Swim researcher at U of R gets boost to help Canada's Olympic team

A professor at the University of Regina has been awarded research money aimed at improving the performance of Team Canada's swim team at the Olympics.

John Barden gets $110,700 grant from Own The Podium

Image of the sensors that would be placed on swimmers to collect data from their swim strokes. (Submitted to CBC)

A professor at the University of Regina has been awarded research money aimed at improving the performance of Team Canada's swim team at the Olympics.

Kinesiology professor John Barden has received a grant of $110,700 from Own The Podium, a group designed to help athletes win medals.

Barden is using motion sensors to analyze how competitive swimmers move in the water.

John Barden is an associate professor in the faculty of kinesiology at the University of Regina. (Submitted to CBC)

He says it's a huge improvement over the current system.

"If a swimmer wants to wear the device, which would typically be about two hours, we can track the information on every single stroke that they take," he explained. "Before, with a camera, we were very limited. We could only look at a couple of strokes per length."

Barden hopes to use his system on Team Canada swimmers soon as they train for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

The system he has developed looks at tiny details that can make a big difference.

"Coaches can start looking at things that they couldn't see before," he said. "For example, if a swimmer is very fatigued, and they're at the end of the week and they've had a lot of training sessions, and things start happening with their strokes, and things are changing, the data may tell us that."

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