Tuesday 26 March 2024

Using VR to Increase Children’s Interest in Sports

Year 9 students from University Campus recently participated in research with Dr Luke Wilkins from the Sport and Exercise Science Department at La Trobe University.

‘When Dr Luke Wilkins from the Sport and Exercise Science Department contacted us and asked if we would be interested in taking part in his Research ‘Using VR to increase children’s interest in Sports’ we were thrilled,’ Relationship Manager at Univerity Campus, Helen D’Elia explained.

The project had three phases:

  • Phase 1; Completing an initial questionnaire
  • Phase 2; Students to play a variety of games in Virtual Reality
  • 20 minutes of playing a VR sports game (baseball, golf, or tennis)
  • 20 minutes of playing a sports game on a PlayStation 5 (baseball, golf, or tennis)
  • 20 minutes of playing a VR non-sports game (Fruit Ninja) and then a short interview
  • Phase 3; Completing a follow-up questionnaire.

Year 9 students completed Phases 1 and 2 in 2023. Phase 3 was completed in 2024 once these students had returned to their home campus and were now in Year 10. The session was conducted at Plenty Campus and coincided with a special Pyjama Day, so it had a lovely, relaxed feel. All students turned up promptly and completed their part.

‘I really enjoyed this experience and if I had the option to do it again I would. My favourite part of this was actually playing the VR. I really enjoyed playing all the different sports, but I enjoyed playing Fruit Ninja the most. Overall it was a really good experience.’ Laura

‘Taking part in the VR experience was fascinating; personally, I have never enjoyed playing video games or sport – let alone simultaneously! However, engaging in the activity allowed me to be more open to the opportunity. As well, we got a taste of how a university research project is run.’ Minuki

We look forward to the second cohort of students participating in the research and seeing the results.