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Destined for greatness? How important are our genes?

We often attribute sporting greatness to a combination of genetics, training and lifestyle. But just how important are our genes? What makes us talented in one sport, but less skilled in another?

Some claim that it is possible to identify talent using a simple DNA test. Researchers at Loughborough University are aiming to separate the fact from fiction and see if there is a place for genetic testing in the world of sports. The researchers are looking for participants to take part in a short survey to understand people’s views as an individual and also their experiences of genetics, genetic medicine, sports and performance. From this they hope to be able to work out of there is any relationship between sporting exposure and attitudes towards genetics in sport. The questionnaire should take 10-15 minutes to complete and requires no prior knowledge.

The study aims to investigate the current use of genetic testing in sport and assess how genetic testing might be received by those involved in sport (eg, athletes, coaches, support staff, medical practitioners, parents, other relatives etc). It will look at whether variable health literacy, genetic knowledge, sporting background, general background and attitude may influence people’s level of engagement in personal genetics/genomics, specifically with respect to understanding genetic testing, risk comprehension and sporting behaviours.

The questionnaire will close on 15 July 2020.