University of the West of Scotland has announced two new partnerships with Motherwell and Hamilton Academical Women’s Football Clubs.
The University’s Sport and Exercise Division will provide leading sports and exercise science expertise to the teams via two newly appointed Master of Research Sports Science students. The students – Luke Murray and Mark Wright – will be given the opportunity to undertake specialised research focusing on best practice across sport science within female football.
The clubs are the latest high-profile sports organisations to benefit from the experience of academics, researchers and students from UWS. The partnerships are led by UWS Exercise Science Lecturer, Dr Mark Sanderson, alongside Dr Laura Forrest and Dr Stephanie Valentin.
Dr Mark Sanderson said: “We’re delighted to announce our new links with Hamilton Academical and Motherwell FC’s women’s teams. The partnerships will provide our newly appointed students Luke and Mark with the opportunity to gain valuable applied research experience within an elite football club environment.
“For the clubs, they will be given access to UWS’s cutting-edge sports science facilities and the chance to work closely with our experienced staff and students, as we develop, research and deliver pioneering sport science testing and strength and conditioning training for the teams.
It is well-known that sports science research focusing specifically on female football athletes is lacking. The partnerships, therefore, also enable us to complete novel research which benefits both the clubs and UWS.
Dr Mark Sanderson, Exercise Science Lecturer, UWS
“Our students will be able to work with the female players for data collection and research projects, and the clubs will benefit from our students and experienced academics making research and data-informed decisions regarding their training regimes. Everyone within the Division of Sport and Exercise is thrilled to add Hamilton Academical and Motherwell FC to the list of elite sports organisations we work with here at the University.”
Robert Watson, Assistant Manager and Club Secretary at Hamilton Academical Women’s Football Club, said: “This is a fantastic step forward for our club. I have been extremely impressed with what UWS can offer us and what we can give back to them.
“Collaboration is very important to our club and to our players. With this exciting partnership, we can provide a professional sports science department for our players for both existing and future signings and in return, UWS will get to work with some of the best players in Scotland and give the students a huge opportunity to learn and develop in their field.
“It is very important we keep pace with a game that is taking huge leaps forwards all the time. With this partnership, I believe it takes us to the forefront of sports science and conditioning within women’s football in Scotland.
“My thanks go to Mark who has given us nothing but 100 percent confidence in every conversation we have had about this partnership and I am looking forward to welcoming the students to the club. Our student has also thrown himself into the role and we are really pleased – he’s been a really positive influence already.”
Paul Brownlie, Motherwell FC Women’s Manager, said: “I’m delighted to get our student Mark on board. Mark will complement our squad, and act as a fantastic addition to our staff group.
“This opportunity will be excellent for Mark – getting the opportunity to work alongside experienced coaching staff and players will help aid his development.”