Performance Sport

Dame Katherine Grainger, DBE Olympic champion 2012, 4 x Olympic silver medallist, 6 x World Champion, Chair UK Sport

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Sarah stands out as a world class practitioner for many reasons.  She is a very welcome calm presence in a frequently highly charged atmosphere of intense training.  She will bend over backwards to find a way for every athlete to complete a training session, even if that involves setting up a completely different piece of equipment in a different location at a different time. Sarah is very conscientious and never gives the impression that as an athlete you are creating a problem or being difficult with any request.  She accommodates any athlete with every request and doesn't make the athlete feel awkward about it.  Sarah gives the same priority to our training needs as we do ourselves and she will persevere until things are done to our own exacting standards.  It is fantastic to have someone working in the team who demands from themselves the same level of performance as we do and who takes the same level of pride in her work as we do.  And above all, one of the special things that Sarah exhibits is genuine care and concern for the athletes - she sees us all as individuals and will try to help in any way she can to make our lives a little bit easier. She doesn't just ask how our training is going but she also takes a moment to ask how we are doing, she understands that how we are feeling can impact on our performance.  She displays respect for what we do every day and that makes a big difference to athletes that work with her.

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Pete Reed, 3 x Olympic Champion, 5 x World Champion

Sarah is hugely experienced in the high performance sport environment.  She has a great ability to empathise with athletes, in particular her technical knowledge of sleep and performance has been insightful and extremely beneficial to me as an athlete and the wider world of elite sport. Sarah is highly dependable and works to the highest standards of professionalism.  She leads by example and was instrumental in delivering a world class physiology laboratory service to the GB Rowing Team over successive Olympic cycles.  She can be guaranteed to ‘get the job done’ and is a valued member of any team. 

Tom Dyson, Chief Coach Paralympic Programme, British Rowing

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I worked closely with Sarah throughout the London 2012 Paralympic cycle. As lead physiologist to the Paralympic Rowing Programme I looked to her for both support and leadership on key rower centred projects such as actigraphy or monitored return to training post illness and injury.  Sarah always had the ability to see the bigger picture and map out opportunities for interventions that fitted with the conflicting demands of a four year training and competition cycle.

Teamwork

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Joanne Elphinston, Elite performance movement and rehabilitation consultant. Founder Joanne Elphinston
Movement Systems

It is easy to focus on an athlete support professional's knowledge and skill, and Sarah is completely committed to her own development and application of these aspects of her profession at elite level. However, it is communication that is at the heart of both the successes and the dysfunctions in multidisciplinary teams. Sarah has an openness and approachability which keeps others in the multidisciplinary team on board with her, and makes the athlete feel that she is completely present with them. This is not easy to achieve when time is tight and the pressure is on, but Sarah's demeanor and level of self awareness in her dealings with others, combined with her extraordinary capacity for organisation and planning, creates a sense of calm which is priceless in an elite setting.

Dr Jeanne Dekerle, Principal Lecturer, School of Sport and Service Management. Sport and Exercise Science and Sport Medicine Research and Enterprise Group. University of Brighton.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Sarah when we designed some scenarios from the ‘real world’ of the applied sport practitioner for problem-based learning sessions we co-delivered on our Applied Exercise Physiology and Applied Sport Physiology MSc courses (University of Brighton). Sarah was great with our MSc students. It was evident, in class but also outside the classroom, that Sarah had at heart to support the development of our students, inviting them to aspire to great things, to believe in themselves and dare attending to their dreams. She was very inspirational. I often thought she would be a great lecturer! In student’s group discussions, aside of the problems students would be working on, Sarah also shared some examples of problems she had to find solutions for when she was working as a physiologist for the English Institute of Sport (EIS). There was so much knowledge to be shared! Sarah taught me one thing: Be solution- and not problem-focussed! I always thought this approach was such a great way of embracing life. Sarah is a solution-seeker and it is very refreshing! Sarah was also extremely honest yet kind, in her constructive feedback to our students. I think students realised how straightforward, sincere, and truthful one must be to work in the fast-going world of elite performance. Sarah would also share some challenges she had to face as a sport practitioner and the difficulties such position might bring. There was an authenticity that I truly appreciated when working with Sarah. From the first meetings we had, it struck me how organised, efficient, and enthusiasm Sarah was. I often think of our work together when I have to set up meetings and it takes ages... “With Sarah, it would be different”. I keep fond memories of our collaboration.

Achievements

UK Antidoping Education Delivery Network: National Trainer

Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Science, University of Kent

British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Conference 2016: ‘’Sleep and movement behaviour characteristics of an international Olympic rowing squad and the influence of domestic living location’’.   Awarded the Routledge Recently Qualified Researcher Free Communication Presentation Award.

British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences: Applied Practitioner of the Year 2012

BASES Accredited since 2000, achieving High Performance Accreditation and Re-Accreditation in 2012 and 2017 

Associations

Switch the Play - a social enterprise dedicated to improving the support offered to elite and aspiring athletes and players as they transition to a life outside of sport.

Sporting Edge UK - Bespoke altitude systems

Harper Performance CIC - a Social Enterprise UK certified non-profit social enterprise providing performance-support services and consultancy to aspirational athletes, teams and sports organisations across the world. 

Bourne Sports Medicine A team of Specialist Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultants dedicated to managing sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems. Our goal is to provide expert assessment and treatment of your injury to enable you to return to your physical activity safely.