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Leeds Beckett academic named as Coach of the Year for Education and Research


A Leeds Beckett academic has been announced as the winner of an award, recognising his contribution to strength and conditioning within the UK.

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Professor Ben Jones, a Senior Lecturer in the Carnegie School of Sport, has been awarded the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) coach of the year in Education and Research at their 13th Annual Conference.

Ben teaches on the MSc Strength and Conditioning, MSc Sport and Exercise Science suite and the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science course at Leeds Beckett.  He started his academic career as a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology at Leeds Beckett in 2013, following the completion of his PhD. Alongside his academic role, he has also consulted for numerous sports teams, clubs and organisations.

Ben has recently been promoted to a Professor at Leeds Beckett. Alongside his academic role, Ben is also the Research and Innovation Manager for the Rugby Football League, and Head of Academy Science and Research at Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union.

Speaking about the award, Ben said: “The applied research programme at Leeds Beckett is fantastic, and provides some great opportunities for our staff and students to work with elite athletes in professional sport.” 

Talking about his work in rugby league, Ben added: “This award is recognition for the research undertaken within the game. As a sport, rugby league has always been open to research and innovation.  We’re in a great position, with some exciting ongoing and future research projects which supports the development and progression of the game.

“Across rugby league, researchers and practitioners are working closely to answer meaningful questions, which then support players within the international, elite, youth and development programmes.”

Leeds Beckett MRes student Richard Hunwicks was appointed to the UKSCA Board of Directors for a two-year term at the annual conference.  Richard, who works as Head of Human Performance at the Rugby Football League, said: “I’m hoping that this appointment highlights the ongoing work to position rugby league as a leader in supporting industry coaching standards.

“It will also allow me to further develop whilst working with other experienced professionals and make a meaningful contribution to the associations development from a team sport practitioners perspective.  The appointment to the Board of Directors will allow me to further develop whilst working with other experienced professionals and make a meaningful contribution to the associations development from a team sport practitioners perspective.”

Richard has been an accredited member of the UKSCA for the last eight years and for the past five has acted as coach tutor and assessor in addition to his applied commitments in professional sport.

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