Sports & Wellbeing Analytics (SWA) has partnered with Bristol Bears Women to help pitch-side coaching and medical staff precisely measure and monitor all impacts that occur to a player’s head during training and in a match.
The partnership will see Bristol Bears adopt SWA’s PROTECHT system, which involves every player wearing a mouthguard with a chip inserted inside. The data is then sent back to pitch-side coaching and medical staff in real time. The chip’s placement within the mouthguard means that it is connected to the players’ upper jaw – the only part of the body that cannot move independently of the skull.
The pioneering technology, which has been validated by Swansea and Stanford Universities, is already being used by Harlequins, Gloucester and Leicester Tigers in the Gallagher Premiership. The technology provides objective data on what is happening during any impact to the head and will be used by medical staff to inform decisions relating to player welfare, training, and recovery.
Heidi Chapman-Mercer, Bristol Bears Women General Manager, said: “It’s fantastic for the club to partner with PROTECHT and be at the forefront of such vital research in the modern game.
“Player welfare is paramount and as the speed and intensity of the game continues to increase year on year, it’s important we monitor and manage head impacts of our players as best we can.
“PROTECHT’s innovative technology will only be beneficial to players and clubs, as we strive to continually improve our standard of player welfare.” Chris Turner, SWA CEO, commented: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Bristol Bears Women, to help them monitor and manage head impact across their squad. We have seen in recent days just how important this issue is and we believe the PROTECHT technology has a vital role to play in improving player welfare”