IT Carlow launches FASTr that continues legacy of 20x20 campaign


The healthCORE research centre at Institute of Technology Carlow will this Friday launch a new research initiative by bringing together some of Ireland’s high profile sports figures to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing female athletes.

FASTr - Female Athlete Science Translated - is a new research initiative by healthCORE, within the Department of Science and Health at IT Carlow, which aims to raise awareness and understanding of key female athletic performance considerations.

The FASTr initiative aims to continue the legacy of the hugely successful 20x20 initiative. The 20x20 campaign, which concluded in December 2020, started a conversation towards a cultural shift in the perception of girls and women in sport. 20x20 sought to change the subliminal bias that exists around girls and boys, or women and men, targeting 20% more media coverage for women’s sports, 20% more female participation and 20% more attendance at women’s sports events by the end of 2020. The FASTr initiative encourages researchers to adopt a similar policy by focusing on the inclusion of female participants in sport science research. With a fast-growing collective of dedicated researchers, IT Carlow has become a dynamic research hub for female athletic performance. The FASTr initiative aims to create awareness about the current evidence-based practice in women’s sport and to encourage collaboration to close the gender data gap in sport.

FASTr will be launched via a webinar at 1pm on Friday, hosted by RTE’s Joanne Cantwell. She will be joined by a panel of athletes, coaches, policy makers and research experts who will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing female athletes.

Speakers will include: Lynne Cantwell, chair of Sport Ireland Women in Sport committee; Orlaith Curran, Irish Women’s Rugby strength and conditioning coach; Shane McCormack, athletics coach and coach to Irish female 100m and 200m record holder Phil Healy; Dr Danielle Logue, Sport Ireland performance nutritionist; and Irish sportswoman Rena Buckley, who played for both Cork Ladies Football and Camogie and represented Ireland at international rules.

Organiser Dr. Paula Fitzpatrick, who lectures in sport science and strength and conditioning at IT Carlow’s Dept of Science and Health and is a former player and captain of the Irish Women’s Rugby Team, said the event will “explore the huge potential for growth within women’s sport”.

“We currently have a very limited understanding of female exercise physiology. Most of the sport science guidelines prescribed to female athletes have originated from research involving male athletes only. The purpose of this webinar is to reinforce the idea that women are not outliers and a more inclusive approach to sport science research needs to be adopted to close the gender data gap”, said Dr. Fitzpatrick.

The webinar is open to anyone who wishes to attend. To register, click here

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