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UniSA partnership creates world first for SA racing

South Australian jockeys already punch above their weight on the national stage – and now they’re about to ramp up their competitiveness even further, thanks to a new partnership with the University of South Australia (UniSA).

The innovative agreement with Thoroughbred Racing SA will take the State’s apprentice jockeys through their paces at UniSA’s state of the art High Performance Sport Centre.

And researchers believe this could be the first time jockey physiology has been professionally analysed anywhere in the world.

The jockeys will be assessed by researchers and sport science students at UniSA’s High Performance Sports Centre across key athletic indicators including aerobic capacity, strength, mechanical efficiency and anthropometric profiling.

The goal is to develop tailored advanced training programs around these results for the apprentices. Visits to UniSA’s City East campus facilities will be part of their ongoing training.

TRSA’s Manager of Industry Training Briony Moore says the partnership represents a pioneering move in the training of the next generation of jockeys.

“Until now, the physiological demands placed on jockeys have been largely unknown, which creates challenges when attempting to develop specific nutrition and training programs,” she said.

“By partnering with Uni SA, we’re helping our young riders take the next step in their progression from being professional athletes to becoming truly elite sports men and women. 

“They will have access to sports science data and analysis that will form the basis of individual programs to accelerate their development and help them be the best riders they can be.

“We’ve scoured the globe and there’s nothing like this being done anywhere else in the racing world, so we’re very excited about the potential.” Professor Roger Eston, head of UniSA’s School of Health Sciences, says the partnership with TRSA offers significant opportunities for researchers, students and jockeys.

“We were surprised to find that there was so little sport science research regarding improving the athletic performance of jockeys, especially females,” Prof Eston said.

“Owners and trainers spend millions analysing their thoroughbreds, but jockeys are a comparatively untapped area of knowledge and potential.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to enhance the development of young riders and include them as a research focus benefiting not only local jockeys but the racing
industry globally.”

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing Corey Wingard MP said this innovation between two highly-respected South Australian institutions was well-placed to become a centre for excellence for jockeys worldwide.

“This is an exciting development for Thoroughbred SA and UniSA and I wish this program great success as it opens up to South Australia’s apprentice jockeys and potentially to many others globally in the future.”

Media enquiries: Phil Martin on 0418 817 876 or pmartin@micwar.com.au

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