IPSWICH sports science researcher Stephen Bird has been recognised by the New Zealand Government for his work with their national women’s basketball team.
Associate Professor Stephen Bird, of the University of Southern Queensland, was awarded a Prime Minister’s Support Team Scholarship by High Performance Sport NZ.
Associate Professor Bird has been helping NZ’s national women’s team since 2000 and leads the Ipswich Jets’ High Performance Unit for their rugby league and netball teams.
More recently, he led an international team investigating the sleep habits, health and well-being of elite female basketball players and support staff ahead of, and during, major international competitions.
He will use the scholarship to present his findings from the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup at the World Conference on Women and Sport in Auckland, NZ, 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.”
He said the project was extended to include the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which involves more examination of menstruation, sleep, psychological wellbeing, health and performance during training camps, long-haul travel, international competition, and post-travel home reintegration.