School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


a close up of a 2012 Olympic medal

Sport performance

The aim is to understand and enhance sport and exercise performance across the ability range by investigating the factors influencing, and methods for improving, human performance in sport and exercise.

Theme Leadership Team

Prof Vicky Tolfrey (Lead), Dr Lewis James and Dr David Fletcher

Key research areas include the effect of nutrition and training on performance and recovery from sport; the impact of high training volumes on the immune system; the biomechanics and motor control of elite sporting performance; talent identification and development; understanding sport through statistical and video based analyses of performance; interactions with sport and eating disorders; sleep to win; impact of sport on bone health, cognition and muscle function; and the psychosocial and behavioural aspects of sport performance and coaching.

Themes that incorporate these specific areas of expertise are


The Nike Oregon Project: Experiences and Reflections of High Performance Support to Elite Runners

Darren Treasure


Methods in life-course health and wellbeing research


Athlete health – Round table discussion

Craig Ranson, English Institute of Sport


More than just a game: the public health impact of sport and physical activity for people with a disability

Dr Cheri Blauwet, Harvard University, Boston


Sport Performance research seminar

Dr Angus Mugford, Director of High Performance, Toronto Blue Jays


Future thinking in high performance coach development

Diccon Edwards, Head of Coach Development, UK Sport


Paralympic sport coaching twilight evening

Rob Townsend, Loughborough University and Rob Shaw, University of British Columbia, Canada


Optimising athlete physical and mental health through the Tokyo and Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games

Craig Ranson, English Institute of Sport


Pulmonary vascular dysfunction with ageing and disease: implications for exercise tolerance

Dr Bryan Taylor, University of Leeds


Psychobiology of Endurance Performance

Professor Samuele Marcora, University of Kent


Can we use genes to train smarter?

Professor David Bishop, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Australia

UK Sport Performance Strategy 

Chelsea Warr, Deputy Director of Performance, UK Sport

Sports Strategy at Loughborough

John Steele, Executive Director of Sport, Loughborough University


Dr Steve Ingham, English Institute of Sport, Research and Development