Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport


Wheelchair on treadmill in laboratory

Sport Performance

Frame from video Vicky Tolfrey explains the Sport Performance research being conducted at the centre.

Led by Professor Vicky Tolfrey, the ‘Sport Performance’ research strand aims to develop disability sports knowledge to provide benefit to athletes and coaches at both elite and grassroots level and increasingly, to rehabilitation populations.


Our research explores the physiological and technical aspects of disability sport to ensure optimal performance is achieved at designated points throughout the training cycle.

The team takes an applied sports science approach in consultation with many of our leading athletes and coaches at a Paralympic level, with the aim of disseminating knowledge to sports performers and practitioners at all levels.

Research themes


  • Sindall, P., Lenton, J.P., Tolfrey, K., Cooper, R.A., Oyster, M., and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012). Wheelchair tennis match-play demands: Effects of player rank and result. International Journal of sports Physiology and Performance. Epub 1st August, 2012.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Mason, B and Burkett, B. (2012). The role of the velocometer as an innovative tool for Paralympic coaches to understand wheelchair sports training and interventions to help optimise performance. Sports Technology. Epub 1st June, 2012.
  • Leicht, C.A., Tolfrey, K., Lenton, J.P., Bishop, N.C., and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012). The verification phase and reliability of physiological parameters in peak testing of elite wheelchair athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology. Epub 21st June, 2012.
  • Paulson TAW, Bishop NC, Leicht CA and Goosey-Tolfrey VL. (2012). Perceived exertion as a tool to self-regulate exercise in individuals with tetraplegia. European Journal of Applied Physiology. Epub May, 2012.
  • Mason, B.M., Woude, van der L.H.V., Tolfrey, K. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012). Effects of Camber on Wheeled Mobility Performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine.33, 199-204.
  • 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.
  • Leicht, C., Bishop, N.C., and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012). Mucosal immune responses during court training in elite tetraplegic athletes. Spinal Cord. May 8. doi:10.1038/sc.2012.47
  • Mason, B.M., Woude, van der L.H.V., Lenton, J.P., and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012). Effects of wheel size on mobility performance in wheelchair athletes. International Journal of Sports Medicine. Epub 16th May, 2012.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., West, M., Lenton, J.L. and Tolfrey, K. (2011). Influence of varied tempo music on wheelchair mechanical efficiency following 3-wk practice. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 32(2), 126-131.
  • 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. (2011). Submaximal exercise responses in tetraplegic, paraplegic and non spinal cord injured elite wheelchair athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 2011 May 23. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01328.x. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Mason, B.S., Porcellato, L. van der Woude L.H.V. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2010). A qualitative examination of wheelchair configuration for optimal mobility performance in wheelchair sports: A pilot study, Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.42, 141-149.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Crosland J. (2010). The nutritional practices of competitive wheelchair games players. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. 27, 47-59.
  • 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 tetraplegia. British Journal of Sports Medicine.44(6):455-460.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. Foden, E., Perrott, 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.
  • Croft, L., Dybrus S., Lenton, J. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V. (2010). A comparison of the physiological demands of wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. 5(3):301-315.
  • 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.
  • Lenton, J.P, Fowler, N.E., Woude, van der L.H.V., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2010). Effects of 4-weeks asynchronous hand-rim wheelchair practice on mechanical efficiency and timing. Disability and Rehabilitation. 32(26):2155-64
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2010). Supporting the Paralympic Athlete: Focus on wheeled sports. Disability and Rehabilitation. 32 (26), 2237-43.
  • Leicht, C., Sharpe, G., Smith, P.M., Perret, C and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2010). The effects of a respiratory warm-up on the physical capacity and ventilatory response in paraplegic individuals. European Journal of Applied Physiology. Dec;110(6):1291-8.
  • Boyd, C. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2012, in press). Special Populations: Disabled Players. In Williams, M. The Science of Soccer. Taylor and Francis.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Sutton, L. (2012). Disability, chronic disease and body composition.  In. Stewart, A. and Sutton, L. Body Composition in Sport, Exercise and Health. Routledge; 1 edition. pp166-186. ISBN-13: 978-0415614986.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Diaper, N. (2011, in press).  The Thermoregulatory Challenges faced by the Wheelchair athlete in Beijing 2008. In. Godfrey, R., Whyte, G., Lane, A. and Loosemore M. Applied Sports Science and Medicine: Case Studies from Practice’. Human Kinetics
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (Editor). (2010). Wheelchair Sport. Human Kinetics. pp. 1-232. ISBN-13: 9780736086769
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. and Price, M.J. (2010). Physiology of wheelchair athletes. In Goosey-Tolfrey, V. (Ed.) Wheelchair Sport. Human Kinetics. pp. 47-62
  • Sutton, L., Scott, M., Goosey-Tolfrey, V., Wallace, J. and Reilly, T. (2009). Body composition of highly-trained wheelchair athletes measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. In Kinanthropometry XI (edited by P. Hume and A. Stewart). Published electronically on behalf of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry. [WWW] Available from: http://www.isakonline.com. 
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V. (2008). The Disabled Athlete.  In BASES Sport and Exercise Physiology Testing Guidelines, Volume 1: Sport Testing (edited by E.M. Winter, A.M. Jones, R.C.R. Davison, P.D. Bromley and T.H. Mercer), pp. 359-367.  Oxford: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-36141-5.
  • Webborn, N. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2008).  Spinal Cord Injury. In: Buckley, J. (Ed.) Exercise Physiology in Special Populations. Elsevier. pp. 309-334.
  • Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2007). Specific considerations for the assessment of wheelchair athletes. In: Jones, A. and Winter, E. (Eds). British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Physiological Testing Guidelines, BASES. pp. 350-366.