Sports Nutrition Student Wins Dissertation Of The Year

Sports and Exercise Nutrition graduate Wee Lun Foo has won the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Undergraduate Dissertation of the Year Award 2020 for his research, which looked at the effect of carbohydrate-caffeine mouth rinsing on the performance of amateur footballers. 

Wee Lun, who graduated last year, was in the third and final year of his degree when he carried out his research and submitted his paper. He was among the first group of students to enrol on the course, which has only been running for three years, and is the first BCU student to win the hotly-contested competition.

The undergraduate dissertation award forms part of a suite of prizes that BASES offers to recognise and encourage excellence in sport and exercise sciences. Submissions must be on new and emerging areas of study, and entries are assessed on their scientific merit, methodological rigour and clarity of presentation.

Judges selected Wee Lun’s paper as their winning entry based on the quality of his research, which explored how individuals respond to mouth rinsing carbohydrate, caffeine, or the two combined in simulated football match play. This is a strategy commonly employed at the very top of the game, and could provide the small gains required to win towards the end of matches.

Having beaten entrants from across the country to land the prize, Wee Lun has been rewarded with an all-expenses-paid trip to present his paper to his peers at the 2021 BASES student conference, which is due to take place in April this year.

Wee Lun said: “I’m delighted to have won this award. It’s been great to have my work recognised nationally by professional experts in the field.

“I’m also grateful for the guidance and advice I received throughout my time at university from my supervisors Lewis Gough and Matthew Cole. They’re hugely knowledgeable but also very supportive, and their encouragement gave me the confidence to enter the competition.”

Dr Lewis Gough, lecturer in sports exercise, physiology and nutrition at the University, said of his former student’s success: “We’re immensely proud of Wee Lun’s achievement and congratulate him on winning what is a very prestigious award for those of us who work and study within the field of exercise and nutrition. His dissertation is an excellent piece of research and the BASES award is testament to the quality of his work.   

“Wee Lun typifies what we encourage our students to be – inquisitive, hard-working and ambitious – and we’re pleased to have played a part in his success. His win is especially satisfying for us as he is among the first graduates from a degree course that we’ve only recently introduced.”


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