Better Care

Gait lab helps GB team go for gold

clinical measurements laboratory
The clinical measurements laboratory uses hi-tech imaging to analyse athletes' movement.

Experts in physical movement analysis at West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre in Birmingham are helping to boost Great Britain’s bid for gold medal glory in the London Paralympic Games next year.

UK Athletics (UKA) has commissioned the Clinical Measurements Laboratory to provide ongoing assessment for members of the GB team including triple Paralympic Games gold medallist Stephen Miller - to help prevent injuries and improve their performance.

Peter Eriksson, UKA’s Head Coach for Paralympics, said: “Obviously, attention to detail is hugely important as we target a successful Paralympic Games in London.

“We have been impressed with the quality of data available in the lab and, in particular, the commitment and expertise of the team at the Clinical Measurements Laboratory.

“Over the coming months we’ll continue to carefully monitor the outcomes of the analysis to assess how the participating athletes are benefiting and ensure we leave no stone unturned.”

The laboratory is led by Professor David Pratt who, as a consultant clinical scientist, worked in professional rugby union with some of England’s World Cup-winning squad in 2003 and Leicester Tigers, and in football, with Derby County, Leicester City, Leeds United and Rushden and Diamonds.

He also worked closely with Aston Villa forward and England international Emile Heskey, who suffered career-threatening muscle balance problems as an up-and-coming teenager star at Leicester City.

David said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for us. When we had a major refurbishment just over a year ago, one of our objectives was to extend our services to sportspeople and other elite professionals, for example dancers, whose careers can be seriously harmed or even curtailed by injury.

“The Paralympic team will be assessing the benefits of using our services carefully so, as ever, it’s up to us to deliver. But the aim is to show a measurable benefit at the London Games next year and continue working together for the 2016 Games in Brazil.”