Sports students conducting research with regional sports teams
PhD students from the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences are providing key insight and performing innovative research with three prominent sports teams within the West Midlands.
Innovative research, professional clubs
Daniel Jackson is working with professional football club Kidderminster Harriers to ensure their small squad’s workloads are managed efficiently in order to minimise injuries and achieve the ultimate goal of promotion back to the Football League. Meanwhile, Tom Brown’s research into the lack of professional cricketers with a South Asian heritage has secured him on-the-ground research with Warwickshire Cricket Club. Finally, Francesco Dimundo is working with established rugby team Worcester Warriors to assess the pathway and trajectory of their academy players. All three of the researchers are based within the Department of Sport and Exercise.
‘Amazing’ PhD support
All three students believe the University has provided them with the resources they need to thrive, as well as the guidance of their supervisors. “When you start the PhD process, you’re not sure of what the journey is going to be like as it’s not a set structure,” Tom says. “To have people supporting you is instrumental. Myself and my supervisors have regular meetings and as a PhD community we all help each other out. I can’t speak highly enough of them.”
Francesco was enticed by the state-of-the-art facilities. “The new Sport and Exercise Department excited me, as it’s a new group formed by specialists with lots of experience,” he says. “I really wanted to be a part of this venture and collaborate as much as possible.”
Collaboration is key
Dr Adam Kelly, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, believes collaborative research projects such as these are key. “We want to push a practice-led, knowledge-applied approach where students aren’t just in classrooms; they’re actually going out and applying knowledge that they are taught,” he says. “Generating a relationship with external clubs and organisations brings a host of benefits. It allows our researchers to gain additional skills, while their research will provide considerable impact to the three clubs and beyond. It’s important to also share the knowledge through publications and conference proceedings, to support our efforts to be a leading sport and exercise research hub.”