Sports Kinesiology Injury Prevention and Performance

Successful sport outcomes depend on the ability of the human body to move effectively and efficiently. Using the scientific study of movement, we can investigate new methods for optimising human motion and work to reduce the risks of injury and improve sports performance of athletes of all ages and abilities.

Te Kukunetanga research programme

Te Kukunetanga aims to improve the pregnancy journey and outcomes for wahine and their whanau.

A women’s body undergoes unique progressive changes in shape and size throughout pregnancy and in the six months after the birth. While it's generally accepted that the physical changes experienced throughout this time affect the way women walk, balance, exercise and carry out daily tasks, we currently have limited insight into how these changes evolve across time, and how they differ between women.

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Female Athlete Performance and Health research programme

The Female Athlete Performance and Health research programme aims to enable girls and women to understand their physiology and their bodies. We research how the menstrual cycle affects performance and health, and help to create positivity around being a woman in sport.

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Our research group expertise

Lower limb injury biomechanics

Monitoring sport-specific movement and load to understand injury risk factors and to help develop physical preparation technique programmes.

Running biomechanics

Identification, development, and optimisation of musculoskeletal movement protocols to reduce injury risk and improve performance in runners and cyclists.

Sport injury risk profiling

Functional movement screening, concussion risk assessment and evaluation of asymmetries in athletes force/torque production are among the ways we profile injury risk for individuals and sporting populations.

Sports kinanthropometry

Identification, development, and optimisation of body composition to aid athletic performance.

Sport injury epidemiology

Survey design and analysis to identify risk factors and help develop and evaluate injury prevention programmes.

Our activities and students

ACC SportSmart – Nutrition, Youth and Technique literature reviews

Collaboration with ACC to further develop the SportSmart injury prevention education programme, providing guidelines to help everyone get the most out of sport and stay injury free.

Team members: Professor Patria Hume, Dr Hannah Wyatt, Associate Professor Chris Whatman, Anja Zoellner, Professor Simon Walters, Dr Craig Harrison, Natalie Hardaker, Professor Elaine Rush, Professor Jacqueline Alderson, Dr Stacy Sims

The digital runner

To use established sport science knowledge, in conjunction with the latest technological advances in wearables and data science to enhance the prediction and prevention of running-related injuries.

Team members: Dr Kelly Sheerin, Dr Hannah Wyatt, Professor Patria Hume, Professor Thor Besier, Dr Sarah-Kate Millar

Blue Fairy App: injury prevention good movement practice

Collaboration with ACC and Conical Ltd. to develop an augmented reality app ‘The Blue Fairy’ to promote and harness injury prevention good movement practice for children.

Team members: Professor Patria Hume, Dr Hannah Wyatt, Associate Professor Chris Whatman, Associate Professor Simon Walters, Sharon Kearney, Natalie Hardaker, Dr Craig Harrison

The effect of lateral forefoot wedging on walking and running gait in healthy adults

To establish how lateral wedging in orthoses is used clinically by Podiatrists, and how lateral wedging effect foot and ankle function during walking and running.

Team members: Aaron Jackson (AUT podiatry), Associate Professor Matt Carroll (AUT podiatry), Dr Kelly Sheerin, Professor Duncan Reid

Surf Life Saving New Zealand: lower-limb injury prevention

Collaboration with Surf Life Saving New Zealand to investigate the influence of IRB modifications to lower limb kinematics and loading in lab and on water.

Team members: Professor Patria Hume, Dr Hannah Wyatt, Stephen Reay, Michael Grobelny, Adam Jenkinson (AUT design team), Valance Smith (Te Ara Poutama), Ross Merritt and Surf Life Saving New Zealand

The impact of minimalist footwear on musculoskeletal health

The aim is to investigate the role of minimalist footwear activity on musculoskeletal health in children and adults.

Team members: Maisie Squibb (Institute of Technology Carlow), Dr Peter Francis (Institute of Technology Carlow), Dr Kelly Sheerin

Measuring motor skills and musculoskeletal development in infants

The aim of this study is to quantify the development in infant biomechanics during an infant’s first year of walking experience.

Team members: Ricardo Florez (The University of Auckland), Associate Professor Justin Fernandez (The University of Auckland), Professor Patria Hume, Dr Kelly Sheerin, Dr Hannah Wyatt

Does a menstrual cycle phased rehabilitation programme improve strength recovery and self- reported functional outcomes after ACL reconstruction?

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of menstrual cycled rehabilitation programmes following ACL reconstruction in female athletes

Team Members: Emma O’Loughlin, Professor Duncan Reid, Dr Stacy Sims and Dr Mark Fulcher (The University of Auckland)

Brain injury assessment tool (BIST)

Team members: Professor Alice Theadom, Professor Patria Hume, Professor Richard Siegert, Dr Susan Mahon, Renata Bastos Gottgtroy, Natalie Hardaker.

Applied mechanics and performance in cycling

Team members: Dr Rodrigo Bini and Professor Patria Hume

A concussion management strategy: community rugby In New Zealand

The aim of this project is to implement and evaluate a concussion management pathway in New Zealand community rugby.

Team members: Dr Danielle Salmon, Associate Professor Chris Whatman, Dr Simon Walters

Functional gait differences in surgical approaches for hi joint arthroplasty

The aim of this study to compare functional and patient reported outcome measures across three different surgical approaches for total hip arthroplasty.

Team members: Professor Thor Besier, Professor Rocco Pitto, Dr Tim Godwin, Dr Pablo Ortega-Auriol, Dr Kelly Sheerin, Dr Hannah Wyatt

Doctoral candidates

  • Jaron Kung (Auckland)
    Topic: The Associations between Maturation, Specialisation, Performance and Injury in New Zealand Youth Basketball Players
    Supervisors: Chris Whatman, Mike McGuigan
  • Jasper Wong (Auckland)
    Topic: The relationships between biomechanics, training load, and running related injury
    Supervisors: Kelly Sheerin, Hannah Wyatt, Chris Whatman
  • Renata Bastos Gottgtroy (Auckland)
    Topic: Modelling multimodal data for early detection of concussion using contemporary machine learning methods: A personalised approach to concussion diagnosis and rehabilitation management
    Supervisors: Patria Hume, Alice Theadom, Dave Parry
  • Sabina Just (Auckland)
    Topic: The connection of emotion and motion in pregnancy and the influence on childbirth
    Supervisors: Hannah Wyatt, Heather Donald and Peter McNair
  • Anja Zoellner (Auckland)
    Topic: The effects of early specialisation on movement competency, neuromuscular performance, and injury risk in youth football players
    Supervisors: Chris Whatman, Paul Read, Kelly Sheerin
  • Emma O’Loughlin (Wellington)
    Topic: Does a menstrual cycle phased rehabilitation programme improve strength recovery and self- reported functional outcomes after ACL reconstruction?
    Supervisors: Duncan Reid, Stacy Sims, Mark Fulcher
  • Natalie Hardaker (Wellington)
    Topic: Sex Differences: The effects on injury risk, recovery, and performance in sport
    Supervisors: Patria Hume, Stacy Sims, James Selfe
  • Paul Goodman (USA)
    Topic: Concussion in Ice Hockey - The strength and conditioning coach's role in the return to play rehabilitation protocols
    Supervisors: Patria Hume, Gregory Myer, Patrick Neary
  • Melissa Cuthbertson-Moon (Auckland)
    Topic: FITSMART: An injury prevention intervention to reduce the incidence, severity, and cost of fitness related injuries in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Patria Hume, Hannah Wyatt and Isaac
  • Miriam Kiptui (Africa)
    Topic: Safer running through KimbiaSmart Kenya: a nationwide injury prevention programme for running in Kenya
    Supervisors: Hannah Wyatt, Kelly Sheerin, Patria Hume

Masters Candidates

  • Anja van Gulden (Auckland)
    Topic: Traditional or modern? The coaching of Judo in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Hannah Wyatt, Chris Whatman, Andrew McDaid
  • Esther George (Wellington)
    Topic: Return to running following bony stress injuries in female runners
    Supervisors: Kelly Sheerin and Duncan Reid
  • Victor Lopez Jr (USA)
    Topic: Risk Factors in Developing USA Rugby 7s Playing Populations
    Supervisors: Patria Hume, Meryle Weinstein, Answorth Allen
  • Nyena Kawai (Auckland)
    Topic: Surf-Related Training Habits and Related Knowledge and Attitudes in Adult Recreational Surfers
    Supervisors: Chris Whatman
  • Tom Cooper (Auckland)
    Topic: Maturation status and injury in Northern Region football players
    Supervisors: Chris Whatman
  • James Farr (Wellington)
    Topic: The 11+ Part 2: Can it be improved to further enhance physical performance in female youth football players?
    Supervisors: Mike McGuigan, Chris Whatman

International Intern Candidates

  • Oliver Viant (Auckland)
    Topic: Te Kukunetanga running during pregnancy
    Supervisors: Hannah Wyatt, Kelly Sheerin

SPRINZ SKIPP Research Associate Members

Professor Thor Besier


The University of Auckland

Dr Sian Clancy


Drug Free Sport New Zealand

Associate Professor Justin Fernandez


The University of Auckland

Dr Mark Fulcher


Axis Sports Medicine Specialists and New Zealand Football

Dr Bruce Hamilton


High Performance Sport New Zealand

Dr Stephen Hollings


T&F Stats and Research

Helen Kilding


NZ Defence Force

Associate Professor Andrew McDaid


The University of Auckland

Dr Chloe McKenzie


High Performance Sport New Zealand

Associate Professor Mike Hamlin


Lincoln University

Associate Professor Nicholas Gill


University of Waikato

Dr Brian Russell


Contempo Lab

Dr Stacy Sims


DrStacySims LLC and ERW Ltd

Isaac Carlson


Accident Compensation Corporation

Dr Doug King


Hutt Valley District Health Board

Jody McGowan


Kinetics Physiotherapy

Dr Ken Quarrie


New Zealand Rugby

Dr Rodrigo Bini


La Trobe University

Dr Liz Bradshaw


Australian Catholic University

Professor Sayumi Iwamoto


Toyo University

Professor Sarah Shultz


Seattle University

Dr Denny Wells


Logemas Pty Ltd

Dr Stephven Lemalu Kolose


Worksafe NZ

Dr Karen Hind


Durham University

SKIPP Adjunct Professors

  • Professor Jacqueline Alderson, Australia
    University of Western Australia
  • Professor Lindsay Carter, USA
    Emeritus retired
  • Professor Justin Keogh, Australia
    Bond University
  • Professor Roland van den Tillaar, Norway
    Nord-Trøndelag University College
  • Professor Barry Wilson, Dunedin
    Emeritus retired