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Why I Love Science

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Why I Love Science
by VLE Admin - Wednesday, 22 November 2023, 10:19 AM

Isabel with her winning essayBefore half term, Miss Sutton helped run a science essay writing competition for the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory School Science Prize.

They had over 200 entries from different schools and only 16 finalists were selected. One of our Year 7 students, Isabel, was selected as one of those finalists.

Isabel and her family will attend a celebration event at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory where the finalists will give a 2 minute presentation on why they love science, and then an overall winner will be selected.

Read Isabel's essay below!

Why I love Science - Isabel (7MJ), Wallingford School

I love science but not only that, I also love football! Recently scientists and physios have been doing lots of research into women's football boots. Scientific research has shown that around 82% of female footballers experience pain while playing and 34% have pain in their heel. The scientists doing this research have discovered that the pain that female players experience is linked with their boots. Until recently, all boots were fitted for male feet. When I have been playing football I have found that my boots sometimes don't feel right for my feet - it feels like my arch is unsupported and the boots I used to wear gave me blisters and rubbed my feet. It might not seem likely but male and female feet are very different for a number of reasons. Firstly, female feet have a higher arch than male feet, so when they wear football boots that are designed for men, it can feel really uncomfortable. Not only that, but the width, metatarsal length, metatarsal joint angle and angle circumference of female feet are all different to those of male feet. Often when you watch Women's Super League teams play you will see that  many female players have had to cut holes in the back of their boots or buy insoles to make it more comfortable for their heels.

One of the worst injuries a footballer can get is rupturing the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), it can be career ruining and takes up to a year to be able to start playing football again. Sports scientists discovered that female players are around 3 times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than male players. 30 elite female players suffered an ACL injury last year, meaning they had to miss the World Cup including my favourite player Beth Mead. A scientific journal called Sports Engineering Journal made a link between boots not fitting female feet and players getting ACL injuries so having football boots that are properly designed for the anatomy of female feet is really important in reducing the risk of ACL injury.  

Fortunately after all of this research and tests, sports brands have used science to make better boots for female players to help them be more comfortable and reduce the risk of injury. Nike put together a team of sports scientists and boot designers and spent two years designing the Luna boot that is just for female feet and aims to make playing more comfortable and reduce the risk of injury. Puma have also created boots specially for female feet, using research into the differences of male and female feet that helps women playing football. This is a huge step up because now women will have comfortable footwear while playing and hopefully less injuries.

I’m really glad that the research and surveys have been done because this will affect our play immensely and we will hopefully be more comfortable playing and more importantly have less injuries. So this is exactly why I love science!

Isabel with her football teammates