Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) has been met with positive assessment of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and will conduct UEFA-funded sports research. The UEFA Research Grant Jury has given its votes to a Lithuanian project for the prevention of football injuries.
UEFA receives more than 100 applications from researchers from all over Europe each year. Only four research programs to improve strategic decisions in European football will be funded this year.
“For the first time in history, Lithuanian sports scientists have received such recognition from one of the largest sports organizations in the world. The research commissioned by the UEFA is an evaluation of long-term research and the work of scientists at Lithuanian Sports University as well as international recognition of the entire Lithuanian sports science community. This is the work of many years, because we pay a lot of attention to the development of sports science at Lithuanian Sports University. In cooperation with LTOK and sports federations, we strive for our research and recommendations to help Lithuanian athletes achieve the highest results, ” said LSU Rector Prof. Dr. Diana Rėklaitienė.
The research will be carried out in close collaboration with the Lithuanian Football Federation and researchers from the University of Barcelona. More than 600 football players from 20 Lithuanian A and I league clubs and youth teams, as well as 10 Spanish Division II and III teams will take part in the research. The players of the youth team of “Barcelona”, one of the most famous football clubs in the world, will also be examined.
“We presented the object of research to the entire club of “Barcelona” – football, basketball and handball teams. They enthusiastically accepted the offer and the “Barcelona” youth football team will participate in the research conducted by Lithuanian Sports University. We hope that such research and the obtained results will be useful for the best athletes in the world,” said the Director of LSU Institute of Sport Science and Innovations Prof. Dr. Sigitas Kamandulis.
The LSU graduate Justinas Grainys, a physical training coach who left BC “Žalgiris” together with Šarūnas Jasikevičius, will also work at the coaches’ headquarters of the “Barcelona” basketball team. According to the UEFA Research Committee, an injured footballer may cost elite European clubs as much as half a million euros. “The project has been designed to increase knowledge about high-velocity hamstring muscle training. Professional footballers and other athletes often suffer this type of injury and the recovery period is quite long. In addition, there is a high risk of recurrence of the injury. It is believed that the applied training method will significantly reduce the risk of injuries and increase the muscle power of professional football players,” said the research manager S. Kamandulis. Football players will be examined taking in consideration their position on the field and playing time. Footballers will be tested for speed and power, and the nature, frequency and severity of injuries will be recorded. LSU scientists will conduct the research for 10 months.