NSWIS Data Scientist acknowledged for cutting edge work

Posted on September 1, 2023 by

New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) Senior Data Scientist Sumal Perera described being a finalist at the prestigious Australia New Zealand Sports Tech Awards as a sign the Institute is “on the right path”.

Perera, who has worked at NSWIS since 2021, was acknowledged at the awards night held in Brisbane for his outstanding work in formulating a state-of-the-art data platform for diving. The platform is described as providing its users with ‘unparalleled insights into the realm of diving statistics’.

In Perera’s words, the platform equips users with vital information that’s essential for shaping strategic decisions concerning each diver’s strengths and any areas that are primed for growth. The NSWIS platform not only enables users to forecast potential outcomes and chart the optimal path for action during competitive events, but also extends its purview to provide insights on competitors.

Perera described being nominated for the award alongside such industry powerhouses as Catapult (Performance Technology) – which has over 400 staff that work with 3800 teams, including those in the National Football League (NFL), English Premier League (EPL), the Australian Football League (AFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) – and Teamworks, which boasts over 300 employees to manage and operate the company’s global AMS programs, as a “milestone” moment in his career.

“[The project] originated from a casual conversation with [strength and conditioning coach] Spencer Goggin, and we expanded and polished it until the project evolved into a remarkable endeavour that exceeded our initial expectations,” said Perera.

“Receiving recognition and being able to compete alongside companies like Catapult and Teamworks was truly inspiring. This achievement holds special meaning as, when I initiated this project, our data team consisted of just me. We’ve come a long way together since then.”

“So, for that reason it felt great that the project was recognised.”

Perera added that he received some wonderful assistance, initially from Goggin, and then invaluable feedback and assistance from James McBrien (NSWIS Section Lead, Sports Intelligence and Technology), Joshua Dipple (NSWIS Performance Analyst), Daniel Blattman (NSWIS Head of Executive Services and Operations), and the Institute’s diving coaches, who the project was tailored for.

Perera said the Institute ought to take a lot from the acknowledgement.

“It means we are on the path to meeting one of the core objectives in the NSWIS High Performance Strategy for Brisbane 2032” he said. “Sport Intelligence and Technology is one of the pillars, and this recognition means we are on track.

“We aim to win the award in the future, and this achievement also shows that by supporting these programs, we’re providing high quality services to our athletes.”

Daniel Lane, NSWIS

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