The science behind smart sportswear

 AN EXHIBITION which shows how scientific advances can help the country’s athletes excel has been brought to the North East.

From golf balls which travel straighter to swimsuits which help athletes swim faster, visitors to Designing the Dynamic can understand how the use of nanotechnology and smart materials can vastly improve people’s sport performance.

The 15 exhibits include a FastSkin swimming costume, constructed with built in ridges to emulate sharkskin; HEAD Nano Titanium squash racket and Armadillo shin pads, which specialise in impact protection.

Designing the Dynamic will be at the Washington Arts Centre from April 20 to June 10 and Greenfield Community & Arts Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, from July 2-13.

Durham University’s Science Learning Centre North East (SLCNE) has organised the exhibition with the support of Durham County Council’s NETPark (the North East Technology Park) at Sedgefield via its Project C community scheme, which aims to encourage people in the North East to get excited about science and technology.

Claire Willis, deputy director of the SLCNE, said: “There is a wealth of science that can be found in sport. With advances in technology and performance, athletes are becoming stronger, fitter, faster and more precise. This exhibition showcases items of sporting equipment and clothing all of which have benefitted from scientific advances.”

Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Cllr Neil Foster, said: “The future of the county belongs to these young people and it’s inspiring to see them increasingly engaged in science and technology which will provide jobs in the future.”      

Ann Deary-Francis, NETPark’s community engagement officer, said: “It’s incredible to see how advances in smart materials and nanotechnology have transformed fashion and sport.

“It’s a privilege for Business Durham (formerly the County Durham Development Company) and NETPark to support this exhibition, especially in the Olympic year.”


“Project C has worked with over 15,000 people in the past three years and involved people in science and technology in a mind-boggling variety of ways. We hope that people in County Durham and the North East see how brilliant NETPark is for the County and how science and technology can offer great jobs and amazing careers”

PIC CAP 1: Ellie Jackson, 14, a pupil at St Leonard’s Catholic School, Durham, shows off a FastSkin swimming costume, which emulates sharkskin and improves speed and performance. She is pictured outside the shark tank at the Blue Reef Aquarium, in Tynemouth.




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