Napier Courier

UK sports scientist at helm of EIT school

Some exciting research collaborat­ion opportunit­ies ahead


EIT’s Acting Head of the School of Health and Sports Science, Dr Helen Ryan-Stewart says the EIT Te Pu¯kenga has exciting research collaborat­ion opportunit­ies ahead.

The sports scientist from the United Kingdom was appointed following the secondment of Dr Ondene van Dulm, to Te Pu¯kenga

She said she is pleased to have moved to Hawke’s Bay with her husband, Ben, who is originally from the region, and their two children.

“It was always the plan to return to New Zealand and the time seemed right after I was awarded my PhD.

“I loved living here the first time and we knew it was probably wherewe wanted to settle long term.”

With expertise in resistance training techniques, she is internatio­nally accredited to teach and examine a skill called anthropome­try, which is the scientific study of the measuremen­ts and proportion­s of the human body.

“When I was originally designing my PhD, I was working with a local, semi-profession­al rugby team as their sports scientist, so I decided to combine what I was doing with them with a PhD.”

“I focused on an area called somatotypi­ng, which is about using numbers to express somebody’s natural physique.

‘‘It’s a three numerical rating that gives you an idea of what somebody’s physique is around musculoske­letal robustness, adiposity and linearity.

“I looked at how people of different physiques respond differentl­y, particular­ly to resistance training.”

When she graduated, an opportunit­y arose for her to become Sport and Exercise Science Laboratory Manager at Massey University in Auckland, where she studied parttime for a MSc in Sport and Exercise Science.

Her thesis was ‘ The developmen­t of a reliable and valid netball intermitte­nt activity test’. It was during this time that she met her husband, Ben and in 2008, they returned to the UK where she took up a position at the University of Winchester.

While sport is her original research area, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen her extend this into the exercise and health area as well. With a background in universiti­es, she is enjoying working with students at a pre-degree and certificat­e level.

 ?? Photo / Supplied ?? Dr Helen Ryan-Stewart is an expert in resistance training.
Photo / Supplied Dr Helen Ryan-Stewart is an expert in resistance training.

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