Athletes test their strength against the public in BBC’s Celebrate Sport programme at MediaCityUK

By Ailsa Macmillan

The BBC’s Celebrate Sport programme kicked off at the University of Salford yesterday.

Sports scientists from the University of Salford invited members of the public to test their strength and fitness against professional athletes at the MediaCityUK building.

People tried out the top notch equipment used by their sporting heroes who train at the School of Health Sciences as part of their training programme.

Claire Marsh, University of Salford Sports Science lecturer, said: “It gives people to opportunity to compare themselves to a football player.”

Professional players from the Salford Reds Rugby League, Sale Sharks Rugby Union and Lancashire County Cricket Club teams train with members of the University of Salford regularly.

Chris Bamber, who helps to train the players and a Sports Science graduate from the University of Salford, said: “The equipment improves strength and fitness levels and this event helps to celebrate sport.”

The equipment used included a dynamic strength machine to gauge leg and upper body strength through bench and leg press exercises and a mat to measure jumping height indicating leg power.

 A BATAK machine was used, challenging the contestant to hit as many lights on a specially-designed wall as possible in 30 seconds to test reaction time.

Alder Community High School came along to test the equipment and to encourage more students to take part in sporting activities.

Lucy Broadbent, student at Alder School and on the school Cricket team, 13, said: “We have never done anything like this before.

“It’s good because I can compare myself with other sporting people and classmates I have sports with.”

The students trained on the machines and one even reached the average score of a professional football player on the BATAK machine, with a score of 45.

Ms. Marsh said: “You can see the competitive element come out in everybody here.”

To take part in the BBC Celebrate Sport events visit

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