Department of Sports Science (DSS) of the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) of University of Sri Jayewardenepura received an opportunity to send ten (10) fourth-year undergraduates for a 300 hours internship programme to the School of Medical and Health Sciences (SMHS) of Edith Cowan University (ECU), Joondalup, Perth, Western Australia as a partial requirement of B. Sc. (Honours) in Sports Science and Management degree programme under the newly introduced course SSM 404 3.0 Internship in Sports Science and Management. This is a new initiation under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ECU & USJP in 2017. All the ten students along with Dr N. M. S. Sirimuthu (Head of DSS), Dr. (Ms.) Sashie Weerasinghe (Senior Lecturer – DSS) and Mr Kevin Roshintha Fernando (Coordinator – SSM 404 3.0 Internship in SSM) met Senior Prof. Sampath Ameratunge (Vice-Chancellor – USJP) and Prof. Laleen Karunanayake (Dean – FAS) before leaving Sri Lanka to discuss the internship programme.
Students started two months internship on the 10th September 2019 with the inaugural meeting at SMHS ECU with Prof. Rob Newton (Associate Dean – SMHS ECU), Prof. Ken Nosaka (Director – Exercise & Sports Science), Dr. Favil Singh (ECU Coordinator for USJP Programme) & Mr. Kevin Roshintha Fernando (USJP Coordinator for ECU Programme).
During the internship programme, students are exposed to different clinics where cancer, cardio, knee injuries, Alzheimer disease patients are treated through exercise and sports treatments and students are assigned to assist in conducting sessions for patients along with ECU staff & students. Furthermore, students are exposed to different laboratories such as Exercise Physiology Laboratory, BioMechanics Research Laboratory, Human Movement Performance Laboratory, Human Performance Analysis Laboratory, Exercise Science Research Laboratory, Strength & Conditioning Laboratory, Health & Fitness Center, Exercise Medicine Research Institute (Vario), Diagnostic & Assessment Clinic, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics Laboratories, Neurological Laboratory, Microbiological Laboratory and Musculoskeletal Laboratory.
More importantly, they are getting more familiar with lab instruments and equipment in research labs. Some of the leading researchers in ECU recruited USJP students as participants of their exercise and sports science-related ongoing research studies. USJP students had the opportunity to interact with global sports science scholars and get more academic insights into students’ studies and on-going research projects. USJP team had the opportunity to attend for ECU 3MT (3 Minutes Thesis) presentations competition of ECU.
ECU and Prof. Hallam Pereira (Adjunct Associate Professor of ECU) organized several visits also to Western Australian Institute of Sports, world-recognized Optus Stadium, Basketball Stadiums, Athletic Stadiums, Rugger Centres, several other leading sports facilities, Murdoch University and etc.
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) liaising with the Office of the Minister for Sport and Recreation arranged the following.
- Briefing on the planning, design and construction of the new AUD $1.6 billion Optus Stadium which was acclaimed the World’s best stadium at an International forum in London and the most beautiful stadium at a forum in Paris this year;
- An introduction by Mr Mike McKeena, CEO of Optus Stadium and a tour of its facilities and the opportunity to witness the transformation of a football ground being converted into a cricket ground with pitches being brought in from its nursery laid within a space of 45 minutes,
- A tour of the Institute of Sport Science and briefing on its indoor training centre, medical treatment and rehabilitation pools, climate chamber and climate house to simulate conditions of an overseas competition venue, physiology and biomechanical laboratories and so on;
- A tour of HBF stadium which hosted two World Swimming Championships with its 5 pools, one of which is transportable, the two indoor basketball and netball courts, the gymnasium, the outdoor athletics complex and so on;
- The Indoor Bendat Basketball centre which has eight courts with 1100 permanent and 900 retractable seating;
- Briefing on the very successful Community Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF) which provides over $20 million each year to match the $40 million generated by Local Government bodies, sponsorship and community fundraising to renovate, upgrade or construct new sports facilities close to residential areas for people to access and so on.
The USJP team had the opportunity to meet Hon Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, Hon Mick Murray, Minister for Seniors and Aging, Volunteering; Sport and Recreation and Mr Rosh Jalagge, Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka at a reception at Parliament House. The students were also provided a tour of Parliament and were invited to sit in the Legislative Assembly and witness Question Time proceedings.
DSS express sincere gratitude to ECU Administration, Staff, Prof. Hallam Pereira (Adjunct Associate Professor of ECU), & USJP Administration for all the support provided in initiating this internship programme.