Students can join the Olympic gold rush

The Rio Olympic Games have shown that not only has Great Britain has some of the best athletes in the world but also how students can take up top careers to help achieve more to medal successes.

They include: head of performance, head of sports nutrition performance analysis, physiotherapists, engineers and sports journalists.

That’s the view of Dr Gary Brickley, University of Brighton Senior Lecturer and exercise physiologist who has worked for the GB cycling team as a physiologist and coach since 2000. He coaches cyclist Dame Sarah Storey and Dave Stone MBE and will be in Rio in September for the Paralympics.

Dr Brickley has been quoted in the Daily Mail and in newspapers in countries round the world including Indonesia and Turkey, and in an article in the Sussex daily newspaper The Argus, Dr Brickley told how universities are playing a key role in coaching and improving performance.

Paralympian David Stone training at the University of Brighton's Eastbourne Campus.

Paralympian David Stone training at the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne Campus.

Dr Brickley, based at the university’s Eastbourne campus, said: “The science of training theory has improved massively. At the University of Brighton we have an altitude chamber; a heat chamber and an igloo screen for brain training which athletes can use but also where research informs the coaches and athletes.

“We can break down the performance into start, the first five metres, the way to control breathing and warm up. The psychologists’ knowledge has improved beyond just imagery and new inventive methods are used to control emotions and optimise training and race-day performance.

“Universities allow athletes to be more flexible, and talented athletes are given many more chances to switch sports. For example, Sarah Storey – who I coach – moved from swimming to cycling.”

GB, he said, has done superbly in Rio: “The Games have shown we have greater strength in depth and also a very bright future.”

And it has shown: “There are now jobs that our students can aspire to.”

Find out more about Sport Journalism BA(Hons)

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