Our third division day was hosted by Birmingham City University on January 16th. We had a good range of speakers covering applied aspects of sports science support, career experiences, more traditional underlying physiology and nutritional practices. For the latter, we have been keen to develop the nutrition aspects of our days not only covering acute supplementation approaches but also more day to day underlying nutrition and dietary approaches. With this in mind our first speaker was Renee McGregor, from the University of Bath. Renee presented her experiences and work within athlete nutrition and when it goes wrong. One key point was identifying barriers towards achieving appropriate nutrition and the importance of nutritional periodisation.
Two of our later speakers, Dr. Mark Faghy (University of Derby) and Dr. Craig Boyd (Manchester Metropolitan University) presented on their career experiences so far. Mark reflected upon his initial desires as an undergraduate student to work with elite sport and the applied work he had undertaken, but then how his focus changed when offered his PhD position in a more clinical area and insights into presenting respiratory training methods to what initially felt like a ‘lion’s den’ of consultants, but who were actually very interested in the approach and applying it to their patients. Craig provided a fascinating reflection of his time working in professional football in the United Arab Emirates. A key take home message was to immerse yourself within your new environment and culture to really understand how to get the best from your players. Our fourth speaker was Dr. Simon Fryer (Gloucester University) presenting on his body of work relating to cardiovascular responses in elite climbers. Simon also noted how this work is now having impact and application in other areas, dovetailing nicely with the previous speakers experiences of research developments.
As well as the main speakers we continued our post-graduate presentation slot with two staff from BCU (Dr. Adam Herbert and Dr. Luciana Torquati) - who were now post viva. This was a great forum to summarise their findings. Any students interested in presenting their work please do get in contact for our next event. I addition, please let us know if there are any areas or debates you would like us to cover in future meetings.