06 June 2022

Abertay University hosts first UK conference on boxing performance and combat sports

Abertay University hosts first UK conference on boxing performance and combat sports

The image shows conference delegates attending a workshop in a sports lab

Abertay University hosted a two-day boxing and combat sports conference last weekend in a first by a UK University.

A wide range of talks and practical sessions were held over a period of two days within the University’s Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences covering topics including nutrition, biomechanics, sports therapy and more.

Around 60 people attended the event, including World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Welterweight World Title holder Hannah Rankin.

PhD Researcher Andrew Usher gave an insight into his work on underpinning the physiology of professional boxing, especially in relation to load and recovery.

Attendees also learned about the physiological demands on the body when competing in boxing and combat sports at a professional level.

Delegates attending boxing conferenence listening to a presentation.

Delegates attending a session with Dr John Babraj.

As part of the conference, WBA and IBO Title Holder Hannah Rankin talked about her career as a professional boxer, including her career highs and challenges she has faced along the way.

Rankin also discussed the research she has participated in at Abertay University as part of her training camp to ensure she keeps her edge over her competitors.

She went on to highlight importance of data-driven training and performance and her belief that this type of approach is crucial to boxing success.

Usher said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to present some of our world-leading research to those working in boxing and combat sports at a professional level. 

“We want to help more athletes like Hannah reach peak performance by using our research to understand what is happening with their bodies when they are in the ring.

“I look forward to welcoming more athletes into our labs now they have seen for themselves the impact our research can have.”

Dr John Babraj, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology added: “This conference was the first of its kind in the UK.

“The conference brought together athletes, coaches, and scientists to promote a sharing of knowledge and best practice whilst demonstrating the outstanding research being carried out at Abertay University in the area of combat sports.

“We succeeded in providing attendees with the science behind why things are done whilst giving them access to high level sports science laboratories for practical workshops to enhance their understanding and knowledge.

“Events like this are crucial to develop coach and athlete practice and help to put the University at the centre of the community.”

Other sessions that took place across the weekend included:

The conference came to a close with a Q&A session.

More information on our sports courses and how to apply can be found on our Division of Sport and Exercise Science pages.

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