School of Sport and Health Sciences

photo of Ben

Catching up with sport science graduate Ben

Ben Sayers is a two-time University of Brighton graduate. He graduated from our Sport and Exercise Science BSc(Hons) in 2016 before continuing his studies on our Strength and Conditioning MSc where he achieved a distinction.

Ben is physical performance and preparation coach at Wycombe Wanderers FC having been with the club since he graduated. We caught up with him to find out about his time at Brighton and his career to date.

Your time at the University of Brighton

What made you choose Brighton?

I chose to study at the University of Brighton partly because of location, I wanted to live by the sea and Eastbourne was such a lovely town with beachy head a short walk away from the campus.

I was also impressed by the facilities on our tour. I liked how close the Uni Halls were to the science labs. They were well kitted out and I knew I would get more time in them with a smaller cohort.

There probably isn’t a particular standout moment that made me realise Brighton was the correct choice – it was just the everyday that confirmed in my mind that it was!

What were the facilities like and how did they support your studies?

The facilities were amazing. Toward the end of my last year in BSc, the new strength and conditioning gym was built. The brand-new weights, duel force plates, iso-rig made going to the gym lectures very fun. The science labs were also really cool.

I had never seen a Stand-Up Paddle Board Ergometer before, which I used to complete my dissertation.

The heat chamber and the hypoxic chamber were also very cool, and we did some great studies as a class in them.

Your study memories

My best memories were probably the Thursday Olympic lifting sessions we held as students in the new gym and the GPS sessions.

But the best memory may be the graduation – obviously you work hard for a long time, and it feels super rewarding to have that moment dedicated to how hard you worked.

I continued my studies after my undergraduate graduation for a few reasons. Location was huge, I fell in love with Eastbourne as a place and I wasn’t in any rush to leave. I had also developed strong relationships with the staff and had built quite a solid reputation so I thought I would use this to maximise what I got out of my MSc.

Tell us a bit about Brighton staff

I thought most of the staff were excellent and approachable.

One standout is Rob Harley for shear enthusiasm. I think this rubbed of on me in my first year of studies and influenced my choice to select strength and conditioning as a module in years two and three.

I have kept within arms reach of Rob and also Flo Pietzsch and Stu Mills since graduating. We developed a good relationship while I was a student, and if it wasn’t for them and other lecturers, I wouldn’t have the job I have, so I owe them!

Your career and how your degrees helped

Ben on the Wembley pitchI knew I wanted to end up working in some sort of professional sport, team or individual – I wasn’t very fussed.

I think my placement was what cemented this. Uni is fantastic for supplying the knowledge and theoretical know how, but the placement teaches you how to use it and communicated, so they both go hand in hand. The placement was huge for me.

I was first employed by Wycombe Wanderers FC on a part-time bases, in June 2020. I was then promoted to a full-time role within 6 months. I have stayed at Wycombe Wanderers FC the entire time.

A lot of the content I learned at Uni deemed relevant for my career so far.

My advice to future students

Sport Science in general can be a tough industry to break into. You must be very proactive to get a good career in it.

If you love human performance in anyway shape or form, then I would for sure recommended you undertake a sport science degree. You will discover things you didn’t know you didn’t know, then your love for the industry will snowball with new insights and takes on the various topics.

And studying at Brighton: the location, the lectures and lecturers, and facilities are world class. I would seriously recommend this university for anyone who is looking for a complete package.

Considering a career in sport? View undergraduate and postgraduate sport and exercise degrees on the University of Brighton website. 

Kerry Burnett • 14/03/2023

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