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UniSA Develops New Fitness Tracker Tech

Image Credits UniSA, Press Release

The University of South Australia has developed a new fitness tracker that is helping predict sports performance among Australian cricketers to enhance their performance. Developed in partnership with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA), the new technology helps coaches detect changes in an athlete’s aerobic performance, providing valuable information about their stamina and recovery.

The new tool is currently being trialled by the West End Redbacks. It can measure fatigue between matches, enabling coaches to immediately determine whether a player needs rest or can ramp up their training.

A UniSA PhD researcher and Strength & Conditioning Coach at SACA stated that technology could be a game-changer for Australian sports. He noted that over the past four years the team has been developing a technology that can detect changes to players’ aerobic performance and stamina. By using a very simple running tool, players’ running form – their gait and lateral sway – can be measured and their fitness levels can be predicted within the span of only two minutes.

Aerobic performance is an important component of fitness because it enables players to reduce the effect of fatigue during long periods of play or across multi-day matches, he added. Ultimately, this test will provide coaches with an alternative method to determine players’ fitness levels.

Instead of getting players to do a traditional maximum level effort test which can increase existing levels of fatigue, this test can be deployed as part of their warmups – so it doesn’t even impact their training time.

The researchers are now working with SACA in the hope of introducing the tool to bigger leagues as well as other sports including football and rugby. Recent research found that the global sports technology market was valued at US$17.9 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach US$40.2 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 17.5% between 2021 and 2026.

Recently, professional sports bodies have adopted new technologies such as sports data analytics, smart stadiums, wearable devices, and digital signage to enhance their team performance, engage fans, and provide smart infrastructures. Smart stadiums are also among the key global trends owing to the increase in the number of sports events being held worldwide.

The research also notes that the APAC region is a high potential market for sports technology, with vast opportunities for the development and implementation of new technologies. China, Japan, India, Australia, and Singapore are constructing new stadiums and redeveloping the existing ones. Moreover, China is the largest sports technology market in APAC.

The emergence of new sports leagues in the region is driving the demand for smart stadium infrastructure to compete with international leagues and create new revenue streams. Sports organizations, across the world, are using smart technologies for hosting major international and domestic tournaments. APAC countries are emerging players in professional sports, with the popularity of professional leagues and tournaments in the region growing rapidly.

Sports analytics play a major role in the functioning of sports organizations. Until recently, sports analysis was carried out by coaches and experts during practice/training sessions and live matches and tournaments. However, advancements in sports technologies now allow sports organizations to take improved decisions related to their teams and business operations.

This is why sports analytics is a primary driver for the evaluation of the sports sector. The increasing adoption of social media platforms by fans for blogging and posting reviews is also expected to drive the demand for sports analytics across the world.

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