Nino Severino: How Ipswich Town helped us present to world's biggest clubs at Wembley
In his latest column, Nino Severino shares his pride at being asked to present in front of the top football clubs in the world at Wembley. Here's the story of how it came about - and how Ipswich Town helped him.
My past sporting life has been full of incredible memories, working in some of the greatest arenas on the planet, from Centre Court at Wimbledon to the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
And this weekend gone I had the opportunity to add another arena experience to my list – the most famous football stadium in the world, Wembley – and the story that took me there has many twists and turns!
Since the launch of The Hub and the development of the incredible team I have built at The IWIC Centre at the University of Suffolk, we have been attracting a lot of attention, not only locally, but also on a global level, with SportScientia, a sports technology company, being one of them.
The great work of the team, includes top professionals such as Dr Stuart McErlain-Naylor, who heads up our bio-mechanics department.
Stuart has an incredible skill for understanding movement, and has become one of our most valued team members, while we also have Wez Pooley from the world of football, who works at the highest level in strength and conditioning, and sports psychologist Dr Alex Latinjak, who presents internationally and is a lead researcher on cognitive self-regulation skills in sport.
There are many positives to The Hub, not only for the hundreds of athletes it supports, but the way it collaborates with others from the sporting fraternity.
It's one of these special relationships that helped us prepare for this Wembley Stadium event. As part of the presentation, we needed to shoot a portfolio of movement drills and, thanks to Bryan Klug and Lee O'Neil, we had the first class Ipswich Town dome at Playford Road Training Ground at our disposal.
SportScientia are a Milan-based company who have developed a “Super Smart Sporting Insole” which is capable of collecting incredible data and information at foot level, from an insole placed in boots – heart rate, body temperature, and the forces that a player produces through the ground can all be tracked.
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This has the potential of changing the way footballers train, develop and avoid injuries, plus help them spend less time in rehabilitation programmes.
Dr Stuart, Dr Alex, Wez and myself have invested months in building the reputation of The Hub, and its recognition through SportScientia, placed us on the world stage of football medicine this weekend at Wembley.
As part of the international SportScientia development team, we presented at The Isokinetic's Medical Group Conference, in association with FIFA, which was attended by representatives from most of the major football clubs around the world.
We prepared so well I can't say any of us were nervous, but to be told that representatives of some of the biggest clubs in the world were sitting in the audience, I must admit, did add a bit of an edge!
Scanning across the audience, knowing who was sitting in front of us, with the hallowed Wembley pitch also in full view, was for all of us an incredible experience, but we needed to stay fully-focused.
We were there to present on performance movement in football, and how, in combination with the technology of the Smart Sole, a significant difference could be made to the footballing world.
Whenever I have delivered a presentation, I suppose the biggest fear is that you lose your audience, that they are not interested in what you are presenting or showing them, and our presentation was an hour-and-a-half – a very long time if you lose the attention of the attendees!
We covered every unique element of the training programme and the Smart Insole and its technology, I am very pleased to say that at the end, the audience actually clapped with appreciation.
Knowing the calibre of the individuals that were present, that made us all feel very proud.
At the end of the presentation, the audience were offered the opportunity to ask questions – this is the phase of the presentation I really enjoy, and I was not disappointed as the professionals really knew their speciality areas and there were some incredible questions, which we all enjoyed answering.
It was very satisfying knowing that representatives from some of the most famous clubs in the world were giving us a massive level of respect – and after everyone left, I looked at The Hub members and said, “Hey, not bad for a bunch of boys from Ipswich!”