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UA Alumni - Emily Dingley

Emily was the Global Winner of the Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Healthcare category in 2020.

Since she was awarded, she has completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Leeds, founded a website called 'Sport Science Insider', and is currently working as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Leeds.

What are you doing now and what has happened since the award?

Since the award, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Leeds.

Thereafter, I was fortunate to start a role as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach working with youth athletes. Within 6 months of starting that role, we went into two lockdowns from COVID-19, and I was placed on furlough twice. The extra time on my hands provided me the opportunity to co-found 'Sport Science Insider', a website where we publish evidence-based, actionable, and user-friendly sport science content for coaches, athletes, and students. So far, we have reached over 42,000 coaches, athletes, and students from 169 countries and aim to
reach 100,000 people in 2022.

I now balance building 'Sport Science Insider' alongside my current full-time role as Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Leeds, which was my dream graduate job whilst in my final year at the University of Leeds and on their strength and conditioning internship program.

In this role, I work with university performance athletes and external elite athletes in rowing, dancing, triathlon, football and squash to name a few. This involves supporting their physical development and preparing them for the demands of their sport. I also support students on the strength and conditioning internship program and assist with lecturing on the university’s strength and conditioning module.

What do you like the most about what you do?

I really like that my work involves working with people, I enjoy seeing them develop and grow as a person first and foremost and then secondly, I enjoy interacting, building a relationship, and working collaboratively with them to support their development within their sport.

I also like that it’s practical, interactive, and involves a deep dive through layers of complexity whilst using and applying scientific principles. I also like that it involves problem-solving, being collaborative and every day is different. It’s great to be able to take what I learn in my day job and share it with other coaches, students, and athletes through 'Sport Science Insider'.

The elements above are also some of the elements that I also enjoyed during my final year research project – I thoroughly enjoyed going into the community across Yorkshire (UK) to attend dance classes for older adults. I had the opportunity to interact with and join our participants during their dance sessions and saw the joy on their faces when they danced. It was wonderful to see and hear the difference the dance had on their health and well-being with reducing loneliness, reducing the risk of falling and improving balance, mobility, psychological well-being and their quality of life.

I love that we can use sport as a tool to bring people together, support personal development and improve health, wellbeing, and performance across the general and sporting population.

What advice would you give current undergraduate students or recent graduates?

My advice for current undergraduate and recent graduate students is to try and find what you enjoy through trial and error and when an opportunity arises…take it and get involved!

As cliché as it is, you never know where that opportunity may take you or who you will meet along the way. If you don’t feel ready for it, it’s the best way to learn and make it up as you go along.

Has receiving an award for your hard work helped?

I am honoured, grateful and very surprised to have received recognition for my work. Growing up and throughout most of my degree, I struggled and still struggle when it comes to writing, partly due to having dyslexia which was diagnosed at age 24 (at the end of my second year at the University of Leeds).

I find it hard to formulate my thoughts and put words onto paper, which is a very slow and painful process – so my 16-year-old self, trying to get a C in GCSE English would have said you were mad if you were to say I would receive a global award in academic writing at University.

Therefore, receiving the global award for my final year research project has helped build my confidence and reduced the feeling of imposter syndrome when it comes to also encouraged me to take the plunge to co-find 'Sport Science Insider' where I now write articles regularly.

Why should students submit their work?

It’s likely that you put a lot of hard work, thought and effort into your university work, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to share it with a global audience, especially as your work deserves to be seen…it’s already written, so it won’t take long to submit it, go for it and see what happens!

Check out Emily's website Sport Science Insider

You can also find her on Twitter