Val Craft


Pronouns: She/her
  • Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (Strength & Conditioning)

Research groups and centres

Val began teaching and coaching in fitness and sport in 2000. Since then, Val has taught and coached in sports including swimming, football, snowboarding and freestyle snowboarding, weightlifting, running, indoor rowing and strength and conditioning. Val has a social science background with a First-Class BA (hons) in Youth & Community Work and a PGDip in Women’s Studies.

In 2018 Val decided to switch from working in sport part-time and began studying at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. She studied a PGCert in Strength & Conditioning (Distinction) and a PGDip in Sport and Exercise Physiology and has a keen interest in both areas.

Val had her first experience working within academia at St Mary’s University in 2022/2023 as a part-time (mat cover) lecturer in Strength and Conditioning. In that post she was the module convener for Practical Techniques in Strength & Conditioning at MSc level. She also taught on the undergraduate programme in Strength & Conditioning.

Val’s passion for both teaching and research led her to apply for this Post Graduate Teaching Assistant position at Loughborough. She primarily teaches on the MSc in Strength & Conditioning as well as supporting with student placements for this programme.

Val is excited to be working on a part-time PhD at Loughborough University focusing on ‘the development of female footballers from youth to senior level.’

Val is an Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach and is currently Director for Education and Training (pre-ASCC) for the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA).

Val initiated and writes a new column in the UKSCA’s Journal called ‘Empowering Female Coaches.’

Val has worked as private Strength and Conditioning Coach for the last five years focusing on masters and youth athletes. She has supported youth athletes into pathway programmes and top-level competition, including individuals selected for the U18 Team GB squad for Women’s Ice Hockey, the Bath Rugby Developing Player Programme and the Hartpury College & British Rowing Academy.

During the summer of 2023, Val worked for Orreco providing point of care blood biomarker testing with elite sports teams, predominantly within Premier League Football and the Women’s Super League (football).

Whilst working at St Mary’s University, Val joined the Women’s Staff Network and was invited to be a speaker for the International Women’s Day event in February 2023 as well as initiating and writing the first e-newsletter for the network.

Featured publications

  • Craft, V. (2023). Coaching spotlight: career advice and the girl’s pathway. Professional Strength & Conditioning: The Journal of the UK Strength & Conditioning Association. 69, 19-22.
  • Craft, V. (2023). Redress the gender balance in S&C: Women need more voice. Professional Strength & Conditioning: The Journal of the UK Strength & Conditioning Association. 68, 27-28.