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Police cadets put through their paces by sport scientists

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Published on 30 November 2017

Northumbria Police cadets with Sunderland students
Northumbria Police cadets with Sunderland students

A GROUP of Northumbria Police cadets have been investigating their own fitness levels, with support from University of Sunderland students learning to apply their sports science skills and expertise.

The students, led by senior lecturer Morc Coulson, carried out important fitness assessments on the police cadets in the University’s Sports and Exercise Sciences department, and subsequently offered professional advice to guide each cadet to improve their health as well as their professional prospects.

This is the first time such a venture has taken place with the local police force. The knowledge gained from the assessments will be useful for staff, students and police authorities alike and should help to inform future needs.

Morc explained: “We hosted the cadets as part of our innovative approach to building relationships between the community and the department, while offering opportunities for our students to work in real-life scenarios.

“Because of the potential physical nature of the police profession, we prepared a range of physical fitness assessments which would inform them about training methods and gave them advice to improve certain scores that they achieved in specific areas. They will return to the labs in two months and we are going to re-assess.”

The cadets were put through their paces in the University’s Sports Science laboratories which houses state-of-the-art fitness equipment and technology. From vertical jumps, power to reaction time, sprinting times and strength tests - students conducting the assessments were able to bring their theory from the classroom to real world clients.

Morc added: “Our students were really enthusiastic about this project which is part of their studies. They have to get involved in evaluating and designing programmes based on assessment, and this was an ideal opportunity.”

Hollie Zmak, a Second Year Sports Coaching student, said: “I really valued working with the police cadets, they all seemed to have enjoyed taking part in all the tests. It was also good to show them some of the equipment that we have access too, which some hadn’t used prior to their visit.”

My role was to explain and demonstrate how to use the Batak Wall and also try and give the police cadets teaching points on how they could improve their score.”

She added: “The experience was good because we got to work with different groups of people, and I have never worked with anyone from the police prior to their visit, so I will be able to use the information gathered in essays or practical scenarios.”

Sunderland Cadet Leader, Pc Kirsty Pitchford, said: “It’s really important to us to create as many opportunities as possible for our volunteer police cadets and they thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Sports Science Department at the University of Sunderland.

“They were able to make use of the fantastic facilities it has to offer and each took part in a fitness assessment, as well as receiving personal input around their own individual goal and how to achieve it. I know they are already looking forward to going back after Christmas to see if they have improved!”

Further collaborations with the region’s police forces officer are anticipated to follow.

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