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Bristol Bears Women sign MoU with University of Gloucestershire

Bristol Bears Women have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Gloucestershire.

The partnership will allow Bristol Bears Women to benefit from the expertise of university staff to enhance the club’s own understanding of their players through collaborative research programmes with the university’s School of Sport and Exercise.

In recent years, the university have had ongoing relationships with many sports teams in Bristol with multiple post-graduate students based in organisations such as Bristol Bears.

Following the development of the women’s game and in the Allianz Premier 15s league, the RFU (Rugby Football Union) has encouraged the club to have mutual agreements with an academic institution for exchange of research opportunities and studentship programmes for the benefit of both parties.

Bristol Bears Women General Manager, Heidi Chapman-Mercer said: The partnership with the University of Gloucestershire will allow Bristol Bears Women to elevate the level of research into player welfare at the club moving forward.

“The work done by University’s Strength and Conditioning Research Team, which will be led by Jonathan Hughes, will enable us to look at areas of player training and wellness in great detail. 

“This will provide the club’s technical staff with insight that we would not normally be able to access, which in turn will hopefully aid performance levels on the pitch. The research results will enable us to provide a better environment for our players to thrive and grow.

“We are very much looking forward to launching the partnership and working closely with the University for years to come.”

Dr Jonathan Hughes, Senior Lecturer and the ACL MSc Sports Strength and Conditioning, Dr Jonathan Hughes said:“This is an exciting opportunity for both parties as it is of significant importance for the profile of the school and University to be partnered with a successful organisation as the Bristol Bears and Bristol Sport.

“It will provide fantastic placement opportunities for students in the School of Sport and Exercise, with a focus on placements initially in Strength & Conditioning, Performance Analysis and Sport Science support.

“This partnership will allow the Bristol Bears to benefit from the expertise of university staff to enhance the teams own understanding of their players through collaborative research programmes, which would be fostered through knowledge exchange and community engagement to their staff, players, and community coaches, thereby enhancing the development of all female rugby players across the wider Gloucestershire area.”


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