School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Staff

Professor Vicky Tolfrey

Photo of Professor Vicky Tolfrey

Professor of Applied Disability Sport

Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport

Dr Vicky Tolfrey talks about her research

As Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, Dr Vicky Tolfrey discusses about her research focused around wheelchair athletes.

Vicky completed her first degree in Sport Science at Manchester Metropolitan University in 1993 for which she was awarded the Exercise and Sport Science Department prize for best all-round Sport Scientist. Following this, Vicky was appointed as the Project Assistant for the British Wheelchair Racing Association (BWRA) whilst completing a part-time PhD.

In 1999, she completed her PhD entitled 'Pushing economy and wheelchair propulsion technique of wheelchair racers'. After completion of the work with the BWRA, Vicky went on to work with the Great Britain Men's wheelchair basketball team for four years (1998-2002) and then embarked on academic career at the Manchester Metropolitan University (2002-2007) and moved to Loughborough University in 2007.

Vicky is a BASES Re-accredited and has provided applied sport science support to Paralympic athletes since 1994. Vicky attended the Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Paralympic Games and was involved in the Cyprus holding camp for Athens 2004 and the Far East holding camp for Beijing 2008. She leads the applied sport science project for the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Association over-seeing the delivery of a programme of applied support leading to Rio 2016 and also works with the GB paratriathlon squad. Vicky served as a member of the International Paralympic Committee Sport Science and Medicine Group 2005-2010.

In 2005, Vicky received a BASES Award for Good Practice in Applied Sport Science and in 2011 was awarded a BASES Fellowship for her work in Disability Sport and mentorship of others in this area. Also in 2011, Vicky and her colleagues from the School were awarded a 3-year Coca-Cola Active Healthy Living Grant with a research focus to encourage disabled people to become ‘fit for life, fit for sport and fit for success'. Vicky is editor of one of the few scientific international handbooks on sport physiology and biomechanics in adapted sports ‘Wheelchair Sport’ published by Human Kinetics.

Vicky is the Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport which is based at Loughborough University.

Vicky's research areas include:

  • Disability sport
  • Wheelchair propulsion kinematics
  • Elite sports performance physiology
  • Exercise testing and interpretation
  • Training and performance

Vicky is the module leader for Issues in Sport and Exercise Sciences (Yr. 1) and the Physiology of Special Populations (Yr. 3) and contributes to the MSc. Exercise Physiology and Nutrition programmes.

Selected Recent Research Projects and Sources of Funding

  • £87,667 awarded by the EPSRC for a PhD Studentship in partnership with the English Institue of Sport (supported by British Cycling) (2015-2018) with Dr Barry Mason (CI)
  • £108,000 Whelechair Rugby Support leading to Rio 2016 - Research Associate Position (2013-2017)
  • £1,500,000 awarded by the The Peter Harrison Foundation for the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport. (2011-2019). Principle Investigator.
  • £294,447 – (2011) A 3-year Coca-Cola Active Healthy Living Grant with a research focus to encourage disabled people to become ‘fit for life, fit for sport and fit for success’. PI Dr Vicky Tolfrey with CI’s Dr Brett Smith and Dr Lettie Bishop.

 

  • Consultancy
  • Techincal Advisiory Group member to the English Institute of Sport
  • British Paralympic Association Paralympic Advisory Group Member

Impact

Recent Invited Conference Keynote and Speaker Presentations

  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Janssen, T. and Leicht, C. (2014). Testing wheelchair sportsmen: Methodological considerations. The International Symposium of Sport Science in athletes with spinal cord injury in Wakayama, Japan (23-24th Nov). 
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V. and Romer, L. (2015). Improving health & performance in athletes with SCI: The evidence base. The UK High Performance Conference for Paralympic Sport Science and Sports Medicine. Ready for Rio? 12-13 March, Burton-upon-Trent, UK.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey VL. (2015). The journey to London and beyond: Supporting the Paralympic athlete. 6th International Sports Medicine and Sports Science Conference, Marina Putrajaya, Malaysia, April.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2015). Improving Paralympic performance. Vondel Games. Reade Adaptive Sports Event. Amsterdam. Holland. May 22nd.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2015). Wheelchair Sport: Pushing from Atlanta to Rio – the Sport Science Journey. 70th Annual Meeting of Japanese Society of Physical Fitness amd Sports Medicine. 17-19th Sept. Wakayama. Japan.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2015). Novel Approaches to Exercise Testing Symposium: Testing functional capacity in Paralympic athletes: Conisderations according to classification. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology’s Annual Meeting and Conference (CSEP): Where Science is the New Steel. Hamilton. Canada. 14-17 Oct.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2016). Racing the London Marathon on three wheels. The 33rd London Marathon Conference, RIBA, London, 23rd April.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2016). Sharing best practice between spinal cord injury rehabilitation specialists and applied sports scientists supporting the Paralympic athlete. 53rd Meeting of the Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine. 9-11th June. 
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Lenton, J. Goddard, J, Oldfield, V, Tolfrey, K Eston, R. (2010). Regulating intensity using perceived exertion in spinal cord injured participants.Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 42(3), 608-613.
  • Webborn, N., Price, M.J., Castle, P. C. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2010). Cooling strategies improve intermittent sprint performance in the heat of athletes with tetraplegiaBritish Journal of Sports Medicine. 44(6):455-460.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. Foden, E., Perret, C., and Degens, H. (2010). Effects of inspiratory muscle training on respiratory function and repetitive sprint performance in wheelchair basketball players. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 44, 665-668.
  • Rittweger, J., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Cointry, G., Ferretti, J.L. (2010). Structural analysis of the human tibia in men with spinal cord injury by tomographic (pQCT) serial scans. Bone. 47(3): 511-518.
  • Mason, B.M., Woude, van der L.H.V., de Groot, S. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2011). The effects of camber on the ergonomics of propulsion in wheelchair athletes.Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 43(2), 319-326.
  • Leicht, C., Bishop, N.C and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2011). Mucosal immune responses to treadmill exercise in elite wheelchair athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 43(8), 1414-1421.
  • Leicht, C., Bishop, N.C and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012). Submaximal exercise responses in tetraplegic, paraplegic and non spinal cord injured elite wheelchair athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 22(6), 729-736.
  • Mason, B.M., Woude, van der L.H.V., Tolfrey, K., Lenton, J.P. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012). Effects of wheel and hand-rim size on sub-maximal propulsion in wheelchair athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 44(1), 126-134.
  • Mason, B., Woude, van der L.H. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2013). The ergonomics of wheelchair configuration for optimal performance in the wheelchair court sports. Sports Medicine. 43(1):23-38
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L and Leicht, C. (2013). Field based testing of wheelchair athletes.Sports Medicine. 43(2):77-91.
  • Paulson, T., Leicht, C., Bishop, N. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2013). Perceived exertion as a tool to self-regulate exercise in individuals with tetraplegia. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 113 (1): 201-209.
  • Leicht, C.A., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Bishop, N.C.  (2013). Spinal cord injury: Known and possible influences on the immune response to exercise.  Exercise Immunology Review 19.146-165.
  • Paulson, T.W., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Lenton, J.P., Leicht, C.A and Bishop, N.C. (2013). Spinal cord injury level and the circulating cytokine response to strenuous exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 45(9), 1649-1655.
  • West, C., Campbell, I.G., Mason, B., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Romer, L.M. (2014). Effect of an abdominal binder on measures of field-based fitness in Paralympic wheelchair rugby players. Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2014 Jul;17(4):351-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.06.001. Epub 2013 Jul 21.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V., Paulson, TAW, Tolfrey, K., Eston RG. (2014). Prediction of peak oxygen uptake from differentiated ratings of perceived exertion during wheelchair propulsion in trained wheelchair sportspersons. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 114(6): 1251-1258.
  • Mason, B., Lenton J, Rhodes, J, Cooper, R.A. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2014). Comparing the demands of wheelchair rugby using a miniaturised data logger and radio frequency tracking system. Wheeled Mobility Special edition. BioMed Research International. 2014:348048. Epub 2014 Apr 15. PMID: 24987678.
  • West, C., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Campbell, I.G. and Romer, L.M. (2014). Effect of abdominal binding on respiratory mechanics during exercise in athletes with cervical spinal cord injury. Journal of Applied Physiology. Jul; 117(1):36-45.
  • Keil, M., Brooke-Wavell, K., Totosy de Zepetneck, J. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2014). Measurement precision of body composition variables in elite wheelchair athletes, using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. European Journal of Sport Sciences. Oct 13:1-7.
  • Griggs, K., Price, M.J. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2015). Cooling Athletes with a Spinal Cord Injury. Sports Medicine. 45(1), 9-21.
  • Mason, B., Woude, van der L.H. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2013). The ergonomics of wheelchair configuration for optimal performance in the wheelchair court sports. Sports Medicine. 43(1):23-38
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L and Leicht, C. (2013). Field based testing of wheelchair athletes. Sports Medicine. 43(2):77-91.
  • Leicht, C.A., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Bishop, N.C.  (2013). Spinal cord injury: Known and possible influences on the immune response to exercise.  Exercise Immunology Review 19.146-165.
  • Paulson, T.W., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Lenton, J.P., Leicht, C.A and Bishop, N.C. (2013). Spinal cord injury level and the circulating cytokine response to strenuous exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 45(9), 1649-1655.
  • West, C., Campbell, I.G., Mason, B., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Romer, L.M. (2014). Effect of an abdominal binder on measures of field-based fitness in Paralympic wheelchair rugby players. Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2014 Jul;17(4):351-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.06.001. Epub 2013 Jul 21.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V., Paulson, TAW, Tolfrey, K., Eston RG. (2014). Prediction of peak oxygen uptake from differentiated ratings of perceived exertion during wheelchair propulsion in trained wheelchair sportspersons. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 114(6): 1251-1258.
  • West, C., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Campbell, I.G. and Romer, L.M. (2014). Effect of abdominal binding on respiratory mechanics during exercise in athletes with cervical spinal cord injury. Journal of Applied Physiology. Jul; 117(1):36-45.
  • Griggs, K., Price, M.J. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2015). Cooling Athletes with a Spinal Cord Injury. Sports Medicine. 45(1), 9-21.
  • Rhodes, J.Mason BS, Malone LA, Goosey-Tolfrey VL. (2015). Effect of team rank and player classification on activity profiles of elite wheelchair rugby players. Journal of Sports Science. 33:19, 2070-2078.
  • Paulson, T.A., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Leicht, C.A., and Bishop, N.C. (2015). Plasma cytokine and exertional responses in relation to exercise intensity and volume of exercising muscle mass during arm-crank ergometry. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Aug;40(8):782-787. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0537. Epub 2015 Mar 23.PMID:26176236.
  • Leicht C.A., Kouda K., Umemoto Y, Banno M., Kinoshita T., Moriki T., Nakamura T., Bishop N.C., Goosey-Tolfrey V.L., Tajima F. (2015). Hot water immersion induces an acute cytokine response in cervical spinal cord injury. Eur J Appl Physiol. Nov;115(11):2243-52. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3206-9. Epub 2015 Jun 24. PMID:26105530.
  • Paulson, T.A.W., Mason, B., Rhodes, J. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2015). Individualised internal and external training load relationships in elite wheelchair rugby players. Frontiers in Physiology. Dec 21; 6:388 doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00388. eCollection 2015.
  • Graham-Paulson T S, Perret C, Watson P and Goosey-Tolfrey V L. (2016). Caffeine supplementation improves sprint performance in wheelchair sportsmen. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. July 13[Epub ahead of print]. PMID:26182441. 11, 214-220. Marc; 11(2):214-20.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L, Keil, M., Brooke-WavellK. and de Groot, S. (2016, in press). A comparison of methods for the estimation of body composition in highly trained wheelchair games players. International Journal of Sports Medicine.

You can view a fuller publications list on the University Publications Database.