NOTE: This is the latest in a series of question and answer stories featuring Brock University faculty members who are integrating the 2021 Canada Games into their research projects. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit brocku.ca/canada-games
Nicole Chimera, Associate Professor of Kinesiology in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, researches how injuries take place and how mechanisms such as the neuromuscular system can be used to prevent injuries. Her research activities include: exploring clinical movement screening tools; evaluating injury risk assessment using clinician friendly tools; and using intervention strategies to reduce risk of injury in sport and physical activity.
Chimera is one of 11 Brock researchers and scholars to have received funding under the 2019-2020 round of the VPR Canada Games Grant program. Here, she discusses the research she’s conducting, titled “Injuries and Illnesses across 10 years of Canada Games Competitions: 2009-2019.”
Please give a brief overview of your research project.
The purpose of this project is to identify differences in musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses between male and female athletes participating in a variety of sports. We know from the literature that injury rates vary between male and female athletes and across various sports; however, we have not yet seen these comparisons in injury data from the Canada Games competitions. To do this, I’m analyzing and comparing the prevalence, incidence and characteristics of injuries and illness experienced by male and female athletes during Canada Games competitions from 2009 to 2019. This project was developed to help the Canada Games Council advance research in sports injury through the use of longitudinal data from the Canada Games.
What do you expect will be the outcome of your research?
Elite-level competitions such as the Canada Games involve many athletes participating in multiple sports during a set time period. While participation of this magnitude and level is desirable for many athletes, there are inherent risks of injury for participants. In order to reduce injuries, we must first identify and describe the injury problem. There is a paucity of literature regarding injury and illness incidence during the Canada Games. The expected outcome is that we will have a better understanding of injury and illness during Canada Games participation, which will hopefully help to aid future research in risk reduction.
How will this contribute to knowledge, or understanding of, the Canada Summer Games?
This project has the potential to significantly increase our understanding of injury and illness during Canada Games competitions. The amount of data gathered over a decade that I will analyze is of a magnitude that will be the first of its kind for research on the Canada Games. My study may provide insight into future injury risk reduction strategies to consider employing with Canada Games participants, as well as injury risk differences based on sport and sex. Findings from this research project may be used by Canada Games officials, as well as provincial and regional-level athletic therapists, physiotherapists, and strength and conditioning professionals, to help shape targeted injury risk reduction models for future Canada Games participants.
How did you become interested in this research?
As a clinician, I have always been interested in understanding how injury develops, how to screen for injury risk and how we may be able to intervene to reduce injuries in sport and physical activity. Over the course of my research career, I have focused on injury identification and risk reduction. Being able to extend this expertise to the Canada Games was a great way for me to become involved in research with high-level Canadian athletes.
How do you plan on sharing your research?
This work will be disseminated through the 2021 Brock Research Showcase event and will eventually be submitted for conference presentation and journal submission.
Do you have any advice or tips on how colleagues in your Faculty can incorporate the Canada Games into their research?
There are endless opportunities to incorporate Canada Games into various areas of research. This is evidenced in the diversity of projects that have been generously funded through the VPR Canada Games Grant program. Creatively incorporating areas of expertise and thinking outside the box often leads to intriguing research potential.