A University of Southern Queensland sports science researcher has been awarded a prestigious Prime Minister’s Support Team Scholarship by High Performance Sport New Zealand.
Associate Professor Stephen Bird was recognised for his contributions to Basketball New Zealand’s Senior Women’s National Team program since 2020.
More recently, Associate Professor Bird led an international research team investigating the sleep habits, health and well-being of elite female basketball players and team support staff in the lead up to, and during major international competitions.
Associate Professor Bird will use the Prime Minister’s Scholarship to present the outcomes and findings from the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup at the 8th International Working Group World Conference on Women and Sport in Auckland, New Zealand later this year.
“I am honoured to lead this international research collaboration between Basketball New Zealand and the University of Southern Queensland,” he said.
“To be at the forefront examining female athlete health represents the importance of this topic.
“We are working with international experts across the globe in area’s such as menstruation, sleep, psychological wellbeing, health and performance.”
Associate Professor Bird said the project had been extended to include the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which involves further examination of menstruation, sleep, psychological wellbeing, health and performance during training camps, long-haul travel, international competition, and post-travel home reintegration.
“Without the continued support of Basketball New Zealand, the players and coaches and the University of Southern Queensland, none of this exciting work would be possible,” he said.
Associate Professor Bird has had extensive experience in strength and conditioning, high performance coaching and athlete development.
He is currently Head of Player Performance, Research and Development at Basketball New Zealand. He also leads the Ipswich Jets’ High Performance Unit (rugby league and netball).
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University of Southern Queensland Associate Professor Stephen Bird awarded a prestigious Prime Minister’s Support Team Scholarship by High Performance Sport New Zealand.