Glasgow City have teamed up with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) as part of a ground breaking research project to provide leading sports and exercise science expertise.
The 15-time Scottish Women’s Premier League champions will work with the university to examine the impact of menstruation on female athlete performance via a new PhD studentship, which has been part-funded by the football club, and a Masters of Research opportunity.
The new partnership, led by UWS’s Dr Laura Forrest, is now the University’s fourth with a women’s football team, as it continues to build momentum in its research focusing specifically on female athletes.
PhD student, Julia Donnelly and UWS researchers will work with City to assess the impact of the menstrual cycle on health and performance, support coaches to develop their understanding on how it can impact on training, and track symptoms relating to menstruation.
The research is the third in-depth insight into elite athletes’ experiences of the menstrual cycle in relation to training and competition.
It follows previous research involving international female rugby players, which found that 93 per cent of players interviewed reported menstrual cycle-related symptoms, with 67 per cent considering these to be performance-impairing.
Commenting on the new partnership, Dr Laura Forrest said: “At UWS, we have an increasing number of professional sporting bodies approaching us for collaboration to help them gain a greater understanding of their female athletes.
“Our previous work has shown that we can provide tangible impact to those we are working with and we see this as being another opportunity to not only enhance and bridge the knowledge gap within the scientific community, but also to directly impact the health, wellbeing, and sports performance of the players at Glasgow City Football Club.
“This research will build on our previous work, and in doing so, will help contribute to bridging the sex and gender gaps we currently have within the literature and in applied practice.
“This partnership is set to develop further and we look forward to strengthening the commitment UWS has for women and girls in sport.”
Laura Montgomery, Chief Executive of Glasgow City, said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with UWS which is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long and beneficial relationship for the University and the Club.
“We have been very keen for some time to look further into this important area and are delighted to collaborate with UWS to part fund this vital research and have Julia work with us for the next three years of her PhD.
“I very much look forward to the insights her work will bring to our Academy and First Team as well as the overall benefit it will have to academic research around female athletes in general.”
Dr Andrew White, Head of Sports Science and Medicine at Glasgow City, said “The majority of research in football comes directly from the men’s game and this information has been transplanted into the women’s game for far too long.
“This partnership will allow us to support the players in a much more specific way. Dr Forrest is an expert in this area, and we are delighted to be working with her and UWS.
“Both Julia and Mairead, our PhD and MSc students, will be integral to the clubs development in the short and medium term and as a club we can’t wait to help them on their journey.”