Insight in individual sportperformance is a prerequisite to work on performance improvement. Therefore many athletes make use of measuring equipment. Such equipment is readily available for able-bodied athletes and often at an affordable price, both for amateur and professional athletes. For wheelchair sports there is no suitable system, therefore they have to do with global outcomes as time on, for example, a sprint test. Due to the lack of information on wheelchair specific performance, it is not possible to properly evaluate training methods and materials.
Within the research project RAAKpro the “perfect sport wheelchair” a method is developed to measure wheelchair performance during games and practices, but this method is still expensive and complex. The athletes and coaches who participated in the study immediately saw the great value of the results and would like to see a product that they themselves perform such measurements.
Wheelchair sports performance monitor project goal
The goal of the wheelchair sports performance monitor project, an initiative from the Haagse Hogeschool, is to develop a cheap and robust system for the measurement of sports wheelchair movements. The knowledge from the research should be intertwined with the most appropriate sensor configuration, firmware and data streaming, to arrive at 10 testable prototypes.
Sportinnovator grants the wheelchair sports performance monitor project
Monique Berger and Rienk van der Slikke from the Haagse Hogeschool (DHS) have received a Sportinnovator grant from the Dutch minister Bussemaker of public health. This enables DHS and 2M Engineering to bring realization of a concrete product another step closer to reality.
The prototypes will be tested for usability and applications in various Paralympic wheelchair sports (wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and wheeling). In a follow-up project the prototypes will be further developed into consumer products, so that the wheelchair athletes can make the much desired professionalization.