2018 SPIN Summit

Once again CSI Calgary is sending a strong contingent to the upcoming SPort INnovation (SPIN) Summit, hosted every year by Own the Podium (OTP) in a different Canadian city, this year in Montreal.

The SPIN Summit is Canada's leading-edge symposium for professional development and networking in the areas of applied sport science, sports medicine, and innovation. This annual conference combines experts from around the globe to build knowledge and tools, for future Olympic and Paralympic sport success through technological and scientific research.

The energetic, cutting edge conference will include one full day of applied workshops at the Institut National du Sport du Québec, providing hands-on performance enhancement opportunities in their facility. Building off these workshops, the second day will be dedicated to plenary sessions, alongside a variety of poster displays, culminating into the Dr. Gord Sleivert Young Investigator Awards.

Dr. Erik Groves, Research and Innovation Lead at CSI Calgary, says that the conference provides an opportunity for Canada’s best and brightest to collectively advance the sport science that supports Canada’s top athletes. “SPIN brings together Canadian experts who all work in amateur sport across the country,” says Groves. “It’s a chance to network, share, learn and foster relationships within the sport community.”

CSI Calgary is well represented at this year’s conference, with the presentation of findings from numerous, ongoing research projects. CSI Calgary staff will present findings in the areas of concussion, ACL reconstruction and return to sport protocols in alpine skiing, among others.

Nathaniel Morris, a graduate student at the University of Calgary and research intern at CSI Calgary, is short-listed as one of the finalists for the Dr. Gord Sleivert Young Investigator’s Awards. The awards are presented each year to the top three graduate students whose research addresses an athlete performance gap relevant to high performance sport.

Morris’ research is focused on recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery, specifically looking at the size of the hamstring muscle (which is used to reconstruct the ACL of the injured knee) post-surgery, relative to the healthy leg. The goal is to understand the impact that the size of this muscle has on the recovery period, and to provide a more objective measurement of the recovery process.

Groves, and colleague Graeme Challis, Exercise Specialist at CSI Calgary, are presenting their research on the communication of complex training and monitoring information to coaches. “It’s a pretty complicated environment,” explains Groves. “We’re looking at how to simplify the communication of this information without ignoring its inherent complexity.”

Andrew Smit, a graduate student and CSI Calgary research intern, will be presenting his research focused on the differences in physiological determinants of successful and unsuccessful athletes in long track speed skating. The goal of Smit’s research is to help Speed Skating Canada develop a better understanding of the athlete development pathway by using more objective steps in identifying what factors lead to success.

All of these projects represent CSI Calgary’s ongoing efforts to improve athlete performance through applied research and innovation. The 13th annual SPIN Summit will be held October 31st to November 2nd, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto

High Performance Dietitian Kelly Drager Educates the Experts

Many of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary's (CSIC) specialists have had the privilege of being recognized as national leaders within their respective fields. This list includes Registered Dietitian Kelly Drager, who recently spent time in Montreal sharing her research findings with other sports experts from around the country.

Drager presented in Montreal after being asked by Own the Podium to facilitate two different sessions at the Montreal Sport Innovation (SPIN) Summit 2014. The Montreal symposium was the 9th annual conference put on by Own the Podium, whose conferences have the goal of "developing and networking in the areas of applied sport science, sport medicine, and sport innovation."

Drager was enthusiastic about the opportunity to share her knowledge at the conference, believing that "SPIN is a great opportunity to connect in person with colleagues and other sport science disciplines. The collaborative candid conversations are often what initiates the creative thinking process, leading to future projects that will further the development of athletes to the highest level possible."

One of the topics that Drager shared her knowledge about was the concept of Relative Energy Deficiency for Sport (RED-S). RED-S is a syndrome that refers to impaired physiological function including metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, and cardiovascular health. Along with the interdisciplinary panel of fellow specialists Shaunna Taylor, Trent Stellingwerff, and Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, Drager presented on RED-S and its implications for all coaches and Integrated Support Team members (IST). The group also introduced implications and strategies for paramedical staff, sport scientists, coaches and sport leaders who are looking to improve performance while maintaining athlete health.

The second facilitation Drager was asked to lead was titled Weight Management Consideration for Athletes. Drager's main goal for the session was to facilitate discussion for determining appropriate weight and body composition for athletes. This is a key consideration for IST members, as often managing weight is necessary for performance and body composition demands are extremely sport specific. Drager addressed issues such as how weight and body composition targets are determined for athletes, key components that should be considered when assessing if an athlete is at an appropriate weight, and what the best approaches to achieve desired changes for an athlete are.

Drager's work at the CSIC has provided her with the incredible opportunity to further her professional development while working with teams such as the National Wrestling Team and Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada. At the SPIN conference, she was able to share knowledge gained through her work with CSIC teams during one of her workshops by presenting a case study on the consequences of health and performance which reviewed current evidence based approaches to effectively facilitate fat loss while maintaining or gaining lean tissue in the athletic population. The combination of being able to elevate athletes' performances while also making progress within the ever-evolving field of nutrition is a benefit that Drager knows is enabled by the leaders of the CSIC who are always striving to be a step ahead of the international competition.

Drager recognizes that the environment created at the CSIC has helped her, along with other IST members, stay ahead of the curve when it comes to research. She acknowledges that, "At CSIC we have the ability to directly interact with the athletes on a daily basis as well as the other sport science members of the IST. Seeing the athletes train maximally everyday is motivating, creates a sense of national pride and definitely encourages everyone working within the team to do the best to foster excellence."

Stay in the loop!

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @bschussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Kelly Drager, diététiste spécialisée en sport de haut niveau, forme des experts

De nombreux spécialistes de l'Institut canadien du sport de Calgary (ICSC) ont eu le privilège d'être reconnus comme leaders nationaux dans leur domaine respectif. Dans cette liste, on retrouve la diététiste Kelly Drager, qui a récemment passé du temps à Montréal afin de partager ses résultats de recherche avec d'autres experts sportifs provenant des quatre coins du pays.

À nous le podium a demandé à Mme Drager d'animer deux séances différentes au Sommet annuel du Sport et de l'Innovation (SPIN) 2014 à Montréal. Le symposium de Montréal était la 9e édition de la conférence annuelle organisée par À nous le podium. Ces conférences visent à assurer le « perfectionnement et l'élargissement de réseaux professionnels dans les sphères des sciences appliquées du sport, de la médecine du sport et de l'innovation ».

Sommet SPIN 2018

Une fois de plus, l’ICS Calgary envoi de nombreux représentants au prochain Sommet du Sport et de l’Innovation (SPIN), qui est organisé tous les ans par À nous le podium (ANP) dans une ville canadienne différente. Il se déroulera à Montréal cette année.

Le Sommet SPIN est le symposium canadien d’avant-garde de perfectionnement et de réseautage des professionnels dans les sphères des sciences appliquées du sport, de la médecine du sport et de l’innovation. Ce congrès annuel rassemble des experts internationaux pour renforcer les connaissances et créer des outils en vue de favoriser la réussite dans le domaine des sports olympiques et paralympiques grâce à des recherches technologiques et scientifiques.

Ce congrès dynamique à la fine pointe de la technologie comprendra une journée complète d’ateliers pratiques qui offriront des occasions concrètes d’améliorer la performance dans les installations de l’Institut national du sport du Québec. Tirant parti de ces ateliers, la deuxième journée sera consacrée à des séances plénières agrémentées d’une série d’expositions d’affiches et se conclura par la remise des prix « Les Jeunes Chercheurs Dr Gord Sleivert ».

Pour M. Erik Groves, Ph. D., directeur de la Recherche et de l’Innovation de l’ICS Calgary, ce congrès offre une occasion aux plus grands experts du Canada de se réunir pour faire progresser les sciences du sport qui soutiennent les meilleurs athlètes canadiens. « Le Sommet SPIN rassemble des experts canadiens qui travaillent tous dans un sport amateur au pays, affirme M. Groves. Il s’agit d’une occasion de réseauter, de partager, d’apprendre et d’entretenir des relations au sein de la communauté sportive. »

L’ICS Calgary est bien représenté au congrès de cette année, avec la présentation des résultats de nombreux projets de recherche en cours. Le personnel de l’ICS Calgary présentera des résultats pour différents domaines de recherche, notamment les commotions, la reconstruction du ligament croisé antérieur et les protocoles de retour au sport en ski alpin.

Nathaniel Morris, étudiant diplômé de l’Université de Calgary et stagiaire en recherche à l’ICS Calgary, a été présélectionné parmi les finalistes des prix « Les Jeunes Chercheurs Dr Gord Sleivert ». Ces prix sont remis chaque année aux trois meilleurs étudiants diplômés dont les recherches abordent des écarts de performance chez les athlètes qui sont pertinents pour les sports de haut niveau.

Les recherches de M. Morris sont axées sur la récupération après une chirurgie de reconstruction du ligament croisé antérieur. Il évalue plus précisément la taille du muscle ischiojambier (qui est utilisé pour reconstruire le ligament croisé antérieur du genou blessé) après la chirurgie par rapport à celui de la jambe non opérée. L’objectif est de comprendre les répercussions de la taille de ce muscle sur la période de récupération et de fournir une mesure plus objective du processus de récupération.

M. Groves et son collègue Graeme Challis, spécialiste en exercices de l’ICS Calgary, présenteront leurs recherches sur la communication de données complexes d’entraînement et de suivi aux entraîneurs. « Il s’agit d’un environnement plutôt complexe, explique M. Groves. Nous cherchons des moyens de simplifier la communication de ces données sans toutefois ignorer leur complexité inhérente. »

Andrew Smit, étudiant diplômé et stagiaire en recherche à l’ICS Calgary, présentera ses recherches axées sur les différences entre les éléments physiologiques déterminants chez les athlètes couronnés ou non de succès en patinage de vitesse sur longue piste. L’objectif des recherches de M. Smit est d’aider l’équipe Patinage de vitesse Canada à acquérir une meilleure compréhension du parcours de perfectionnement des athlètes grâce à des étapes plus objectives servant à déterminer les facteurs qui mènent au succès.

Tous ces projets représentent les efforts continus de l’ICS Calgary pour améliorer les performances des athlètes au moyen de recherches et d’innovations appliquées. Le 13e Sommet SPIN annuel se tiendra du 31 octobre au 2 novembre 2018 à Montréal.

Institut canadien du sport de calgary: @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo crédit: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto

We’re All In This Together

Gluten-free, detox and cleansing diets, K-tape, cupping, homeopathic vaccines, cryotherapy, IV therapy – sound familiar? These are but a few of the plethora of popular, yet completely baseless, health and sport trends that currently pervade popular culture. So says scientist, author, speaker and debunker of pseudoscientific health claims, Dr. Timothy Caulfield.

As keynote speaker at the 11th annual Own the Podium SPort INnovation (SPIN) Summit, Caufield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, highlighted the danger that accepting health practices based entirely on pseudo science can have on society, as well as athletes and the sport community at large.

“There is an incredible amount of bunk and pseudoscience out there, which makes it incredibly difficult for people to access the real science,” explains Caulfield. He says there is a tolerance for pseudo science across all sectors of health, which has led to an erosion of critical thinking.

The message was strong and pointed – be careful. Dr. Jon Kolb, Director of Sport Science, Medicine and Innovation at Own the Podium, who invited Caulfield to speak at this year’s summit says, “The message that Caufield delivered is that athletes, coaches and managers need to recognize and be very careful about what is brought into their programs.”

For more than 250 of Canada’s top sport scientists, researchers, medical professionals, executives and coaches attending the summit, it was a message that strongly supports a philosophy which underscores the work they do – making decisions based on sound evidence. The CSI Calgary was a major contributor to the SPIN Summit, providing a number of in-house expert speakers.

The focus on evidence can be challenging when there is a need to blend the art of coaching with the science of sport. For Dr. Erik Groves, Research and Innovation Lead at the CSI Calgary, one key takeaway from the conference came from a presentation by Mike MacSween, Executive VP of Major Projects at Suncor.

“The simplest way to approach differing opinions and areas of expertise is to centralize on facts,” said MacSween. “Once that is accomplished it is much easier for people to come together.”

This opens the door for true collaboration, another theme that has come to characterize SPIN and the way in which the Canadian sport community works together. For Groves, the goal of SPIN is to share. “It’s about raising the bar, raising expectations and being open to collaboration,” he says. “We’re all in this together.”

Frank Van den Berg, CSI Calgary Director of Mental Performance agrees. “We share with each other what we are working on” he says. “It’s also an opportunity to foster critical thinking and discussion – we don’t only have to share our successes but our challenges too.”

“We’re much better collaborating than not,” adds Kolb. He says that it’s an opportunistic time in Canadian sport, with so many good things going on and emphasizes that collaboration is a big part of that.

Ultimately, the conference helps to bring together the Canadian sport community for the advancement of sport. “It’s a responsibility within high performance sport, which is a niche on it’s own,” says Kolb. “We will only grow if we grow as a sport science community together.”

Trust science, work together and reap the rewards. The evidence is conclusive!

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

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