via The Guardian : Sports science postgrad courses yield sweet returns
The wide-ranging world of sports postgrad degrees offers opportunities not just in the UK, but globally – and every one’s a winner.
Richard Sackey-Addo, 23, from Croydon, landed his dream job working for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in Valencia, Spain in September 2015 – two months before he graduated from his master’s degree in sports performance at the University of Bedfordshire. He puts the appointment down to the networking opportunities offered to him during his studies.
“My lecturers were instrumental in accommodating us with valuable industry contacts, as many of us attained internships or work experience at various professional sports clubs and academies,” he says. “I had to finish my dissertation for the first three or four weeks I was there though, which was an interesting experience!”
During his time working for the federation, he has created content on the ITF website, tennisicoach.com, planned and attended conferences around the world, and even worked with some of the top names in tennis, including Judy Murray and Rafael Nadal coach Francis Roig. “There are so many different aspects of the game that I’ve been involved with, so whether it’s tennis development, developing participation, coach education or even high-performance coaching, there really is a lot open to me,” he says.
“I’ve played tennis my whole life, so for me there’s nothing greater than helping to grow a sport that I love, and which has given me so much. I just want to keep giving back to the game for as long as possible in whatever capacity that is.”
Over at the University of Wolverhampton, Tom Nicholls, 25, from Dudley, was the first intern from England to travel to and work with a team from the Indian Super League as part of his master’s degree in sports and exercise (MRes). He has recently returned from his three-month stint as performance analyst at the Delhi Dynamos Football Club, where he provided support to coaching staff in filming, coding and editing match and training footage and the collation of statistical data of the club’s players and their opponents.
He says: “Working with two World Cup winners in Gianluca Zambrotta and Simone Barone, and the other experienced staff members, was an opportunity of a lifetime, and just spending time working closely and learning a great deal from them has made me a better person and analyst.
“It was also a great opportunity to travel to and explore most of the major cities in India. Learning about the differing cultures in each place was fascinating, while getting to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra was also something to cherish and tick off the bucket list.”
Sports science research is not just about athletes. Closer to home, and away from the world of professional sport, two PhD students in the department of health sciences at Liverpool Hope University are currently investigating the impact of exercise and nutrition on age-related “sarcopenia” (loss of musculoskeletal mass) and functional performance in people between the ages of 60-90 – something that has implications for the population as a whole.
Kate Mooney, 29, who did her master’s in exercise and nutrition science at the University of Chester, explains: “People are living longer than ever before; it’s important for people to maintain their independence as they age, and prevention is key, as opposed to trying to reverse it.”
Ben Kirk, 29, who did his master’s in clinical exercise physiology at Northumbria University, added: “French cyclist Robert Marchand – at 105 – is a great example of how you can age independently and happily, and maintain function and overall health, and looking at the science behind that can benefit us all.”
Source : The Guardian | Sports science postgrad courses yield sweet returns