The technology parternship between BAE Systems and UK Sport means both summer and winter sports athletes will have access to cutting-edge technology throughout the build-up to Rio 2016 as they seek to apply scientific innovation to their training, recovery, injury prevention and in competition. This is the second phase of a partnership which has already benefited 30 elite sports and 250 athletes ranging from cycling to bob-skeleton.
The partership has already produced innovative ideas regarding wheelchair racing, which can potentially improve the strength, weight and speed of the wheelchair to enhance acceleration time.
Paralympic athlete and London 2012 silver madalist Shelley Woods said: “Paralympic sport is growing year on year in strength and depth, and being able to make use of the best in British engineering, thanks to this partnership between BAE Systems and UK Sport, can help keep British athletes at the forefront of this fiercely competitive environment.”
“Having access to this kind of expertise gives us a huge boost and motivates me to train hard and continue to work on my racing technique every day, safe in the knowledge I have wonderful support around me.”
BAE Systems engineers will continue to work with UK Sport, and their science, medicine and technology arm, the English Institute of Sport, to support British sports and athletes ahead of major competitions including the forthcoming Winter Games. Preparatory work is already underway, with wind-tunnel technology and expertise applied to help improve the racing speed of the GB Bobsleigh Team.
Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson said: “The difference between success and failure in sport can often come down to the smallest of margins. The cutting edge technology from BAE Systems contributed to British athletes’ incredible success in the run-up to and during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I am pleased that BAE Systems’ partnership with UK Sport will continue to support our best athletes, with Sochi and Rio on the horizon.”
Simon Howison, Former Engineering Projects Director at BAE Systems, said: “This partnership will continue to help us demonstrate how engineering can be applied in many different areas and encourage more young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths. We’re hugely proud to work with British athletes and help support incremental gains in performance that might make a real difference to the nation’s sporting success.”
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, added: “Having access to BAE Systems’ engineering capabilities has significantly increased our technical ability by helping our athletes and their coaches seek out those winning margins, both in training and in competition.
“The incredible work to come out of the first phase of the partnership is just the beginning, and as we aim to win even more medals in Rio in 2016, we are delighted to be continuing to work closely with BAE Systems in helping our athletes to operate at the cutting edge of their sport.”