Research & Quality Assurance

The Research and Quality Assurance Unit within the Sports Science Directorate serves to coordinate and promote:

  • applied research within Aspire Academy
  • further education opportunities for Aspire sports science staff
  • the implementation and maintenance of quality assured practices in our sport science services

Applied Research

The Research and Quality Assurance Unit, through the Aspire Research Committee, serves to coordinate and promote applied research within Aspire Academy. This applied research is conducted both in-house and with external collaborators and serves to promote Aspire Academy’s commitment to innovative practice.

The formation of collaborative arrangements provides Aspire with increased access to expertise and other research resources. As such, Aspire welcomes external collaborators who can introduce technologies or innovations that will have direct performance outcomes for our student-athletes. Central to these collaborative arrangements is a visiting researcher scheme whereby leading international researchers are invited to spend time at Aspire collaborating on applied research projects with Academy Staff.

In support of Aspire’s applied research program there are also plans to develop a post-graduate scholarship program to support the development of promising young Sport Scientists by giving them the opportunity to work closely with our own staff and programs in an applied setting. This program will work closely with both local and international universities and relevant sporting bodies to ensure the successful delivery of applied high performance sports research outcomes.

The current focus for Aspire’s applied sport science research includes:

  • Maturational influences on performance
  • Match and competition analysis (Football, Athletics, Squash etc.)
  • Environmental factors affecting performance (i.e. heat, altitude)
  • Body Composition

These research directions are regularly re-assessed to ensure alignment with Aspire Academy’s evolving needs.

Sports Science Publications

In addition to their core servicing roles, Aspire staff have been actively involved in applied sport science research aimed at maximizing the performance of Aspire Academy programs and athletes. Since 2006, Aspire sports scientists have produced over 230 peer reviewed scientific journal articles and have made over 140 presentations at international scientific conferences. These publications and presentations ensure that we are recognized for state-of-the-art sport science services whilst supporting Aspire Academy’s vision of being the leading youth sports academy in the world.

Readers wishing to discuss research projects with their Aspire Academy based authors, or who wish to discuss potential research collaborations, may contact Dr. Pitre Bourdon (

Further Education

The Research and Quality Assurance Unit also coordinates and promotes further education opportunities for Aspire sports science staff. This is done via regular in-house lectures from internationally respected experts as well as through hosting international conferences and programs (i.e. seminars, symposia, workshops).

Examples of recent conferences include:

  • Talent Identification Conference – ‘Identifying Champions’ April 2014
  • Youth, sport and health – A global problem? A collaboration with the British Council Researcher Links, February 2014

Sport Science Quality Assurance

The Research and Quality Assurance Unit is also responsible for continuous improvement of sport science service standards in Aspire Academy. This is done by working closely with Sport Science staff to monitor quality assurance issues and critically evaluate all aspects of sport science servicing likely to affect the reliability and accuracy of test results. This is achieved mainly through assessment of areas such as record keeping, equipment calibration/maintenance, test protocols and reporting.


Dr. Pitre Bourdon

Head of Research

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