Nino Severino: We should be so proud of Suffolk’s sporting achievements

Nino Severino delivering a guest lecture at the University of Suffolk. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Nino Severino delivering a guest lecture at the University of Suffolk. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

In his latest column, Nino Severino discusses his trip to the University of Suffolk – and says we should be shouting more about what this county has to offer from a sporting point of view.

Dr Gavin Devereux talks to a class at the University of Suffolk. Picture: NINO SEVERINO

Dr Gavin Devereux talks to a class at the University of Suffolk. Picture: NINO SEVERINO - Credit: Archant

I’m very lucky to be asked and invited to a number of events, and this week I was offered an opportunity to present at the University of Suffolk located on our wonderful marina in Ipswich.

I was invited by the Director of Sports Science and Coaching, Dr Gavin Devereux, and it turned out to be an incredible experience.

As we prepared for the presentation, it was clear that the lecture room was filling quite rapidly, and by the time I was ready to present, the theatre was filled with an audience of students who are all dreaming of one day finding a place in our incredible sporting industry.

I was there to tell my story, how I began my journey in sports coaching and became the British number one tennis coach and a member of the Great Britain Olympic coaching team.


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One of the things that really struck me was the enthusiasm of the students, they were all very engaging and very interested in my presentation.

This presentation was also a great opportunity for me to also find out more about the university, and I took full advantage of my time with Dr Devereux afterwards to ask him about the incredible work he and his team have carried out.

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What he told me was very impressive. I did not realise how broad the subject offering was, with nine options for the students to pick from, including:

- BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

World class skier Jasmin Taylor is a student at the University of Suffolk. Picture: UNIVERSITY OF SU

World class skier Jasmin Taylor is a student at the University of Suffolk. Picture: UNIVERSITY OF SUFFOLK - Credit: Archant

- BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching and MSci Sport Coaching

- BSc (Hons) Sport Performance Analysis and MSci Sport Performance Analysis

- BSc (Hons) Sport Psychology and MSci Sport Psychology

- BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning and MSci Strength and Conditioning

This is a fantastic choice for potential students to consider, it’s a very comprehensive list and represents all the exciting job roles that are on offer out there.

I often say this – Ipswich does not shout loud enough about our sporting achievements through our athletes, but also what we are achieving through the many sporting professionals, companies and organisations who are located in the town. We have an awful lot to be proud of.

When Dr Devereux went on to tell me that they are a global university partner of STATSports, SICS Performance Analysis and Qualisys Motion Capture, whose clients include countless world-famous sport organisations, this only validated my belief about Ipswich, an incredible achievement on a global level only a few universities worldwide can boast.

It was a privilege to be shown around the world class laboratory which houses state of the art facilities mirroring the settings found in any professional environment.

Kevin de Keijzer with a sports science lecturer in the sports science laboratory at the University o

Kevin de Keijzer with a sports science lecturer in the sports science laboratory at the University of Suffolk. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

It was very encouraging to be informed that the facilities are used for elite sport science support for Ipswich Town Football Club, Ipswich Basketball and Suffolk FA, as well as clinical exercise science research with their NHS partners.

And also impressive that some of the recent graduates from the Sport and Exercise Science degree have secured work for specialist, high profile organisations such as Arsenal FC, Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and elite sport science support roles in the USA. So when I say Ipswich has a lot to be proud of, this is a fantastic example of what I mean.

To be honest I could have spent the whole day with Dr Devereux, it was all very interesting, but of course we had to talk about athletes and the name Jasmin Taylor was brought up in conversation – she is on track to be one of the country’s most successful winter sports athletes ever.

Following the first main block of World Cup races this season, Telemark skier Jasmin has achieved her first World Cup victories and is now second on the list of ‘most World Cup podiums’ of all time in Great Britain.

It was incredible to be told that Jasmin is just over half way through her degree in Sport and Exercise Science at the university, where she studies part time to fit around her training and competitions across the world. For me, this is a true validation of the quality of the degree.

I know from experience, world class athletes are very particular and their expectations are extremely high.

Jasmine said: “My lecturers have been very attentive in helping me through my degree. I also appreciate having a different aspect to my life other than skiing. It’s good to have that support from the university as well. It’s nice to have other obligations.”

I have already planned my next visit back to the University of Suffolk – and it’s a visit I’m really looking forward to.

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