University Academic to Train Referees at Olympic Games in Paris

Alejandro Vaquera 1

A Visiting Academic at the University of Worcester has been selected to go to the Olympic Games in Paris this summer to ensure the basketball referees are in the best possible shape for the competition.

It’s the second time Dr Alejandro Vaquera has been selected for the role of FIBA Global Referees Fitness Co-Ordinator for the men’s and women’s basketball events.

As part of his duties, Dr Vaquera will be helping match officials with their injury prevention, strength & cardio training, and nutritional support.

He’ll also be part of the team which observes games and he’ll be holding workout routines with the referees when they’re off duty.

Dr Vaquera is a Professor of Sport at the University of Leon in Spain and has been involved with the University of Worcester and the Worcester Wolves basketball team for over a decade in his position as a Visiting Fellow in Basketball.

He said: “I’m really excited to be going to the games again and I have so much to thank the University of Worcester for.”

He continued: “The University of Worcester has played an important role in helping me grow in all aspects that relate to coaching and research, and I feel really proud to represent the University in Paris.”

Alejandro Vaquera 2

The work Dr Vaquera will be doing will begin far in advance of the games. He said: “We will begin preparations three months in advance, providing online support to the 30 referees selected for the Olympic Games. These referees will receive a specific training plan to ensure that they are fully prepared for the competition.”

Mick Donovan is the University of Worcester’s Pro Vice Chancellor, Partnerships and has worked with Dr Vaquera on a wide range of basketball projects.

He said: “Alejandro has a worldwide reputation for his expertise in basketball fitness and has an outstanding research profile.”

He added: “Being selected for this role again is a huge credit to himself and to the University of Worcester. We are immensely proud to have him as a visiting academic.”

Alejandro will travel to the training camp in Belgium ahead of the competition, and then onto Lille for the first rounds of the games.

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