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University of Southern Queensland to help Jets soar to new heights

man on field
University of Southern Queensland student Mitchell Burrows

The University of Southern Queensland has teamed up with the Ipswich Jets for another season with hopes of taking the club to new heights in 2022.

Backed by Jets Head of Football and Head Coach of the senior rugby league side Ben Cross, the University will lead the club’s newly formed High Performance Unit for the 2022 Queensland Rugby League and Netball Queensland competitions.

The move will benefit the Jets’ stable of players and coaches, with the club providing opportunities for the University’s students to gain industry insights, internships and networks.

University of Southern Queensland Associate Professor Stephen Bird, who heads the Jets’ High Performance Unit, said the partnership was a win-win for both parties.

“The University has a been a long-time partner of the Jets and is expanding its offerings in sports science, performance, athlete health and wellbeing, with the High Performance Unit a vision that has now become a reality,” Associate Professor Bird said.

“The Jets will benefit through access to the University’s expertise and world-renowned research, but the biggest winners are our students.

“They will have the opportunity to see and learn first-hand how the theoretical and practical knowledge they are gaining from their degrees can be applied in a sports setting and work with a diverse range of athletes across two different sports.”

One student who has already benefited from the partnership is Mitchell Burrows.

The Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science (Honours) student recently started a sports science internship with the Jets’ rugby league team. His primary role centres on GPS analytics involving GPS technology to analyse player performance data, tracking distance covered, intensity, player accelerations and decelerations.

“Being involved in a semi-professional level of elite sport has allowed me to utilise scientific principles to enhance and monitor performance in rugby league,” Mr Burrows said.

“In collaboration with the High Performance Unit, I provide players and coaching staff GPS data reports collated from field training sessions and games.

“These GPS data reports provide various important measured metrics that allow us to monitor individual and team player loads and work rate, provide load management strategies to help avoid overload and soft tissue injuries, and create a healthy competitive environment among the players.

“As well as the many interpersonal and career-defining skills I have developed while working at the Jets, I have continued to build my knowledge in the field of sports science and strength and conditioning.

“These skills and knowledge are essential to pave a career within an elite sporting environment and provide sport science services.”

The Ipswich Jets are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2022, and club CEO Richard Hughes said the partnership would help take the club into an exciting new era.

“I’m very proud the strong connection between the Jets and the University, which covers research, education and community, will be reinforced through this high performance partnership,” he said.

“To help you stay one step ahead of your rivals, any high performance program requires investment and sporting expertise, and we’re thrilled to have the University contributing to our elite rugby league and netball teams.”

The Jets’ senior rugby league side kicks off its Hostplus Cup season against the Northern Pride at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday (March 19).

Have a passion for sport, exercise, health or fitness? With a combination of sports and exercise courses and professional placements with our Sport and Exercise Clinic, Strength and Conditioning and Research Laboratories, the University of Southern Queensland’s Sport and Exercise and Strength and Conditioning degrees prepare you for a career in the rapidly expanding health, sports and fitness industry.