Student Leadership in Action; Exploring the Science of Sport

Matt Uffindall
Senior School PE Teacher


Sports science is a $90bn industry. Sporting competitors, supported by professional organisations around the world, are looking for 1% gains to ensure they are number one in their field; enjoying the pride of winning and the rewards that follow.

Whilst participation in sport and learning how to lead an active, healthy lifestyle are part of the fundamental ethos of the PE Department here at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, some of our older students are taking a more scientific approach to this.

DCSPX Exploring the Science of Sport

Our IBDP Sports Exercise Health and Science (SEHS) students are working with our IGCSE PE students to conduct an experiment determining the impact of live data on performance. With prevalent access to devices, it is common for many people to use apps such as Strava to track their health-related activities. Our students are exploring whether or not having that information live at your fingertips whilst performing directly impacts the effort we put in. Completing three 20-minute spin bike workouts on our brand new, state-of-the-art equipment, our Year 10 IGCSE PE students can see the distance they have covered, the power they produced and the energy they have burned. But if we take this information away from them, will they work harder or not?

DCSPX Exploring the Science of Sport

Next week they will complete the same three sessions without the live data. We will then analyse the information that has been gathered. As our IB student explained, “I believe that modern-day young athletes enjoy having that immediate feedback. Similar to receiving a ‘like’ on a social media post, it reinforces a positive message and give you a real time “Well done, keep going!”. I am excited to see how they perform next week, and really happy I’m able to complete my Internal Assesment on such an interesting subject area.”

DCSPX Exploring the Science of Sport

The IB SEHS course is offered here at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi as part of the full IB Diploma Programme. This science-based course offers students a sound insight into the world of sports science and the many university courses that are offered on the subject around the world.