I first experienced being a part of the learning and research community at Leeds Trinity University in 2017 when I completed a term abroad through Erasmus, when I was an undergraduate student in Germany. During this time, I was struck by Leeds Trinity’s strong sense of community and focus on applied sports research, so much so that I decided to enquire about the opportunity to pursue my postgraduate study here.
I began my PhD in February 2021 under the supervision of Professor Mark Russell and Professor Martin Barwood. Mark was actually one of my lecturers during my semester abroad from Germany and was part of the reason that I applied for a PhD at Leeds Trinity in the first place, so it was a real privilege to find out that he was going to be my supervisor.
My research is within the field of sports nutrition, specifically looking at nutrition strategies within team sports. A key focus for me is the purported anti-inflammatory properties of foods such as Montmorency cherries. My aim through my studies is to assess the efficacy of these foods in reducing post-match fatigue.
Anti-inflammatory supplements have become a hot topic over the last few years. While many sports teams have invested substantial sums of money into providing them for their players, especially those who face several back-to-back matches during a season, there is little substantial evidence of their effectiveness.
My studies will enable me to become an expert in the field, develop specialised skills to aid in the generation and dissemination of research to sports practitioners and other key stakeholders, and in turn help them to reduce the detrimental effects of fatigue.
In comparison to my studies in Germany, which focused on many aspects relevant to food production and nutrition, my postgraduate studies give me the opportunity to specialise in one area. My chosen topic is a completely new area of research for me, so I was excited to get stuck in. I’m also looking forward to participating in knowledge exchange with other postgraduate students in the Leeds Trinity community, both informally and through the postgraduate research forums and University conferences.
Something that struck me when I first visited as an undergraduate was how the faculty staff always went out of their way to make sure that you had everything you needed to succeed. The teaching staff put a lot of effort into structuring their lectures in an inclusive and informative way, so that developing professional skills is an attainable goal for everyone.
This is equally as true now, and thanks to their support I feel confident that I can progress within my field, ultimately becoming an expert in sports nutrition and improving the provision of effective nutritional interventions across team sports as a whole.
To find out more about postgraduate study at Leeds Trinity University, please visit: https://www.leedstrinity.ac.uk/postgraduate/.
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