July 16, 2014
Special jackets made in Wales could help keep Welsh athletes warm when the competition hots up in Glasgow.
Welsh athletes will have access to new hi-tech Blizzard jackets, designed to keep their muscles and body at the optimum temperature for competition.
While a warm-up is a staple part of an athlete’s routine, the time before an event starts can see a significant loss of heat that could reduce muscle power and increase the risk of injury.
To solve the problem, Sport Wales has teamed up with the Welsh Elite Performance Sport Innovation Network (WEPSIN) and Welsh-based company Blizzard Protection Systems Ltd.
WESPIN is a Wales-wide network including academics from Swansea University, Bangor University and University of South Wales linking with Sport Wales and Welsh businesses.
Dr David Shearer, sport psychologist and member of WEPSIN, said: From a psychological perspective the garment give the athletes a potential edge in a number of way. Firstly, by wearing the garments, the athletes assure themselves that they are doing everything they can to maximise performance. Secondly, the athlete gains confidence in knowing they are using a technology that has aided previous Olympic medal performances. And finally, when competitors see their opponents wearing the garment they may worry and become distracted that they are less well prepared.”
Sports such as swimming, athletics and shooting will use the jackets at the Commonwealth Games.