Placement blogs

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences' students share their placement and year abroad experiences.

Topic: Health

Staying Sassy at SASI

📥  2016-17, Health

Nearly 4 months in now and I can say that deciding to move to Adelaide to spend my placement year at the South Australian Sports Institute has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made. SASI has welcomed me with open arms, I have met and worked with some incredibly talented people, and I am learning something new every day. So I wanted to use this blog to talk a bit about the work that I have been doing.

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The ‘Bathies’ at the SASI Awards this year – us Brits scrub up well!

My placement has enabled me to see the different areas of SASI which have included Physiology, Talent Search and Strength and Conditioning. I have also worked with the Australian Paralympic Committee, who are based at SASI. This has been extremely advantageous as I have been exposed to different teams and different areas of Sport Science. As I am not entirely sure what area I want to go into yet, this has been a nice introduction to some of the pathways that I could follow in. It has also allowed me to develop a good rapport with many different staff members.

Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology is defined as the identification of physiological mechanisms underlying physical activity and the delivery of treatment services concerned with the analysis, improvement and maintenance of health and fitness. At SASI, this is related to elite athletes, and elite sport, so the goal in Exercise Physiology at SASI is to improve athletic performance through various means and as a result help South Australian athletes to win medals at the Olympic Games. As a Physiology placement student at SASI, I have helped with the field and lab testing conducted by the Exercise Physiologists. In the lab, I have helped to run Haemoglobin mass and lactate threshold tests. The haemoglobin mass test was to evaluate the effect of a block of altitude training amongst 3 of the SASI kayakers. The lactate threshold tests were to determine the training thresholds for the U23 rowers, and some of the kayakers. This type of testing helps to quantify athletes’ training, so they know essentially how intense to train (in terms of heart rate, VO2, power output and stroke rate) for them to accrue performance benefits such as increased aerobic fitness, or more anaerobic speed and power. I have also helped with field testing, such as conducting the beep test, agility tests, sprint times and vertical jump for hockey, beach volleyball and netball athletes.

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A SASI rower being tested in the Exercise Physiology lab. They were carrying out a 7x4 test to determine their lactate thresholds and the associated variables, and some maximal data including heart rate and VO2.

Alongside the testing, I have also learnt about load monitoring, and how coaches and exercise physiologists do constant monitoring of athletes, through a plethora of performance and general wellbeing measures, to ensure that training effects are maximised. This has involved me being exposed a range of new computing programmes such as PolarFlow, Adapt, Training Peaks, Athlete Monitoring System, and to some of the more advanced features of Excel.

Talent Search

I have been massively involved in the Talent Search area of SASI, something very new to me and as such I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The SASI Talent Search Program is a fantastic initiative that selects athletes from Adelaide based secondary schools and Universities that have the potential to represent Australia on an International level in one, or more, of the talent search sports which include rowing, kayaking, beach volleyball and cycling. The program has shown great success, with a large number of athletes representing Australia at the Rio Olympic Games coming from the talent search pathway, and being identified from school, having never played their sport before! The steps are as follows: Phase 1 = secondary schools send in their athletes’ data which includes tests like the beep test, 20m sprint and vertical jump, along with height, weight, arm span and seated height. We then choose the top 2.5% of students, and as part of Phase 2a, go to the schools to test the athletes ourselves. At this stage, we do the same tests, to confirm the data that the schools have provided us with. This year, we expanded Phase 2a by going to test in 2 of the Universities in Adelaide, and also arranged a ‘Come and Try’ event where we were looking for raw talent in the sports. The next stage is sending all of this testing data to the coaches for the sports, who then narrow the athletes down even more to progress to Phase 2b testing. This year, we received 3466 athletes’ data from 36 schools in Phase 1, we tested 1034 from 36 sources in Phase 2 and chose 467 athletes for Phase 2b. Phase 2b testing involved the athletes coming to SASI to take part in more sport specific testing. This included strength testing in the gym for kayaking, various ball drills / skills for beach volleyball, a 6s and 2min sprint to determine power and cadence for cycling, and strength, power and endurance tests for rowing. From this, the coaches again look through all of the data and select the best of the best athletes for Phase 3. Phase 3 is the final stage of the pathway, and these athletes are then invited to be a part of the State Development Squad. This year we chose 121 athletes, across the 4 sports, to join the state development squads. From there, the hope is that they make state teams, then national teams, and hopefully get offered a SASI scholarship to train here, and hopefully progress to national sporting bodies for their sport, and represent Australia at the Olympic Games.

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This was me running the Phase 2a testing at Adelaide University (Note that I am wearing shorts, and this was taken in September on a 25 degrees day!!)

Strength and Conditioning

As part of our placement, we have been given the opportunity to complete our Level 1 Australian Strength and Conditioning Association qualification which now that we have all passed (yay!), we are qualified strength and conditioning coaches. As part of this, we had to observe 30 hours of strength and conditioning coaching in the SASI gym, which enabled us to observe many different athletes in a large variety of sports train, and see the types of training that the coaches have prescribed. As a result, we now supervise the SASI Staff training hours, where we are able to offer our insight and expertise to the staff members (although most are way fitter and more qualified than me so it ends up being a very quiet session!).

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It’s not every day that you get to see Olympic athletes train, or better yet, go to an awards night and have a drink with them! On the left is myself and Kyle Chalmers, Australian superstar swimmer who bagged himself two gold medals and one bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games, at his first international swimming event and aged only 18! On the right is myself and Anna Meares (I hope that you didn’t need the explanation), world famous and world best (sorry Vikky P) cyclist, another Olympian who won a bronze medal at Rio, to add to her collection.

Australian Paralympic Committee

As it was pretty quiet for me in Exercise Physiology post Olympics, I asked the Australian Paralmpic Committee (APC) if they needed any help or had any jobs for me to do. They readily accepted my offer, and ever since I have been working on a Post-Olympic performance profiling database and now report for Swimming Australia. This has involved me recording every medallist in every Paralympic swimming event from the games alongside some historical data such as their first Paralympic and World Champ appearance and time, details of their impairment, annual best times over the past 8 years, and many other details. Now that I have done all of the data entry, I am helping the Australian Paralympic Skill Acquisitioner write a report for Swimming Australia about the classes that Australia can target to win more medals, or identify which classes / events Australia performed the best in at the games. This has been a great project, as it has exposed me to Paralympic sport, and what can be done with numbers, and the wonderful Excel!

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A Silver Paralympic medal from the Rio Paralmypic games that I got the pleasure of seeing (and holding!!), won by Sam Von Einem in table tennis, a proud SASI athlete, and overall legend.

 

Travelling to the land down under…

📥  2016-17, Health

10,195 miles later, and we have arrived. Despite missing out on watching the finals of Wimbledon and the Euros we had an exciting (yet very tiring) flight. This excitement of course was enhanced by the McDonalds stop in Dubai airport at 2am. So, Adelaide – initially, quite a shock as we were greeted with, I quote: “the wettest day in 75 years”, and storms that I don’t even think us Brits could have prepared for. But we adjusted, put on our big winter coats and scarves and readily got to the beach the next day when the weather calmed down.

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This is one of our local beaches, Semaphore, on a classic Australian winters day. Clearly not too bad for us as we were straight on the beach, paddling our feet.

We started working at the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) two days after we had arrived, but only for half days whilst we adjusted to the time zone (still not there yet, feels very strange). We, the “Bathies” as referred to, soon met the team. This includes the physiologists, biomechanists, strength and conditioning coaches, psychologists, performance analysts, athletes and coaches - what a bunch, right! I’m still getting used to the fact that Olympic champions casually stroll through the office, it’s hard not to fan girl, particularly when I met an athlete last week who is shortly heading off to Rio for his 8th Paralympic games. I’ve met and worked with around 10 athletes now who have set off to their pre-Olympic / Paralympic game training camps. It’s amazing to be working in a place with such talented staff and athletes, it is very inspirational. This of course wouldn’t be possible without the use of world class facilities. So far we have seen most of SASI’s training facilities, which include a superdrome, hockey pitches, beach volleyball courts, and research facilities including a well-equipped S&C gym, and high tech Physiology testing lab.

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On the left is Shannon and I in our SASI kit at work, and on the right is Jim recording some of the SASI athletes at the swimming state championships at Marion Swim club.

So far everyone has been so friendly; maybe our accents are intriguing so people are nicer to us. But I love working for SASI, it is a great atmosphere and I feel very welcome already. I’m looking forward to watching the Olympic and Paralympic Games at work; let’s hope that we bring home lots of medals (we of course being Australia, sorry team GB).

Since being here we have tried to embrace the Aussie culture as best we can. We went to an AFL game at the weekend at the Adelaide Oval. AFL is known as ‘footy’ over here, and it is a great sport to watch; it seems a mixture of football (called soccer over here) and rugby, but slightly more brutal! We’ve decided to support Port Adelaide for now, but if the Adelaide Crows win at the weekend, our loyalties may change… Haven’t tried any kangaroo yet, maybe that will be next on the ‘to do’ list.

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Ellie & Roisin's year at SHPI

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📥  2015-16, Health, Uncategorized

Final countdown at the SHPI - 1 month, 6 days, 16 hours to go...


We can't believe how quickly this year is going!

The last month has been one of the busiest yet, full of health checks and fitness tests!

NHS Health Checks

NHS Health check

Ellie delivering an NHS Health Check

This year the lab has started delivering NHS health checks, an initiative aimed at making people aware of how their lifestyle affects their cardiovascular health. This involves a cholesterol test, blood pressure and BMI check as well as diet and exercise related questions. The health checks have been a great opportunity for Roisin and I to learn more about the health side of Sport and Exercise science as opposed to working with athletes.

GB Army Boxing

Over the past couple of months we have been assessing the body composition progress of a group of GB Army Boxers. Not surprisingly the post Christmas assessment saw fat gains across the board, training has since put them back on the right track! Recently the boxers had an resting energy expenditure (REE) assessment, this test involves lying down in a rested state whilst wearing a facemask which allows us to analyse the level of oxygen inhaled and carbon dioxide exhaled. This lets us determine how many calories a person needs each day to reach their weight targets, safe to say we were extremely jealous of the amount they get to eat!

Case Studies

Since January we have been providing sport science support to two of Guildford City's swimmers. Unfortunately for us, swimmers train either early in the morning or in the evening which has meant some late nights and heavily caffeinated mornings! Our earlier lactate testing in the pool with Olympian James Disney-May proved to be good practice and we have now collected data for our two case studies over numerous different tests. Both have showed a steady improvement over the season and are posting some impressive times at swim meets, as well as each having ambitions to reach the Olympics in the future.

Alongside all this work we have of course found time to stay active and are making good progress in our tennis abilities...should be about ready in time for Wimbledon.

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The end of an era…!

📥  2015-16, Health

This is my 10th and final blog about my placement year at London 2012 Olympic legacy charity Join In UK.

To quote Rachel from Friends, it really is the end of a mini era!

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How time flies... 

I can’t believe I have finished my placement year! It has gone so fast! And I am so sad it has come to an end!

It is going to be very strange not hiking it up to London each day! Nearly everyday, since June last year, I have got the train and walked the same route to work. I have developed, without even realising, habits on my commute. For example, I get in the same train carriage; see the same people, the same barista at costa coffee serves me and of course being amongst the amazing buzz of commuters in the city all marching to work. I even managed to spot Boris on his bike during my last week!

Whilst I am most definitely looking forward to the summer break, I will really miss placement!

The spectacular sites of London!

The spectacular sites of London!

The buzz of the city...

I am really going to miss the buzz of the city and the amazing landscapes I see each day! There is something very stimulating about walking to work each morning with hundreds of commuters and walking past Big Ben, the London Eye and various other landmarks. I have definitely been around most of the city centre of London during the last year, and have greatly improved my navigation skills! But there are still many places I didn’t go, just goes to show how big London is! I definitely have tried not to take London for granted, it really is an amazing city and I am so lucky to have had the chance to work here for a year.

Join in...
It is really strange to think that I didn’t know or had even met the 25 people I work with at Join in. And I have spent nearly everyday seeing the same people and working with them for the past year. Without sounding too cringe or cliché I couldn’t have asked for a nicer, more welcoming and generous group of people to work in my first full time job with.

Having a nice group of people to work with definitely helps!

Having a nice group of people to work with definitely helps!

I have definitely felt part of the team and I have had the chance to get involved with a bit of everything on placement, here are a few of my highlights…

  • Worked collaboratively with NGB’s (such as UK Sport, LTA, England Hockey and Sport England) to put more volunteers into grassroots sport. Responsible for updating major events on the Join In website. Interviewed volunteers and clubs and wrote blog posts for the website.
  • Compiled the profiles of BBC Sport Personality of the Year (SPOTY) stars, managed the call list to connect athletes and outstanding volunteers in order to deliver the nation’s biggest ever thank you to sport volunteers at the SPOTY show.
  • Managed Join In’s invaluable PR coverage database, capturing the media value of Join In’s campaigns.
  • Attended major sports events such as; Anniversary Games, Euro Hockey, 6-Day London and Modern Pentathlon Championships!
One of the highlights- BBC SPOTY 2016

One of the highlights- BBC SPOTY 2016

Why I would recommend placement!

I was never really 100% sure if I was going to do a placement as part of my degree. Partly because I took a year out after a levels before I came to uni, and partly because I had settled into my Bath routine, I don’t like change!

When the opportunity at Join in came up it looked like the perfect chance to learn about the different areas of the sports industry- which was my main motivation for doing a placement year. I have gained more than an insight and have had the chance to acquire first hand experience in delivering on the ground and nationwide campaigns. I am very lucky I was offered the chance for this unique placement. Not only the theoretical side that will help me with my degree, but the practical and 'life' skills.

I was lucky to visit the Olympic Park a few times this year

I was lucky to visit the Olympic Park a few times this year

These are a few of the things I gained from placement:   

  • Practical experience of the sports
    industry
  • A strong understanding of how a charity
    functions
  • Working in a small team of 25 people has
    meant I have an increased knowledge
    of the different areas of the sports industry
  •  Good understanding of career
    pathways to different job roles
  •  Increased confidence
  • New network of contacts
  • Experience full time work and working in
    London.
Back to the beautiful Bath!

Back to the beautiful Bath!

Back to Bath... 

Finishing my placement in May means I have a lovely long summer before final year commences in September. I have some exciting plans over the next couple of months, which will be nice!

Through placement I was informed about an exciting volunteering opportunity with Team GB. For a week in June I am volunteering in Birmingham with at the “Kitting Out” process. This is giving out the official Adidas kit to the athletes off to Rio! It definitely will be exciting to be part of and again a new experience to add to the list!

I am looking forward to going back to Bath for final year, especially as I get to see some of my friends who have been abroad this year on placement.

A couple of people at work said “make the most of your last year being a student! Which I definitely will do! But I am definitely not as scared or dreading the working world now!

Louise Rose

(Sports and Social Sciences)

 

"Making Time!"

📥  2015-16, Health

This is my 9th blog about my placement year at London 2012 Olympic legacy charity Join In UK.

Trip to the West End!

One of the ‘classic’ London things to do is to see a musical in the West End. I have been meaning to go all year! My sister, Lizzie, is the singing and acting one of the family, so I asked her to chose something for us to go and see. I was up for seeing anything, as long as it was upbeat.

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With my sister at Kinky Boots!

She suggested Kinky Boots, which we went and saw at the Adelphi Theatre one evening after I finished work. It recently won a few Olivier Awards and had a great write up. The theatres in London always surprise me at how big they are inside compared to what they look like from the outside! It was a fantastic show! The singing and dancing was amazing and it was a very upbeat play! It was also funny too, so definitely one I would recommend to anyone.

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The Adelphi Theatre in Covent Garden

Behavioural Insights Event!

I was lucky to have the opportunity to experience one final event at Join in, before I finish. This was the launch of their new research called ‘Making Time’, defined as “providing a comprehensive new look at the behavioural science around volunteering and in particular volunteering in sport, the UK’s biggest sector.”

The research was conducted with support from BT (Join in’s founding partner) and Simetrica ( a specialist social impact research organisation).

An outline of the research.. .something I will definitely be using with my uni work in final year!

An outline of the research.. .something I will definitely be using with my uni work in final year!

The research primarily focussed on who volunteers are, how often and why they do it (the benefits and motivations). The reasons why people don’t (the barriers), and then considered how behavioural science principles might be used to play up these benefits and motivations and overcome these barriers.

The 'Making Time' research

The 'Making Time' research

The event was a ‘breakfast’ meeting, which meant it started at 8am! So I had to be there early before hand to help set up and greet the guests. Of course the morning wouldn’t go without a train drama! There’s me thinking the 5:30am train I had to get on I would be guaranteed a seat and a smooth, quiet journey- nope! A fire at Vauxhall at 3am earlier that morning caused severe delays, over crowded trains and me panicking I wasn’t going to make it in time. Fortunately I made it only 30minutes late and didn’t get lost finding the venue!

The research set up in the conference room

The research set up in the conference room

The event took place at a Cabinet Office building, unfortunately I am unable to disclose the name of the venue due to security purposes, but it was a very nice building! My role at the event was signing the speakers and guests in, which was an excellent chance to see who was there and put a face to a name. The guests included people from Cabinet Office, charities, NGB’s and general sports enthusiasts. There were a couple of Lords and Dames there too! Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson was one of the speakers, along with Join in patron comedian Eddie Izzard. Eddie Izzard definitely had a presence about him that made him stand out, you can always tell when someone is famous!

The main speakers at the event

The main speakers at the event

A fro- yo and catch up on work life!

Another Sports and Social Science student who is working in London is Lucy Gell. Lucy is working at Samsung, so is “big time” in the corporate world. It lovely to see a friendly face (well 99% of the time 🙂 ) from Bath! It has definitely been interesting and entertaining comparing our placement experiences as well as an excuse to go for a fro-yo!

Another Bath placement student!

Another Bath placement student!

Louise Rose

(Sports and Social Sciences)

 

Ellie & Roisin's year at SHPI

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📥  2015-16, Health

 

BASES Student Conference 2016


Just before Easter we travelled across the country to Bangor, Wales for this years BASES student conference. This involved two days of talks by leading sports scientists, workshops and short student presentations. This was a great opportunity to learn about what students from other universities had been researching, as well as picking up some tips on Sports Science careers from the pros!

Dr Steve Ingham gave an interesting talk on what the English Institute of Sport (EIS) has been doing to prepare our GB athletes for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. He then led a workshop on self awareness giving some audience members the chance to go on stage and present on any topic of their choice for 1 minute (including Ellie!). He also spoke about the importance of Sports Science students gaining hands on experience before working in the field, and the problem the world of sports science is currently facing with students relying solely on theoretical knowledge taught at universities. This made us feel fortunate to have secured a year long placement at the SHPI where we have already gained a huge amount of invaluable experience.

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Dr Steve Ingham - Director of Science and Technical Development at the English Institute of Sport, delivering a talk on Olympic athlete preparation.

 

Keeping ourselves busy...


One of the skills we have learnt and been practicing is ECG application. One of our common fitness tests called a Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) uses ECGs to look at the electrical activity of the heart during exercise to make sure the heart is functioning as it should. Applying an ECG correctly takes practice so during our quieter periods Roisin and I have been taking the opportunity to put each other through our paces. The middle photo below shows Roisin fitted up with all the kit for a CPET, her results were nothing to write home about so she's off to the gym to get exercising!

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Ellie and Joe decided to sign up to the Surrey Half Marathon in March 3 weeks before the event. Realising that they still had a way to go with their fitness training we decided to put some sport science knowledge into practice to make their few sessions as effective as possible! This included a baseline fitness test to give them heart rate and speed training zones to use, as well as a mixture of high intensity intervals and long runs outside. Luckily the training paid off and they both got round in one piece with Ellie being just 3 minutes behind manager Joe!

Finally after all this work and exercise we found time to go watch the Harlequins play Bath at the Stoop Rugby ground in nearby Twickenham. Roisin and I felt torn on which team to support, being Bath Students but having worked with a few of the Quins team over the last year. We decided to cheer for the Quins who ended up on top winning the game 35-28.

 

New research and eccentric commuters !

📥  2015-16, Health

Placement Blog 8

This is my 8th blog about my placement year at London 2012 Olympic legacy charity Join In UK.

Behavioural Insights…

For the last couple of weeks I have been lucky to be involved in another area of work at placement that is new to me! Join in are currently conducting research called ‘Behavioural Insights’.

Behavioural Insights draws on research from behavioural economics, psychology, and neuroscience to understand how humans behave and make decisions in everyday life. Whilst I enjoyed studying a couple of modules in sports psychology, as part of my degree in first and second year, this isn’t an area we covered. I am definitely finding it interesting!

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The research involves looking at the different barriers and motivations for sport volunteering and how you can increase the number of people offering their free time. Some of the barriers include ‘not enough time’, ‘not sporty enough’, ‘not confident enough’, ‘never heard of it’ and ‘don’t have the skills’. Join in are hoping that the research will contribute to what methods can be initiated to increase the chance of volunteering becoming part of someone’s lifestyle.

One of the social experiments that Join in have conducted so far, involves the use of Facebook ads. The ad’s come up on peoples news feeds with examples of people that have engaged in volunteering, and Join in are testing how many people click on the ad’s. For example, ‘I am Bob, I am a teacher and I am helping grow sport in London, lend a hand in London today”. It will be interesting to see the results of the experiment, especially as the use of social media is increasing by the second as well as the influence that it has on people’s lifestyle choices.

The different and slightly bizarre methods of commuting in London…

One thing that I have questioned during my placement year is the variety of methods of commuting people chose to use! It takes me around 30-40 minutes to walk from Waterloo to Farringdon each morning, and then the same on the way back in the evening. I enjoy walking as its cheaper, quicker and healthier than the tube or bus and there’s not a bad view of the River Thames on route. However, I have definitely come to the conclusion that walking to work is the most out dated method of commuting.

There is of course the classic ‘Boris Bike’ you can hire. With a swipe of your credit card you can grab a bike and go, which is a great initiative. However, whilst there are cycle lanes I have seen far too many near misses of cars or motorbikes crashing with cyclists on my route to work. Cyclists also love to ride through red traffic lights in London! I would rather cycle in a quieter area of the city.

The other method is a scooter. I don’t think I have still come to terms with seeing a fully-grown adult on a scooter. I got a scooter when I was 7 years old, and that was the last time I rode one.  The problem with scooters is that they are too slow for the cycle lane but too fast for the pavement. Scooter commuters seem to find it difficult to ride them as well, I have seen a few women struggle to grasp the technique and I have overtaken them walking.

Unfortunately I am yet to see crazy Boris riding around London, but you never know!

Unfortunately I am yet to see crazy Boris riding around London, but you never know!

One of the most bizarre methods of commuting has to be the ‘Hoverboards’. Again I associated these gadgets with children. It involves the person balancing on an electronic board and then some how (I don’t understand how) steering with their body. I get how they can be fun to use, in maybe a skate park. But I personally can’t stand them on the pavements and roads of London! They weave in and out of people and then come up zooming behind you.

 

The delightful hoverboard! I am afriad I won't be getting one of these soon!

The delightful hoverboard! I am afraid I won't be getting one of these soon!

It has definitely made my walk to work more insightful and entertaining watching people use these various gadgets. However, I think for me personally its safer choosing the ‘simple and boring’ option of walking!

Louise Rose

(Sports and Social Sciences)

 

London Life!

📥  2015-16, Health

Placement Blog 7

This is my 7th blog about my placement year at London 2012 Olympic legacy charity Join In UK.

Count down to the summer…

The last few weeks I have been continuing with on-going projects. With Rio 2016 just around the corner, Join in is starting to plan some events for the summer to get more people involved in sport, which is exciting.

Last week I got the chance to attend the British Olympic Association headquarters in London. My bearings of how to get around London are definitely improving, I didn't get lost or go the wrong direction on the tube for once! It was great to visit another renowned sports association, each meeting room was named after an Olympic Games! My meeting was in ‘London 1948’!

 

British-Olympic-Association-logo

 

Sport Relief…

I am sure you have seen in the media, Eddie Izzard's completed 27 marathons in 27 days for Sport Relief.  27 days is reference to the 27 years that Nelson Mandela spent in prison. Eddie is a Join in patron, and has represented Join in at a number of events. Everyone in the office has been following his progress over the last month, and no one can understand how his body survived! Especially in the heat! The last day, he completed 2 marathons in a day, which is just crazy! But also incredible that he has put himself through the gruelling challenge to raise money for charity. I enjoy running, but get bored running anything more than 10K! I don’t know how he managed to have the mental strength to do 27 marathons! I think one marathon is an achievement in itself!

Thinking ahead…

Going into the last couple of months of my placement, I am trying to get ahead and think about my dissertation! Previous placement year students have said “collect data and research early”. I have started to brainstorm a few topics for my dissertation, but it still scares me to think about writing 15,000 words on it next year!

I have also been asked by my colleague’s and friends if I know what I want to do once I have finished uni, what job I want. My answer is still ‘I am not sure yet!” Not because I have no idea, but because I feel like I have a few different options now, which is good! I am not sure if I could work in London again though. Although many offices and organisations are based in the city, and I am lucky I work in a quieter area of London, I prefer places where people aren't constantly in a rush to get everywhere! But I do love the buzz of London!

Louise Rose

(Sports and Social Sciences)

 

New projects, new skills...

📥  2015-16, Health

This is my 6th blog about my placement year at London 2012 Olympic legacy charity Join In UK.

This month has been quite quiet at the organisation, with business resuming as usual. However, there have been a few exciting projects that I have had the chance to get involved with.

The ‘UK Sport’ athlete visits project…

I first got involved with this back in November. The project involves matching up UK Sport funded athletes with their local sports clubs. The athletes make a volunteering visit to the club, and get involved with coaching, refereeing or another activity. It is a great way for athletes to give something back to grassroots sport as well as younger participants to have a role model. I have managed to arrange a couple of visits recently, and it is really enjoyable to see how grateful the clubs are to have an elite athlete visit their club. It is also inspiring for young people to meet the athletes and have a chance to hear how hard they work and how disciplined their training and competition schedules are. A couple of the athletes Join in has matched to clubs are currently trialling for places to go to Rio, which makes it even more exciting!

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Major events…

One of the main features of Join in is promoting volunteer opportunities at major sporting events in the UK. There have been a large number of volunteering opportunities promoted on the website so far this year, some examples include; Hockey Championships trophy, Lords Cricket Ground events, British Athletics Championships and a host of marathons all over the UK. Although Join in is primarily for supporting volunteer opportunities in the UK, the charity has helped promote volunteer roles for the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio this summer. Those who have been selected to volunteer in Rio unfortunately have to expense their trip, but its still a very unique chance to be amongst the excitement of the event.

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‘Skills’ training…

Over the last month I have had the chance to benefit from some ‘skills’ training at work. Different people from Join in have been running sessions based on their expertise. It has been good to have some knowledge in areas I was unfamiliar in, for example, digital marketing, Google analytics, PR, media and a very worthwhile session on CV’s and interviews.

Over half way through…!

I can’t believe how fast placement has gone, I have now done 9 months of placement! But in many ways it feels like I have been working at Join in for along time because I know the people well and how the organisation runs.

Although I still haven't 'warmed' to the daily train commute...

Louise Rose

Sports and Social Science

 

Ellie & Roisin's year at SHPI

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📥  2015-16, Health, Uncategorized

The London Bike Show


We recently spent 4 days at the ExCel for the London Bike Show. SHPI set up a Performance Hub where we tested a stream of cyclists and triathletes. The testing included body composition analysis, lactate threshold tests on the bike, treadmill and in the endless pool. Cyclists also had a strength and conditioning session along with a nutrition consultation.

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On the Saturday we also had the opportunity to monitor the performance of GB Triathlete Harry Wiltshire as he attempted to cycle 100 miles in a fasted state. We took measures of his heart rate, blood lactate, blood glucose and a rating of perceived exertion every 30 mins. We were interested to see how these would change over the 100 miles.

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Finally after 3 hours of cycling we started to see some changes and Harry's blood glucose levels had dropped. After another gruelling hour he was finally allowed to break his fast when his blood sugar dropped to 3.9 mmol/L with some coke and half a flap jack. After a post exercise weigh in Harry had lost 5.5 kg in sweat!

Trishow Harry Wiltshire

The highlight of the weekend was by far the abundance of free samples consumed by all, granted they were reasonably healthy energy bars, but we went for the ones coated in chocolate for good measure! How better to spend a Valentines weekend <3

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