Sports Physiology

The Sports Physiology department consists of the Biochemistry unit and the Physiology Unit. The Physiology unit is responsible for identifying and quantifying the physical and physiological characteristics that contribute to performance in particular sports, and the most effective methods of manipulating these characteristics to increase the likelihood of success.

A key function of the Physiology unit is to quantify performance demands in different sports and activities, to monitor training sessions, to understand their physiological implications and to allow accurate assessment of the level of stress placed on athletes. This involves the measurement of a range of physiological variables including cardiovascular, neuromuscular, hormonal, biochemical and performance variables. The sports physiology unit works with coaches and other scientists in performance monitoring in both training and competition settings to provide a holistic approach to define performance needs and identify the implications of training interventions.

The Sports Physiology unit is committed to applied research activities in partnership with other departments of Aspire Academy and Aspire Zone and a growing number of international institutions.

Broadly speaking, the Physiology unit performs the following roles:

  • Provide sport science support with laboratory and field-based testing/monitoring activities.

  • Identify and quantity the physical and physiological characteristics that contribute to performance in each sport.

  • Provide expert assistance and advice Aspire Academy athletes and coaches in order to improve the quality of the training interventions and improve sporting performance.

  • Provide education to coaches and athletes

  • Implements the latest technology to conduct field based assessment

  • Conduct applied research projects

Major Projects

  • Trainability of athletic abilities; endurance, speed, during childhood and adolescence.
  • Development of innovative wearable sensors for in-vivo physiological data collection
  • Use of thermal imaging to detect injuries/inflammatory processes in young athletes
  • Modeling of training data to predict performance outcomes


The Biochemistry unit is an integral part of the Sports Physiology department. Broadly speaking the Biochemistry unit performs the following roles:

  • Provides information to our physiologists and coaches in relation to monitoring student-athletes’ training loads and recovery.
  • Provides information to physiologists, nutritionists and coaches in relation to monitoring student-athletes’ iron and vitamin D deficiency and relevant aspects of growth and maturation
  • Establishes reference values for the specific population of adolescent student-athletes of Arab-origin who are still in the process of maturation.
  • Conducts applied research to improve our understanding of training the young athlete
  • Develops innovative approaches for applications of sports biochemistry

Major Projects

  • Building a database for establishing norms for biochemical and hematological parameters in adolescent Arab-origin athletes
  • Hypovitaminosis D in young Arab-origin athletes
  • Genetic and epigenetic aspects of training young Arab athletes
  • Growth and maturation of biological structures
  • Development of innovative technologies for non-invasive and minimally invasive biochemical analysis on the field


Dr. Marco Cardinale

Head of Sports Physiology

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