ACU welcomes leading sport scientist Professor Ben Jones

Professor Ben Jones from Leeds Beckett University (UK) has joined ACU’s School of Behavioural and Health Sciences and the Sports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT) Research Centre in an honorary role.

A professor in sport and exercise physiology at Leeds Beckett University (UK), his work across rugby codes investigating the relationship between contact and concussion is informing global playing policy and player welfare initiatives.

SPRINT director Associate Professor David Opar said the new partnership will provide valuable industry reputation and exposure as Professor Jones’ expertise is strongly linked to the current and planned research conducted at SPRINT and the school.

“Ben brings extensive industry experience and knowledge to this partnership with ACU,” he said.

“His work on player safety and contact load in rugby players will have positive ramifications for the long-term health of players from all codes and levels globally.”

ACU’s National Head of the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences Professor David Greene also welcomed Professor Jones to ACU.

It is great to have someone of Ben’s standing appointed in an honorary capacity here at ACU,” he said. “He has an outstanding track record of engaging with industry and has brought in over $9m of funding over the last 7 years.

“This funding helped Leeds Beckett deliver large-scale projects that can make huge impact across all levels of sport. “This type of work is strongly aligned to the mission of ACU and given Leeds Beckett University’s standing in sport and health research and teaching, this will develop further collaborations between the two institutions.”

Professor Jones said the opportunity to formalise the partnership with ACU was significant.

“I have been collaborating with researchers from ACU over the last 10 years which has led to numerous studies which have informed practice, specifically in rugby league,” he said.

“My visiting professor role at ACU will increase opportunities to work on player performance and safety projects, by collaborating with the range of experts within the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences and the SPRINT research centre.”

Professor Jones, who in 2015 was joint-awarded the Researcher of the Year at Leeds Beckett University, was awarded the UKSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year for Research and Education in 2017.

He is the research lead at both the Rugby Football League and Premiership Rugby Union in England.

Professor Jones will be with ACU until March 2026.

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