National Biomechanics Day 2021 : 200 Sec school students & teachers learnt biomechanics principles to help improve NAPFA Test results!
(Student and teacher-participants performing the Big 3 core intervention as part of the breakout session remotely facilitated by Dr Marcel Rossi, Sport Biomechanist)
National Biomechanics Day (NBD) is a worldwide celebration of Biomechanics in its many forms. Over 20,000 high school students and 800 teachers around the world have participated in NBD since 2016. Back in 2019, the Sport Biomechanics Department at the Singapore Sport Institute (SSI) hosted over 200 secondary to tertiary students from around Singapore at the SSI's Sport Biomechanics Laboratory. Participants learned how Biomechanics combines Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics to enhance human endeavours.
After the disruption in 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation, the collaboration between the SSI and the Republic Polytechnic (RP) brought the NBD celebration back again on 7th April. For this year, over 200 secondary students and teachers in Singapore had the opportunity to learn and apply biomechanical principles to improve their NAPFA test performances.
The event was hosted online, taking advantage of our learnings from last year on using online platforms to aid our athletes' training from home, during the Circuit Breaker and gradually back into their training environments through Phases 2 and 3.
(Ms Goh Wan Xiu, Associate Sport Biomechanist, assisted by sport biomechanics NTU-intern, Mr Matthew Chong, with her setup all ready for remote facilitation of breakout sessions during National Biomechanics Day)
The online activities started with an explanation of what biomechanics is about and its broad application beyond the assessment of elite sportsmen. Next, we presented the Structure, Strength and Skill (3S) model of performance assessment used with our National athletes. This model integrates information from the athlete's structure (e.g., joint mobility and muscle flexibility), strength (e.g., muscle force and power production, net joint forces and moments) and skill (assessment of the critical features that comprise a specific technique) to promote performance enhancement while preventing injuries.
(National Biomechanics Day participants physically present in the biomechanics lab at Singapore Sport Institute, getting a demonstration on how to perform a stretching intervention during their breakout session)
The 3S model was then applied during the interactive activities that allowed students and teachers to experiment with key biomechanical principles for performance enhancement during the NAPFA tests. For these activities, the students were kept in groups of 8 pax supervised by their teachers at the school facilities while virtually monitored by SSI and RP staff.
(Dr Marcel Rossi, Sport Biomechanist, remotely facilitating the breakout session and observing participants perform the sit-up intervention physically in their own schools)
All teachers involved had access to the educational material presented during the event. As a wrap-up, the sport biomechanics staff from SSI showcased the cutting-edge technology employed in the laboratory and in the training venues and the integrated nature of the work with the other sport science disciplines. The RP teaching staff also shared more about their sport science course and characteristics of the sporting industry in Singapore.
(Participants performing an intervention to understand how visual gaze affects movement performance at the National Biomechanics Day 2021)
Dr Luqman Aziz (Sport Biomechanist SSI, Co-coordinator for NBD 2021) was in attendance for the online event and said, "In our local context, it is wonderful being able to see the students and teachers gain a better understanding of how biomechanics can help them improve in a test they can all relate to - the NAPFA. What was satisfying was the ability to do so despite the challenges posed by safe distancing measures, resulting in us having to be creative with online options."
He further added, "In the end, the NBD event achieved its goal of promoting the science of biomechanics and its fascinating application in the field of sports performance to students nationwide. From a global perspective, it is exciting to see the international fraternity coming together to celebrate this special day and spread the knowledge of biomechanics to the community."
Dr Alex Ong (Principal Lecturer (Industry), Republic Polytechnic, Collaborator for NBD 2021) was also in agreement. "It's heartening to see so many participating in the activities on this day…secondary school students, teachers and sport scientists interacting under one physical/virtual roof. Let it not be just this one day that everyone is immersed meaningfully, but for many more days to come as well" said Dr Ong.
(Article is by the Sport Biomechanics Department, Singapore Sport Institute)
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