Swansea students impress at the BASES student conference

Five Swansea Sport and Exercise Science graduate students had the chance to showcase their work at the annual BASES (The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences) student conference in Portsmouth, on April 7th and 8th 2014.

The conference was a great experience for all five students. There were lots of opportunities to learn from other researchers, network with students and academics, and enjoy some excellent keynote presentations from speakers including four time Olympic medallist Katherine Grainger and Dr Steve Ingham, Director of Technical Development at the English Institute of Sport. Most importantly, the conference was an opportunity for the students to provide insights into the high-quality work being conducted at Swansea University.

Francesca LewisFrancesca Lewis, a KESS funded MSc by Research student working with Dr Camilla Knight and Dr Stephen Mellalieu, started the programme strongly for Swansea.

Francesca shared the initial findings from her research examining children’s emotional experiences at tennis tournaments. Francesca’s work drew a range of questions from students and researchers interested in the contextual factors influencing these experiences and the success children have in coping with their emotions.

Reviewing the conference, Francesca said, “I really enjoyed my time at the conference. I thought it was a great opportunity to get to know other students from different Universities across the UK. Having the chance to present my work alongside other students from the same discipline was a confidence boosting experience for me. Also having the chance to listen to some very experienced presenters was a very valuable experience and allowed me to learn a lot, not just about their area of research or discipline, but on how to present successfully.”

Francesca HaywardFrancesca Hayward, another MSc by Research student working with Dr Camilla Knight and Dr Stephen Mellalieu was the next to present. Fresh from a successful week at the English Institute of Sport Skills4Performance course, Francesca shared her insights into youth swimmers, parents, and coaches’ experiences of stress.

Drawing from a longitudinal study of five female athlete-parent-coach triads, Francesca’s work sheds light on the complex interactions that occur between parents, coaches, and swimmers and the subsequence consequences these can have for all involved.

Speaking of her experience of presenting, Francesca said, “It was my first time presenting at such a prestigious event and, although I was nervous beforehand, I found the overall experience extremely rewarding and enjoyable. Presenting my work was a hugely valuable opportunity that increased my confidence in my ability to effectively articulate my research area and engage the audience, as well as respond to challenging questions.”

Paul SellersPaul Sellars was the final Swansea student to deliver an oral presentation on day one. Paul, a KESS funded MSc by Research student supervised by Dr Stephen Mellalieu and Dr Camilla Knight, greatly impressed the scientific committee with his research examining retention in Rugby Union and received the runner up award for best graduate student presentation at the conference.

Summarising his experience at the conference, Paul explained, “The BASES Student Conference 2014 in Portsmouth iwas a success. The keynote speakers were a particular high point for me, specifically those from Katherine Grainger and Dr Steve Ingham from the English Institute of Sport, who were both engaging and informative. Additionally, I had the opportunity to present my work to my peers and high calibre academics, which was a great experience. Finally, I felt Swansea University were very well represented at the conference and demonstrated the high quality research which is currently being conducted in sport science.”

Charlie WinnIn addition to the three oral presentations on day one, Charlie Winn another KESS funded MSc by Research student presented a poster on his research examining maturation, player characteristics and player development in U15 rugby in Wales. Along with his supervisors Professor Gareth Stratton and Dr Melitta McNarry, Charlie has examined power production in 590 rugby players.

Charlie’s research indicates that maturation offset accounts for 30% of the difference in power between player positions and concludes that level of maturation is an important factor to consider in the player development pathway.

Based on his experience at the conference, Charlie shared, “It was great to be able to have the opportunity to develop poster skills and to present my work to like-minded academics. The conference also provided insight into other areas of sports science and some keynote speakers. Additionally it was a great networking opportunity amongst peers and professors from other universities.”

Sam TuveyOn day two, Sam Tuvey, a KESS funded MSc by Research student supervised by Professor Gareth Stratton, Dr Kelly Mackintosh and Dr Rees, was the sole Swansea presenter. Sam presented on his research examining the determinants of health and fitness parameters in 9-11 year old primary school children in Swansea. Sam has conducted numerous fitness tests on 143 primary school children.

Based on his findings so far, Sam has concluded that a high prevalence of children being overweight or obsess coupled with low cardio-respiratory fitness is leading to children being at an increased risk of metabolic disease. Discussing his experience at the conference, Sam said, “The conference was a fantastic opportunity to see what other students across the UK are currently working on in the various areas of Sports and Exercise Sciences. It was also a great chance to be able to talk to people in an informal environment about their experiences and their studies so far. I would highly recommend it to anyone pursuing a career in Sport and Exercise Science!”