28 February 2022

Sunderland AFC has teamed up with North-East visual and cognitive training specialists Okkulo. 

Okkulo improves the visual processing power of elite athletes and enhances their reactive movement to make it more efficient and explosive.

Utilising LED lighting, laser-projected zones and custom-built sensors, the newly implemented technology at the Academy of Light will provide a unique training environment by exposing players to modified light levels.

The intensity and spectrum of the environment is carefully controlled during each training session to allow athletes to excel when returning and competing in normal conditions.

Testing has taken place across a range of elite sporting environments to identify sport-specific micro movements and Okkulo’s comprehensive data collection also allows each athlete to build a personalised experience for continued development.  

Led by a team of vision scientists, engineers and software specialists, the AoL gymnasium has received a complete makeover and the system will now be used across a range of domains, including development, performance, and rehabilitation. 

Founder and CEO of Okkulo, Mel O’Connor, said: “We proud to partner with a club of this stature. Sunderland AFC’s history speaks for itself, but the club are pushing the boundaries to ensure future success. Our technology commands athletes to speed up their visual processing and movement to train effectively. This means that when they are placed back into normal lighting conditions, their performance is enhanced. In addition to the faster processing time, the athlete’s quicker movement allows them to be one step ahead, which is hugely beneficial to players in all positions.”

SAFC’s Head of Data & Analysis, James Young, added: “We are delighted to have Okkulo in the building and we are especially thrilled to have found an innovative partner from the North East to work with. The system has already made a tangible impact with the players and we are excited to see what can be accomplished between now and the end of the season.”