The two organisations both have a long history of providing innovative support to Para sports and athletes and will utilise their unique skills and expertise to ensure that Great Britain remains at the forefront of Paralympic sports science.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed that will take effect from the beginning of June 2023 for a period of four years.
Established in 2005, the centre is heavily involved in research at both an elite performance and rehabilitative level, providing sport science support to various GB squads, in addition to working closely with National and International partners.
The agreement will see the UKSI and Loughborough University work together in various ways such as:
- Consideration into new areas of Paralympic performance research and innovation and collaborative working on research projects
- Joint hosting of Paralympic workshops and seminars
- Dissemination and sharing of knowledge across the Paralympic high-performance system
- Sharing of knowledge, resources, and expertise within respective organisations
- Development of Paralympic practitioners from UKSI and Loughborough University.
Chair of the UK Sports Institute John Dowson said: “Loughborough University has long been an important ally of the Institute and we have worked together on a number of projects for over a decade.
“We see this MoU as a real commitment to furthering our collective knowledge of Para sport, enabling us to provide even better support for athletes and sports, now and for years to come.”
Head of Paralympic Performance Support at the UKSI Nik Diaper added: “Working in partnership is how we will accelerate research and ultimately performance in Para sport. We are delighted to confirm this collaboration with Loughborough University who, like us, are committed to advancing the opportunities within Para sport.
“At the UKSI, we work with 19 different Paralympic programmes on everything from nutrition and physiotherapy to performance innovation and data insight. We hope that we can bring even more impact and insight to those programmes through our work with Loughborough.”
Almost 40 UKSI practitioners were part of the ParalympicsGB support team at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, with the UKSI set to once again support the team on the ground in Paris in just over a year’s time.
Professor Vicky Tolfrey (Director of the PHC and Sub-Dean of Sporting Excellence and Opportunities within SSEHS) at Loughborough University said: “I’m delighted that we will be continuing and further developing Loughborough University’s successful partnership with the UKSI.
“The values of the two organisations are closely aligned. To date our partnership has provided invaluable opportunities for postgraduate students to develop a wide range of skills, generate new Para sport knowledge as well as enabling them to undertake research to support their studies.”
“I’m excited by the potential of this next phase of our partnership and look forward to delivering new activities that will have a positive impact on Para sport in the UK and internationally. Hopefully it will serve as a catalyst to fully extend our work with other sports where we can lead the advancement of knowledge and evidence-based practice for the benefits of sports performance and athletes’ health in partnership with UKSI.”
The new agreement follows the 2019 launch of Loughborough University’s Para sport strategy.
This vision compliments the research and innovation agenda in Para sport whilst offering numerous participation opportunities across the University. As a result, Loughborough has become the number one choice for Para-athletes looking to combine their academic and sporting ambitions.