UBC Thunderbirds Sport Science Symposium

Event Type: 

Event Date: May. 11, 2018


Vancouver BC
Event Address: 
Vancouver, BC

This symposium features applied sport science practitioners and researchers that are part of our Integrated Support team, or are in our brain-trust to help make UBC Athletics the most successful Varsity Athletics program in the country. We have a diverse set of presenters across applied sport science including Biomechanics, S&C, Physiology, Therapy, Sports Medicine, Nutrition, and Sport Psychology. The material will transcend across many sports, but key presentations will feature Volleyball, Soccer, Hockey, Swimming, and Freestyle Skiing. We will also learn about Paralympic sport physiology, Sport Psychology, Relative Energy Deficiency, and product innovation

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Last year we sold out a month before, so don’t delay registering!

Meet our speaker Panel


Sam Ebata is the Biomechanics & Performance Analysis Lead with the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and has just returned from her 2nd Olympic Games experience (4th multi-sport games). She primarily works with Freestyle Canada, which as a group has won 11 Olympic medals over the past 2 games. Sam is a world leader in performance analysis and biomechanics and will be showcasing life behind the scenes of those Olympic podiums as an elite sport scientist.

Tavis Bruce is a strength and conditioning coach with the UBC Thunderbirds. He is one of the architects behind the UBC Men's Volleyball championship victory this past season. He is an early adopter of technology and utilizes it effectively both in the weight room and fields of play to help optimize training adaptations and performance. Tavis is a former Academic All Canadian and star pitcher with UBC Baseball, he graduated with honours in Kinesiology in 2014. Tavis will showcase the physical preparation of the Men’s volleyball team, integrating daily jump load metrics, pain scores, strength measurements and the integration with physiotherapy, sport dietetics, and sport psychology.

David Hendry is a PhD candidate within the motor skills lab at UBC and assistant coach with UBC men's soccer. He has published several peer reviewed articles on the topic of athlete development and has presented at national and international conferences. In addition, David also works with Major Leagues Soccer, and has held positions at Glasgow Ranges F.C. and the Scottish Football Association. David will discuss the “hot topic” of early specialization, which we all know is bad. His research suggests there is nuance to this and takes into account hours of unstructured play.

Mick Leahy is a MSc candidate in the Health and Integrative Physiology Lab at UBC, and a graduate assistant strength coach with the UBC Track & Field Team. He is currently working on projects that look into the workings of swimmers lungs; both the work of breathing required in for swimming and how swimmers experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. He will share data and experiences from his lab that show swimmers have the best and worst lungs of all athletes.

Mikayla Ogrodniczuk is a 4th year athlete on the Thunderbirds Women's Hockey Team. Inspired by the desire to help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness, Mikayla created UBC's first student-athlete oriented mental health resource, UBC Athlete's Hub, which provides comprehensive resources to student-athletes with mental health concerns.

Sarah Manson is an innovation scientist in lululemon's whitespace laboratory, bridging human physiology and performance with product innovations and designs. She has worked both in industry and as a Sport Scientist during her time with High Performance Sport New Zealand and Canada Soccer.

Emma McCrudden is a Sport Dietitian who has worked with numerous Olympians and professional sports teams in Ireland, England and Canada. She now works with the UBC Thunderbird Varsity athletes and teaches sport nutrition as part of the Kinesiology faculty at UBC. She will be co-presenting with Sports Medicine Physician Alyssa Cantarutti on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport and it’s effects on long term health and performance.

Cameron Gee is an award winning PhD student at UBC working with the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific on cutting edge interventions to enhance cardiovascular and pulmonary function in elite athletes with spinal cord injuries. He will showcase the novel work they are doing to manipulate the cardiovascular and pulmonary function of athletes with spinal cord injuries to support them to Paralympic success.

Ian Perry is a Sport Psychology Masters student and Mental Performance Consultant for UBC Athletics. Alongside working under the umbrella of mental performance Ian was the Former Captain and now assistant coach of the MVB team. Ian's training and experience leaves him well positioned on how to create an optimal mindset both on and off the court.

Dr. Don McKenzie is professor and director of the Division of Sports Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He has been the team physician for the Canadian Canoe Team for over 30 years and is the chair of the Medical and Anti-Doping Committee of the International Canoe Federation. He has served as president of the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology and has an active research program that has graduated more than 80 students.