The Short Track Speed Skating World Class Programme is currently managed by the English Institute of Sport (EIS) after responsibility for the sport was temporarily transferred from the National Ice Skating Association (NISA) 2015 by UK Sport in June 2015 to develop the significant medal potential of the athletes.
What are the specific technical requirements of your sport?
Short Track Speed Skating (STSS) is a racing event, where multiple athletes (up to eight athletes in the 1500m) fight it out to be first across the line. The competition pits skaters against each other rather than the clock.
The racing occurs on a 111m circuit on a rink that measures 60m x 30m. The race format is one of rounds, starting with qualifying and finishing with a winner takes all final.
The ability to skate fast and make the right tactical decisions and execute high speed overtakes is critical within the sport.
What are the main ways in which sport science and medicine (SSSM) is deployed to deliver performance improvements in your sport?
STSS is a centralised programme with focussed delivery around Individual Athlete Plans. SSSM practitioners are closely integrated to support coaching staff and athletes across all aspects of competition delivery, training and athlete development.
Each member (and discipline) has specific objectives to deliver against aligned to wider sport strategies and the sports What It Takes To Win (WITTW) model which captures key determinates including “Skate Fast”, “Race Smart” and “Deliver when it Matters”.
The team work to deliver a curriculum of expertise from “World Class Basics” across all disciplines to more advanced multidisciplinary training science education and individualised interventions based upon athlete needs.
Can you give brief examples of recent work/projects that the SSSM team have done with the sport?
The Head of Performance Support team (HoPS) developed a “decision making matrix” throughout this cycle to prioritise the time and resources of the SSSM team.
Most notable impacts/projects in the run up to the Games include:
-The integration of training load and screening data to guide interventions (coaching and SSSM) to minimise time loss to injury and illness.
-Collaboration with UK Sport, Sport England and the National Ice Centre to install a new Hybrid pad system into the rink. This system reduces the injury risk from high speed falls in training.
-Race Suit development and delivery to optimise aerodynamics in racing.
-Appling scientific principles to enhance the set-up of athlete’s skates/blades to optimise performance. The performance Engineer works closely with coaches and athletes.
-Collection and interpretation of environmental and ice condition data to help coaches understand its potential impact on performance.
-Development of a bespoke camera system at the National Ice Centre to aid coaches in providing feedback to the athletes.
-Targeted analysis of Short Track racing/data to provide insight into the sport and support coaching understanding.
-Highly individualised nutritional and lifestyle support to athlete performance and their specific goals.
Any recent successes or achievements in your sport?
Elise Christie became the triple world champion in 2017.
Elise Christie is the current World Record holder for 500m.
Across the programme 20 medals were won in 2017 from Star Class to the World Championships.