Sport-science research and training centres

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Sportwissenschaftliche Forschungs- und Trainingszentren
Author:Schiffer, Jürgen
Published in:IAAF new studies in athletics
Published:25 (2010), 2, S. 79-110, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Print resource
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201107006059


Several countries, most notably Germany, Britain, Australia and the United States of America, have committed substantial financial and human resources to developing sport-science research as well as to identifying and fostering their sporting talent. Other countries, e.g., Russia, China, Korea, and South Africa, have also engaged in similar efforts but with lower levels of investment. A central component of the programmes employed in all of these countries has been the establishment of National Sports Institutes or central research units, mostly at universities. At these centres, sport and sports training are studied in all their aspects. Furthermore, athletes undergo sophisticated physiological testing and medical evaluation and receive the most up-to-date scientific feedback and sports-specific data in order to aid them and their coaches modify and optimise training programmes. For example, since the development of the Australian Institute of Sport, the performances of that nation’s athletes have improved quite remarkably. White at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Australia won only a total of five medals, they won 27 medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. A strong case could be made that those countries that are not competitive in the sports sciences will ultimately become non-competitive in those international sports identified for scientific study by other leading nations. Hence, any country’s future success in any sport at the highest level is likely to be determined by the ability of its sports scientists to understand the fundamentals of sporting performance, to identify those persons with special sporting talents and initiate the appropriate research programmes to foster the specific human and other factors that determine success in the respective athlete’s sport. The overview of sports universities, sport science research and sports training centres presented in this article gathers information about 14 representative institutions distributed over all five continents. In most cases, the information has been collected from the respective websites and has been adapted to the format of this article. Care has been taken that the information presented includes: 1. the tasks, aims, or mission of the respective institute, 2. the structure of the institute, and 3. the services or programmes offered by the respective institute. In some cases, the history of the respective institute is also described or a timeline is presented. Aus der Einleitung