Museum on Saturday 18 June. The day was dedicated to celebrating British astronaut Tim Peake's return to Earth after a six month mission on the International Space Station. Following on from the successful Mission X event during the launch in December, the Liverpool John Moores University exhibition included posters about ‘Humans in Space’ and how living in space affects the human body. The focus of our exhibition was the effects on muscles, tendons and bones in particular, and the exercise countermeasures that are necessary to reduce the negative effects of microgravity. Our exhibition included an ultrasound scanning system for imaging the muscle and tendons of visitors to assess the size and mechanical properties of the tissues (similar to the systems used by the astronauts at the ISS for monitoring the condition of their muscles) and a vertical jump test system for assessing the strength and coordination of the muscles in the lower limbs. Families and visitors had the chance to see their muscles in ‘action’ and to test their vertical jump ability that correlates with general health and physical capabilities in order to appreciate the consequences of the loss of muscle strength and function when astronauts return to Earth but also the importance of physical activity for health and wellbeing in general.

Face to Face at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Rock and Roll logoFace to Face with Sports Science took a team of expert staff and students to the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in Liverpool on Saturday 25 May. A Q&A booth was set up in the athlete Expo for anyone wanting to know about nutrition, biomechanics/footwear, cardiovascular health and training science. Staff were supported by postgraduate students with an interest in endurance running. Questions ranged from what type of fuel to use during and after a race to the risks of running with a prior diagnosis of hypertension.

CallNorthWest Forum

Move more and sit less to improve productivity

CallNorthWest forum

The Physical Activity Exchange was invited by CallNorthWest to host a forum focusing on supporting and promoting the health and performance of call centre employees.

Encouraging desk-based staff to move more and sit less at work can not only improve their health, but also their work performance, was the advice from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES), at a forum for contact centre employees. The Physical Activity Exchange in RISES was invited by CallNorthWest to host a forum focusing on supporting and promoting the health and performance of call centre employees. CallNorthWest provides a support network for the 700+ call and contact centres in the North West, and their regular forums allow contact centre professionals to network, source information, highlight key industry issues and share best practice. The RISES team hopes the event will support research in more regional contact centres in order to develop, implement and evaluate interventions which promote health and performance in highly sedentary workers.

For further information, please contact Dr Lee Graves.

First International AKU Patient Workshop

AKU Patient Workshop

Hannah Shepherd and Professor Gabor Barton at the International AKU Patient Workshop.

Professor Gabor Barton and Hannah Shepherd attended the First International AKU Patient Workshop at Everton Football Club on Wednesday 20 April where they delivered a presentation about gait analysis. Read the blog post about the event.

2015 events

Sport scientists support European Researchers Night

Dr Tom O'Brien from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences contributed to Manchester Museums's Science Uncovered event, part of the European Researchers' Night, which provided an opportunity for visitors in 280 European cities to meet scientists and learn more about their research. The LJMU team (Dr Isabelle De Groote, Dr Kyoko Yamaguchi, Dr Eline van Asperen, students Ian Towle and Elisabeth Parrot, Dr Thomas O’Brien, Barbara Kalkman and a PhD Education, Health and Community student) set up and explained displays and activities around the DigiArt project, human evolution, fungi and muscle function scanning using ultrasound. 250 visitors passed through the doors of the museum and explored the research stations which included three minute soap-box science talks, two science bars and experiments and specimens displays. LJMU exhibited technology and specimens that generated interesting discussions with both visitors and science researchers.

European Researchers Night

Dr Tom O'Brien from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences demonstrating muscle function scanning using ultrasound.

F2FSS at Liverpool's Light Night 2015

Staff from the F2FSS team exhibited at Liverpool Light Night on 15 May 2015 with LJMU as the Principal Sponsor of the overall event. Visitors were shown advanced biomechanical techniques for muscle scanning and could have a BP check as well as pitting their skills in grip strength, jump tests, on cycle ergometers and rowing machines against the scores/times of the best athletes in the world. SOKKA provided their kit for those wanting to try and improve their passing and ball control whilst also engaging in fitness and fun.

2014 events

F2FSS at The Commonwealth Games 2014

Face2Face with Sports Science were at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games for a full week as part of the BBC Get Inspired Programme. The award-winning public engagement interface for LJMU's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, offered a range of activities at the event to demonstrate just how easy it is to lead a healthy lifestyle. The team conducted a simulated bike race with BBC 5 live presenter Fred MacAulay vs Olympic Gold Medal track cyclist Victoria Pendleton on the main stage. Victoria Pendleton also highlighted the importance of sport science in her success while speaking to the team.

F2FSS travels North

The award winning F2FSS team travelled north in May/June 2014 to support CBBC Live, BBC learning and BBC north to help children learn about nutrition and take part in a variety of sports challenges in Gateshead. Up to 9,000 people came through the sports zone over the three days. Activities included cycling, rowing, reactions and agility testing, information about active lifestyles and healthy eating, education about sugar content in sports drinks was taken around the site, lung function, hand grip strength and a jump mat. Kevin Keegan’s daughter Sarah Keegan also brought the SOKKA initiative to the event. SOKKA provides an opportunity to play and enjoy football, irrespective of age, gender, background or football ability. It has a key focus on health and wellbeing, with a particular emphasis on preventing obesity in young people, and works with LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences for the science behind the sport.

Take a look at photos from this event

Face to Face with Sports Science at Universities UK

The F2FSS team took part in the most ambitious and successful Universities Week to date in June, as they exhibited their public engagement programme Champion Science, in partnership with the University of Kent, at the Natural History Museum. The event attracted more than 28,000 people across the week, involved 45 universities, gaining national and regional media coverage and extensive social networking.

Visitors were be able to experience what it’s like to be a World Cup goal keeper by anticipating where to direct a penalty save, look inside the ‘human engine room’ and watch as experts demonstrate live cardiac and carotid artery scans – the same tests which are carried out as part of a footballer’s medical and to help identify athletes at risk of sudden cardiac death. They could also measure their own lung function and see how it compares to the UK’s top athletes, see how their speed and agility compares with the best football players in the country over a five metre course, complete a cycling challenge and see if they can keep pace with that set by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome and look at the technology behind football match analysis and how this informs coaching, tactical and punditry.

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Take a look at photos from this event

Check out LJMU's Online Marketing Officer undergoing some of these sporting challenges

Let's Talk Research: Big Comedy Workshop

The Physical Activity Exchange (PAEx) at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences took part in a 'Big Comedy Workshop' on 15 April 2014. The PAEx were one of only four research groups to secure one of these projects supported by the NHS Research and Development North West. The aim of the workshop was to explore the use of comedy in communicating about research on physical activity and the reduction of sedentary behaviour. The Exchange team worked with experts on comedy, improvisation, brainstorming, forum theatre, creativity debating and film production. The output from the day was also filmed on site at the Tom Reilly Building and once edited the sketch and short 'video diary' of the day will be used to communicate research messages to the public.

View videos of the day's events and the final sketch...

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BBC Sport Relief gets Face to Face with Sports Science

As Sport Relief motivated the entire nation to get active on the weekend of the 19 March 2014, the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences brought their public engagement programme to BBC staff at Media City, demonstrating just how easy it is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Some of the activities allowed participants to get advice on their own levels of physical activity and fitness and give them ideas as to how they can incorporate more physical activity into their day.

Participants also explored the science behind the development of the nation's elite performers with experts on hand to answer questions and share their own consultancy and research experiences. The BBC event also featured a Q&A with LJMU Professor of Applied Sport and Exercise, Greg Whyte OBE, hosted by the Director of BBC North, Peter Salmon. Greg is well known for his involvement in Sport Relief and Comic Relief. He had just returned from training and guiding Davina McCall through her triumphant week-long mission to run, swim, hike and cycle her way from Edinburgh to London and went from the event to work Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley through her Sport Relief 26 hour treadmill challenge.

Take a look at photos from the event 

2013 events

Type 1 diabetes and exercise day

The Exercise in Type 1 Diabetes Education Day was held in the LACE Conference Centre, Sefton Park, on 17 November to coincide with World Diabetes Day. The event was organised by Francesca Annan, Diabetes Dietician and Diabetes Service Lead for Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, sponsored by Novo Nordisk Ltd, and was supported by the Research Institute of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Over 50 Type 1 diabetic children who participate in high level, competitive sports travelled from all over the UK to hear expert advice from invited speakers including members of Team Novo Nordisk. The aim of the day was to provide practical advice and support for managing diet, blood glucose levels and high volume exercise training and competition, as well as to inspire children and young people with T1D to continue participation in sport, and to strive for excellence. RISES staff (Nicola Hopkins and Ellen Dawson) and students (Norhafizah Hamzah, Raihana Sharir) were on hand to demonstrate the importance of sport science support for optimal performance and the benefits of a physically active lifestyle on cardiovascular health. Additionally, children and parents were given the opportunity to participate in a range of physiological and exercise tests, and compare their results to those of elite athletes.

Turbo Boost for RISES

LJMU's Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES) featured on BBC TV Programme 'Turbo Boost' on the 31 October at 4.30pm on CBBC. The show featured an inspiring young BMX athlete who engages in various challenges and activities to improve his performance ahead of a final challenge, using the applied knowledge and practical skills of the RISES academics. Liam Phillips (GB BMX cyclist, 2013 UCI BMX World Champion) and Iwan Thomas MBE (former GB athlete) acted as mentors to the athlete.

The One Show

On 13 November LJMU School of Sport and Exercise Sciences hosted BBC's The One Show natural history presenter Mike Dilger and Dr Steve Portugal of Royal London Veterinary College for a piece to be aired in December 2013 which pitted the physiology of a Barnacle Goose against man. LJMU Sports Physiology PhD student Sam Impey put Mike through his paces. The filming took place at the Tom Reilly Building, which provides world-class sports and science facilities. Mike was required to cycle for one hour on a state of the art cycle ergometer to keep his power output to a steady 100 Watts, whilst continually having his respiration recorded by a gas analyser so energy expenditure and primary fuel source, fats or carbohydrates, could be calculated. His heart rate and tympanic (in ear) temperature were recorded and all the data was compared to the Goose.

Radio 5 Live Big Sporting Day out - June 2013

BBC Radio 5 Live, in partnership with BBC Radio Merseyside, visited LJMU for Sporting Day Out exploring the world of sports broadcasting on BBC radio at the University's Redmonds Building. The event was designed to give young people (14-25) a hands-on experience of sport and sports broadcasting on BBC radio and was run in partnership with BBC Radio Merseyside, LJMU, Liverpool FC Foundation, Everton in the Community and the UK Dodgeball Association. An invited audience of young people from across Liverpool had the opportunity to try their hand at a range of interactive workshops including sports commentary, TV and radio presenting, handball, sports science in action including performance testing and cardiovascular science football skills and a penalty shootout before attending a special Radio 5 Live debate, asking the question: can sport empower young people?

2011-2012 events

British Cardiovascular Society - May 2012

The three day conference took place at Manchester Central on 28-30 May 2012 and attracted over 2,200 healthcare professionals – 77% being either Consultant Cardiologists or Trainee Cardiologists. In the year of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the conference had a theme around maintaining a healthy heart rate through exercise and lifestyle changes and a key part of this will be a school's event at The Midland Hotel. Alongside the Annual Conference, the BCS held a 'Healthy Hearts' event for over 120 local schoolchildren. The event showed how the heart works, what can go wrong and how to keep a heart healthy. Various hands-on activities provided by the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences demonstrated how science is translated from theory to practice. The children learnt about the principles of physical activity and nutrition and how these can be incorporated into their day to day routines. Activities included an exergaming Nintendo Wii, various exercises exploring changes in the heart rate/blood pressure/lung function, physiological tests that elite athletes perform and making a sports drink.

Face to Face with Sports Science - March-October 2012

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at LJMU were recipients of a prestigious Wellcome Trust People Award in 2011-2012 through which we designed and held four school workshop days and four public events titled 'Face to Face with Sports Science' in conjunction with the World Museum Liverpool and Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester). These events provided interactive exhibits exploring the science of physiology, motor control, biomechanics, performance analysis and psychology in the development of the elite athlete. Through this programme we hosted over 260 15-18 year olds with accompanying staff and over 2,000 members of the public visited the events. The project also gained the London 2012 Inspire mark and won a bronze medal at the Podium Awards.