Top names in British sport attend University conference

Some of the biggest names in UK sport are giving keynote speeches at a University of Portsmouth event this week.

The speakers are four times Olympic medallist, Katherine Grainger, Chris Neville, formerly of Portsmouth Football Club and now conditioning coach for the England Men’s senior football squad, Nigel Walker, the National Director of the English Institute of Sport and Steve Ingham, the Director of Science and Technology at the English Institute of Sport. The four are speaking at the 2014 British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES) student conference, held over two days at the Department of Sport & Exercise Science from today.

Chris Neville reviews performance statistics with Steven Gerrard

Chris Neville reviews performance statistics with Steven Gerrard (Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Chris Neville studied for a Sports Science degree at the University of Portsmouth and went on to use his expertise at Portsmouth Football Club, where he was the dedicated Sports Scientist working with players returning to training following injury and later became Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has also worked with LA Galaxy as Performance Specialist, providing all physical preparation support to the players and managing a team of nutrition and conditioning staff.

Chris has taken time out of his busy schedule working fulltime at Blackburn Rovers and preparing for the World Cup in Rio to share his experiences of working with elite footballers at various international competitions. He will be giving the conference delegates a true feel of what it is like to work as a sports scientist at the top end of elite sport.

He said he was delighted to be returning to his old stomping ground where he studied and worked for so many years.

“Portsmouth is a special place for me as the place I got my degree and where my career really took off. It’s great to be back and I hope I can inspire today’s current students to follow their dreams and achieve their goals.”

Katherine Grainger

Katherine Grainger

In her address, Katherine Grainger will talk about the importance of teamwork in the challenging world of elite performance, learnt from the experiences of four Olympic cycles in British Rowing.

The conference will be opened by Nigel Walker, the National Director of the English Institute of Sport who is also a former international athlete and represented Great Britain as a high hurdler before switching to rugby union, earning 17 international caps for Wales. Also speaking is Dr Steve Ingham, the Director of Science and Technology at the English Institute of Sport. He will talk about the balance between rigorous science and the reality of working with elite athletes. Finally, the University’s own Mike Tipton, Professor of Human and Applied Physiology, will be presenting his experiences of applied sports science.

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