Potential Olympians will hit and field virtual balls as part of an innovative partnership between Australian Catholic University and Baseball Queensland.

Building a better future for the sport is at the heart of the research collaboration which focuses on the state’s brightest teenagers as they develop in pursuit of professional and Olympic representation.

In just one tranche of the new relationship between ACU and BQ, players will train in the biomechanics lab and use virtual reality technology housed at the Banyo Campus’s School of Behavioural and Health Sciences and Allied Health Clinic. The simulated environments will challenge the players to adapt and upskill, with the mutually beneficial relationship giving them the required resources to develop holistically.

Deputy head of the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences Gert-Jan Pepping said Queensland’s best players, coaches and officials would benefit from cutting edge research, expertise and technology.

“This connects them with best practice sport science backed by an internationally recognised university,” Associate Professor Pepping said.

The collaboration enables benchmarking of sport science into baseball, with that knowledge to deliver a competitive edge on and off the diamond. Athletes’ health and wellbeing will be a major focus, with musculoskeletal screening to identify risk factors for injury and allied health practitioners to work with players on training plans to help them sustain long careers.

“This partnership is the first of its kind in Australia,” BQ chief executive Paul Gonzalez said. “Baseball Queensland through our strategic partnership with ACU is committed in developing best practice outcomes for our emerging, developing and high-performance athletes. Through future collaboration with ACU, BQ athletes will develop within the sport utilising world class resources within the partnership.”

“It will put our young players at the centre of a holistic, inclusive and evidence-based development program.”

 

The collaboration will provide opportunities for the partners to work together through the development of intern and research opportunities that would be beneficial for all parties in the development of baseball in Australia.

“This is a win-win for everyone and enables us to strengthen what we’re currently doing to achieve better outcomes,” BQ preferred partner physiotherapist Bobbie-Jo Strong said. “It allows us to maintain an edge and progress athletes to new levels through access to medical screenings, 3D biomechanics and virtual reality environments.”

“ACU has world class researchers and practitioners and we’re looking forward to this being a long term, professional relationship.”

ACU’s Faculty of Health Sciences is a leader in research and is ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide for sport science (Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018). Through the schools of Allied Health and Behavioural and Health Sciences, and the Allied Health Clinic, the partnership will focus on initiatives including research projects, athlete screening, student supervision for ACU higher degree research students, coach education and placement opportunities for ACU undergraduate students.

Baseball Queensland, Building a better future for baseball.