PhD student Alison O’Riordan is currently using her expertise in throwing mechanics to coach Team UK at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada.
Studying at Middlesex’s world-renowned London Sport Institute (LSI), Alison’s research aims to help in the future coaching of athletes with spinal cord and neurological conditions competing in the javelin, shotput, discus and club throw from a seated position.
“My interest in researching seated throws began a number of years ago while working at the Australian Institute of Sport and was instigated by wanting to inform my own coaching practice, as there was and still is very little research in this area,” says Alison.
“I have been very fortunate that Middlesex University offered me a bursary to continue this research. It is a real pleasure to be part of the LSI team and I hope this research will be beneficial to many coaches and athletes in the future.”
As well as previously being Athletics Head Coach for Team UK at the London 2014 and Orlando 2016 Invictus Games, Alison has coached many athletes to Paralympic success both in Australia and the UK.
Supervised by Dr Miller and assisted by her fellow MDX sport and exercise science students, Alison invited the world’s best seated throwers to Lee Valley Athletics Centre to gather data for her research after the recent 2017 Para-Athletics World Championships in London.
“Alison has developed a great ability to manage a full research team during her PhD studies, and is already presenting her research around the world to great response,” Dr Stuart Miller, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science
Alison is currently coaching a squad of Paralympic and potential para-throwers, based at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. Among the squad is Middlesex University sports science student Stacie Gaston-Monerville, British record-holder in F57 discus and shotput.