Leeds Beckett University provide coaching and nutrition support for Leeds United FC
The university has already been working with the Championship club behind the scenes throughout their successful campaign this season – now the two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together.
Exercise nutrition lecturer Nessan Costello and PhD student Andy Jenkinson, from the Carnegie School of Sport, have worked closely with the club, developing nutritional plans for the first, academy and women’s teams, focusing on player development and optimal health.
The work they have done includes providing the club with the provision, management, and direction of performance nutritional support for the club.
Their role includes daily contact with the players, coaches and kitchen staff at Leeds United through theoretical and practical workshops to help educate players on how food can be used to fuel their training, performance and recovery.
Nessan said: “An excellent understanding of human physiology and metabolism during exercise underpins applied practise, which is something we strive to instil in our students from the first day of their undergraduate programme at Leeds Beckett.
“A combination of lectures, seminars, practical sessions and online tutorials provide students with a wealth of supportive learning experiences to give them theoretical knowledge, and the practical skills, to be successful in professional sport.”
Students Alexandros Kapsis and Jordan Foster are both undertaking coaching internships as part of their MRes in Sport Science.
Alexandros has worked closely with the club’s first team, while Jordan assists with the coaching of the academy.
Jordan said: “The internship at Leeds United is the ideal step into the world of applied sports science.
“Undertaking a captivating research project, aligned with trying to develop current academy practices at an elite football club is both challenging and rewarding.
“Having responsibilities placed on you is the ideal environment for developing, and one I have enjoyed and learned so much from.”
Alexandros said: “The internship has given me the opportunity to apply my knowledge and perform evidence base practise and has allowed me to improve my coaching skills.”
Peter Mackreth, Dean of the School of Sport, said: “Our School prides itself on the applied nature of our degree programmes and research. In working closely with Leeds United, we’re able to support their promotion campaign, but also provide authentic opportunities and examples to our students.”