Queensland Researchers Pioneer Breakthrough Sports Tech to Prevent Devastating Injuries

Athlete performing a Nordic hamstring strength test on a VALD NordBord (Photo credit: valdperformance.com)

Whilst the world’s top sport clubs seek out the latest sports science innovations, it’s a research team right here in Brisbane that’s making waves with a revolutionary new approach to injury prevention. 

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Led by Griffith University’s Associate Professor Matthew Bourne in collaboration with Brisbane-based firm VALD Performance, this homegrown sports tech project could be a game-changer for female athletes across the country. 

Dr Bourne has just returned from the UK and Ireland, where he presented his findings to the powerhouses of European football – names like Liverpool, Manchester United, and Celtic. But the real opportunity lies closer to home, as Queensland gears up to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Photo credit: VALD Performance/Facebook

The focus of his research is on cracking the code of one of the most devastating injuries in sport – the dreaded ACL tear. These debilitating knee injuries often sideline athletes for up to a year, with some never returning to peak performance. But Dr Bourne and his team believe they have found a way to predict and prevent these career-threatening incidents.

“ACL ruptures are among the most catastrophic injuries sustained in sport and occur 3-6 times more frequently in female than male athletes, even after accounting for differences in exposure,” Dr Bourne stated.

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Through a simple 10-minute assessment, they can now identify up to 80 percent of athletes at risk of future ACL reconstruction. Associate Professor Bourne explained that the secret lies in analysing not just strength and power, but also factors like posture, gait, and running mechanics, stating that they are “able to be so much more accurate than just relying on visual assessments.”

This breakthrough technology is being supported by another Brisbane-based tech company TechnologyOne.

TechnologyOne CEO Ed Chung stated that this is a “chance to showcase Queensland’s sports tech capabilities on the world stage.” Chung’s Fortitude Valley-based company is supporting Associate Professor Bourne’s project, which could reduce ACL injuries and keep more female athletes in the game.

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Chung stated that the upcoming 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Queensland presented an excellent opportunity to accelerate growth in the state’s sports tech sector. 

Chung also expressed his hope that the Games would feature Queensland’s own sports technology innovations, with infrastructure built by local construction giants like BMD and Hutchies, all powered by Queensland-made TechnologyOne software.

Published 17-April-2024