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Loughborough pair receive prestigious sports science awards

Two Loughborough academics have received prestigious awards from The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

Sports psychologist Dr David Fletcher and recent PhD graduate Dr Vernon Neville from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS) both collected newcomer awards at the BASES annual conference.

Dr Fletcher received the Tom Reilly Memorial Award which is presented for post-doctoral research of outstanding merit.

Dr Neville received the Routledge Recently Qualified Researcher Award after impressing with his presentation Optimising arm-crank configurations: Testing the most powerful upper-body athletes in sport, which reflected on his research into grinders in big boat sailing.

Dr Fletcher’s research focuses on the psychology of sporting excellence and how it can be applied to other high performance domains. His work provides insights into how high achievers deliver sustainable performances in pressured environments and he has worked with sports including swimming, tennis and golf.

He has published in and reviewed for various international peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, The Sport Psychologist, the Journal of Sports Sciences, the Psychology of Sport and Exercise, and the European Journal of Sport Science, and has presented his work at major international sport psychology conferences around the world.

“I’m obviously very proud to receive this award,” said Dr Fletcher. “I attended my first BASES conference in 1997 as a second year undergraduate and to meet and hear from top international researchers was a big moment for me at the start of my career.

“Now 12 years later to be recognised at that same event and to be the first recipient of the renamed Tom Reilly Award is a real honour and a privilege.”

Dr Fletcher was unable to collect his award in person as he was on stand-by for the Channel swim as part of a four-man relay.

His colleague Dr Neville, who was at the awards presentation, was surprised when his own name was called out, having being chosen by judges after his engaging presentation. 

“It was a complete surprise,” he said. “It wasn’t something I was expecting but I’m really pleased and I think it’s a great reflection on the University and the important research it carries out.”


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 09/121

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.





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