SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Athletes from around the state were in Sioux Falls this weekend competing in the state track and field meet.
Some have collaborated with the Sanford Sports Science Institute, an organization that is now hoping to excel athletes’ abilities to the Olympic level with their new teammate.
The Sanford Sports Science Institute is passing the baton to the National Scholastic Athletic Foundation as their sports medicine research partner.
“We are doing this because it's really where we have to be,” Director of the SSSI, Dr. Lisa MacFadden, said. “It's really what we need to be doing to help improve our athletes and to help push them to the next level.”
The focus of SSSI is to improve health and performance of all athletes, beginning from the day they start to the day they become focused on one sport or activity.
“We're going to be working with their athletes and doing some exciting research to help improve the health and performance of their athletes and future Olympians,” MacFadden said.
The NSAF works with track and field athletes at the highest level across the nation, hoping to identify future Olympians. This partnership gives SSSI access to these top athletes to assist them in their research and allow them to provide their services at a more than regional level.
“This collaboration is going to bring us some opportunities to work with some excellent, hopefully, future Olympic athletes,” MacFadden said. “It's going to bring us the opportunity to do a lot of really awesome research and really help improve performance and reduce injury risk.”
This collaboration will bring NSAF performance clinics to Sioux Falls this summer, giving local athletes a chance to practice with the best.
“Some of the clinics that are going to be brought to Sioux Falls are going to be open to regional athletes to come and train with those top athletes from around the country,” Thayne Munce, Director of Research and Development for SSSI, said. “As well as some of the track coaches from around the country and it may be that we find a diamond in the rough right here in our own neighborhood.”
It’s a dream for many area athletes, and one Sanford researches hope to make possible.
“We're just really excited about this partnership being able to work with a national level partner that represents athletes from across the country and hopefully having a key role in developing future Olympians,” Munce said.
Hopes for this partnership are high as they say this is a “win-win” opportunity for both organizations.