Recent Student Activities

SHES students selected for Welsh Universities Rugby Union Team and Football Squad

James Lang, 20, from Surrey is a second year Sport Science student and recently went through an extremely tough selection process at the Welsh Rugby Union Centre of Excellence at The Vale, Cardiff.

Read the full story here

Two other SHES students have been selected to play for the Welsh Universities football team in representative international friendly matches against Ireland and Scotland Universities.

The purpose of these games are to promote the Welsh Universities programme whilst showcasing talented student players who may be considered to compete in the Home Nations in 2016.

The students selected are Liam Walker and Rhys Cooper who are both undergraduates at the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences and are both from Deeside. They are also members of Bangor City Football Club and have featured regularly for the U19's this season.

Read the full story here

Joint Internship - SHES and Surf-lines Appointed

Third year ODA student, Sorcha Gilbert Dillon, has been awarded a ‘Paddlesport Development Officer’ internship joint with Sports Science and Surf-lines. Sorcha will be given the opportunity to work along-side experienced coaching staff in building and leading an introductory paddlesport course as well as helping to raise the profile of Surf-lines as a resource for the University and the local community.

SHES Student wins Silver at the English Weightlifting Championships

SHES student, Joshua Peacock competed in the English Weightlifting Championships in Castleford on 15 February and came away triumphant with a silver medal, which he says he was “very pleased with!”

Joshua is in his fourth and final year of a degree in Sport Science with International Experience.  Last year he completed his International year out at the University of West Florida.  Whilst there he competed in a few competitions including a competition in Pensacola, which he won, and the Mississippi State Championships, where he finished in a very respectable third place.  

Joshua says, “I started weightlifting around two and a half years ago, initially to improve my Rugby, but I began to prefer it so just started to focus on my lifting”.

Before he went to the States Joshua entered a few competitions in the UK including the Student championships, where he finished in second place.  He is currently training for the Student Championships in April and the British Championships in July.

Congratulations to Joshua on his silver medal and good luck in the Student and British Championships.

SSHES student hunts for bargain on national TV

Joe Barnett, 3rd Year Sport Science student, recently spent time filming with the BBC's Bargain Hunt production crew.  Joe was taking part as a contestant with his friend from home (Denbigh), Trey Davies.  Trey is also a student and is currently studying Engineering at Manchester University.

Joe and Trey were the Red Team in this popular programme and were supported in their purchasing endeavours by their expert Thomas Plant.  The host of the show was Natasha Raskin as the show’s usual presenter, Tim Wonnocott, was still a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing during their first filming date.  The Blue Team opposition were two barbers from Caernarfon; Colin and Jason and their expert, Charles Hanson.  Both teams bought their items from an antiques fair held at the Mona Showground on Anglesey and the auction took place in Northwich Auction house in Cheshire.

The Bargain Hunt crew were also kind enough to donate a blue fleece, which will be raffled as a prize in the SSHES Peer Guide Christmas Dinner Raffle.  Proceeds will be donated to the British Heart Foundation and the Peer Guide fund at the School.

Obviously, Joe is not allowed to reveal who won until the show is aired, which should be around the end of February/early March 2015 – watch this space.

Left to right: Natasha (holding the prospectus), Thomas (holding Bangor bear, Garth), Joe and Charles (holding the T-shirt).

SHES student to lead uncharted river expedition

A sports science student from Bangor University has been selected to lead the UK’s finest white-water kayakers in an extended trip to discover new stretches of world class waters. Joshua Brewer-Smith, 20, from Dorset, along with six other students from England and Scotland will be taking part in the 2015 British Universities Kayak Expedition (BUKE). Later on this year, the BUKE trip will see a team of the UK's best student white-water kayakers travel to Madagascar in order to paddle stretches of river yet to be navigated, with the intention to record and publish their findings to aid future kayaking and rafting endeavours.

See more


Congratulations to SSHES students who received Sport or Excellence Scholarships this year.  Six Sport Scholarships have been awarded to students across the University recently with four going to SSHES students:

Luke Hobbs – Climbing – £1,000.  First year Sport Science (Outdoor Activities) student.  Luke has previously competed in National climbing competitions in both lead and bouldering.

Dean Horrell – Kayaking – £2,000. First year, GB Junior freestyle team selection (11th overall) and youngest ever BCU Level 1 coach. Dean is studying Sport Science (Outdoor Activities)

Hh Louise Powell – Weightlifting - £3,000. First year Sport Science student Hh has represented Great Britain and England at Regional, National, and International level.  She only missed out on representing GB at the 2012 Olympic Games and England in the Commonwealth in 2014 due to serious injuries sustained in the run up.  She aims to make the Rio Olympics in 2016 and is a podium prospect for the 2018 Commonwealth games.

Fraser Ashman – Athletics - £1,500. First year Sport Science student Fraser is current Scottish and Cheshire U20 Championships Gold Medal holder in Discus, Shot put and Javelin.   She has represented Scotland in four International events and has won 12 gold medals in Scottish Championships over all.

In addition, one SSHES student, Kelly Baldwin – Sport Science, has been awarded an Excellence Scholarship in recognition of her achievements at A Level. She received A in Maths, A in Welsh, D* for a BTEC in PE as well as passing the Welsh Baccalaureate.  Kelly, from Old Colwyn, is a former pupil of Ysgol Bryn Eilian.  

Kelly photographed outside the George Building, home to SHES

Careers Talks in SHES

Throughout October, Professor Christian Cook arranged a series of talks by visiting speakers from a number of elite sport and performance squads across the UK.  Speakers came along to talk about their career progressions and pathways with a particular emphasis on vocation focus for our students. They are also very good examples of how it is possible to continue academic education alongside a career development.

On 2 October - James Silver – one of SSHES Masters students gave a talk on his summer work experiences with Bath Rugby and England Rugby Camp.  James graduated in July 2014 with a BSc from SSHES and is now undertaking a Masters with us. He was Christian Cook’s research student in his third year and as an extension of that Christian arranged summer work experience in rugby for him.

On 9 October - Ben Pollard (English Elite Rugby Squad sport scientist) talked about his career development leading to where he is today.   Ben graduated BSc from Bath University, then spent time as an intern in New Zealand at the Blues S15 franchise. He also spent time with Bath Rugby as a Sport and Conditioning intern before landing a role as Sport and Coditioning and sport scientist at Saracens. From there he was appointed to a position in the English Rugby Union and has subsequently progressed to his current role. He is undertaking a MPhil with Christian and Ross Roberts.

The latest talk on 16 October was given by Joseph Agu who is currently a performance nutritionist in the English Institute of Sport in charge of British Athletics. Joe did a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science and a Masters in Sports Nutrition at University of Chester and also runs his own consultancy in performance nutrition. He is currently undertaking a PhD with Prof Christian Cook.’ 

Top SSHES student, Ben Jones, is now in the running for Top Student in the UK!

Ben has been successfully entered into BASES dissertation of the year award

This summer’s graduating Sport Science student, Ben Jones, achieved the award for the Best Research Project in the Sports Psychology and Motor Control and Learning category. It now appears that his winning potential is set to continue because his excellent research is being considered by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Scientists for their Top Dissertation in the UK award. Ben’s is also currently preparing this research project for publication in the internationally recognised Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal; this is an official journal of the European Federation of Sports Psychology (FEBSAC).

It was this quality of dissertation and Ben’s research ethic that led to his successfully being awarded a very prestigious PhD position on the joint project between Dr Gavin Lawrence and Professor Lew Hardy, of the School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Sciences, and The ECB. This funded, 4 year, PhD will enable Ben to play a pivotal role in aiding develop the talent identification programme and procedures for English elite Cricketers, whilst also investigating the important caveats of Super Elite Performance in Cricket. We wish Ben every success in both his PhD and the upcoming BASES Top UK Dissertation award.

SHES Graduation Prizes and Awards 2014

Sarah Smythe

Each year the School presents the Sarah Smythe Award to the graduating student who achieves the highest overall mark within the School.  The award is made in memory of Sarah Smythe who was an undergraduate and postgraduate student within the School who sadly, died in October 2000.

This year the Sarah Smythe award goes to first class honours graduate Katie Hyslop.

Katie will receive her award at the Graduate Tea following the Graduation ceremony on 18 July and her name will be inscribed on the slate wall plaque, sited in the main foyer of the George Building.  She joins previous winners such as Dr Jamie Macdonald and Dr Andy Cooke. 

Other School prizes and awards, which will be presented at the Graduation Tea on 18 July, are as follows: 

Undergraduate Highest Overall Project Awards

Courtney Lightfoot receives the Undergraduate Project Award for the highest overall mark in a Physiology project.  This award was initiated in 2011 to reward excellence in Physiology and is generously sponsored by Yakult.

The School Undergraduate Project Award for the highest overall mark in a Psychology project was also initiated in 2011.  This year's award jointly goes to Ben David Jones and Katie Hyslop

Postgraduate Taught Awards

Postgraduate Taught awards were inaugurated by the School in 2012 to mirror the Undergraduate awards.  They recognise and reward excellence by SHES Masters students. There are three awards and this year's award winners are:

Alex Carswell and Freya Glendinning jointly receive the award for achieving the highest overall mark.

Freya Glendinning receivse the award for the highest overall mark in a Psychology/Motor Control project.

Alex Carswell and Joel Chidley joint receive the award for the highest overall mark in a Physiology project.

Congratulations on to everyone on their excellent degree results.

BASES Conference Success

SHES final year student, Ben Jones, won the Best Undergraduate Verbal Presentation award at the recent BASES Student Conference 2014 (8/9 April).

Ben’s presentation was on ‘Narcissism, not motivational climate, predicts moral disengagement and anti-social behaviour in sport’.  Many congratulations to Ben on his success. (11 April 2014)

Rugby success for University Sport Student

A student from the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences is looking forward to winning his first cap for his country.

Ben Stelmaszek, 21, who was bought up in Manchester, is currently studying a degree in Sport, Health and Physical Education. He has been selected for the Wales Rugby League Student squad to take place in a home countries tournament being held at Nottingham University from April 12th to April 18th.

SHES Masters Students support the ’Island Race’, Anglesey Half Marathon

Two SHES MSc students, Tammy Lewis Jones and Sam Green, have been working with Island race organisers, Always Aim High, to write training programmes for aspiring competitors to run the half marathon course in a certain times.  Tammy and Sam are linked to Always Aim High as part of the University’s Access to Masters scheme (ATM).  Always Aim High Events Manager, Rob Samuel is also an ex-SHES graduate, GB mountain runner and local running legend. The race, run on Sunday, 2 March, saw a record breaking 1,100 runners taking part. Tammy and Sam will also be doing some hydration/body composition analysis at the upcoming Snowdonia Slateman Triathlon event, to be held on 18 May.

Click here for Island race results

Dr John Robert Jones Prize 2013

First class honours graduate Claire Griffith-McGeever has been chosen as one of three recipients of the Dr John Robert Jones Award for 2013. This Award confers considerable distinction on the recipient and is the University's most prestigious prize.

Claire has been awarded the only prize in the Welsh Students Category after achieving the highest overall average mark by a Welsh student.

The prize was instituted by means of bequest made to the University under the will of the late Dr John Robert Jones of Hong Kong, and is awarded annually to a student whose academic performance is judged to have been particularly meritorious in that year.

Many congratulations to Claire on her success.

Exercise Your Mind - Beneficial Effects of Exercise

SHES student, Jake Steed, developed depression during his teens, but is now creating a film to promote the benefits of physical activity on mental health. Jake exercises five times a week, and has found respite from depression through his gym routine. Since regularly exercising, Jake has noticed benefits in his ability to study and to socialise. With the help of Fixers, Jake is creating a video presentation which he will deliver to schools in his area of Wales. Jake's story was also featured on ITV Wales News.

For the full story, click here.

SHES Student Appointed to New Group to Shape Future of Welsh Sport

Second year SHES student, Jamie Turley, has been appointed as the youngest member of a new Sports Advisory Group.   Jamie has been appointed for his role as Platinum Young Ambassador and champion of sport for youngsters.  He is already a prominent member of the Welsh Young Ambassador Steering Group and joins leading figures from business, health, communications, education and leisure.  The first of its kind, the group is tasked with developing new strategic thinking to help broaden sport's appeal amongst the less active.  Supported by Sport Wales, the group will report on its findings and recommendations to the Sport Wales Board and government officials. The findings will seek to benefit the whole sector, providing guidance for improved delivery against a backdrop of continued reductions in resources.

Jamie's role as a Young Ambassador has given him some unique opportunities, including coaching primary and secondary 5x60 sessions, work experience at a top Italian football club and the honour of being an Olympic torchbearer in 2012. He now wants to offer the young person's view in sport across Wales, with experience of both grassroots and national sporting forums.

"I wanted to join the group to share my passion for sport in Wales, representing a current young person's view to a wider influential audience. The aim is to be the best we can be, shaping welsh sport fuelled by passion. My passion for Sport has been prominent throughout my life and this group represents a platform to share it. The dreams of welsh sport are big and it is a privilege to play a part of making them a reality."

Congratulations to Jamie for this achievement. 

Click here for more information, or you can check out the group page here.

Further success for SHES PhDs

Congratulations are due to Justin Lawley who gave a talk in Lake Louise, Canada on Saturday (2 March 2013). Justin was presenting some of his PhD work at Hypoxia 2013, an altitude conference. Not content with having a presentation in the hot topic section, he also got second prize in the best oral presentation category. You may be surprised to hear that he was noted "for his clarity and concise presentation of a complicated topic" - pretty good for a man who we all know loves to talk!

Congratulations to Rosie Poynor who has been awarded the top Drapers' Company medal for outstanding postgraduate contribution to Bangor University. This is a prestigious award taking into account the quality of a student's research, teaching, and service to the University and community. There was a very competitive field of applicants from final year PhD students across the University (21.2.13).

SHES Student wins PhD Award

Bethany Diment has won the PhD award for her presentation on Nutrition and the Immune Response to Exercise at a recent Rank Prize Funds mini-Symposium on Sports Nutrition.  Bethany, a PhD student supervised by Prof Neil Walsh, Director of the Extremes Research Group, is researching exercise and immune health.  The mini-Symposium was held in Grasmere, Lake District between 19 and 22 November 2012.

The Rank Prize Funds is a charitable organisation which seeks to recognise excellence in specific fields of research and reward innovators for their dedication and outstanding contribution. (27.11.12)

SHES Students Receive Scholarships Awards

Year One students just starting their studies with the School got off to a flying after being successfully awarded various Scholarships from the University. And the winners are.....

SHES Excellence Scholarship

  • Zoe Louise Shingler (BSc Sport Science (Physical Education))
  • Rachel Louise Billington (BSc Sport Science)
  • Sush Faye Richmond (BSc Sport Health and Exercise Sciences)

Bangor Merit Scholarship

  • Clare Barwood (BSc Sport, Health and PE)
  • Carwen Ann Richards (BA Welsh and Physical Education) 
  • Carwyn Daniel Jones (BSc Sport, Health and PE)
  • Cleo Milburn (BSc Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences)

BU Sports Scholarship

  • Lauren Casling (BSc Sport Science)

TOP Scholarships

  • Paul Andrew Williams (BSc Sport Science)
  • David Joseff Hayes (BSc Sport Science (Physical Education))
  • Danial Tomos Jones (BSc Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences)
  • Gwenno Mai Roberts (BSc Sport, Health and PE)  
  • Nicholas Hazelaar (BSc Sport Science)
  • Ryan Hughes (BSc Sport Science (Physical Education))

The recipients will be presented with their awards by the Pro VC at an evening reception to be held on Tuesday, 13 November 2012.  Congratulations to all. (30.10.12)

Niamh Reilly, SHES PhD, student to be Special Olympics GB Technical Advisor

Niamh Reilly, who is studying for a PhD funded by Mencap Cymru, has been selected as the Special Olympics Great Britain Technical Advisor for the Motor Activity Training Programme (MATP). This programme is described by Special Olympics as being "....designed for athletes with severe or profound intellectual disability who are unable to participate in Official Special Olympics sport competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities. The Motor Activity Training Programme is designed to prepare athletes with severe or profound intellectual disability, including athletes with significant physical disabilities, for sport-specific activities appropriate for their abilities".

Niamh's role will require her to shape the entire national MATP by producing a development and strategy plan, as well as providing continual coaching and technical information, delivering MATP workshops throughout the UK, coach/ athlete/volunteer support, organising regional and national events for MATP and sitting on a panel of experts who will be responsible for structuring the Motor Activity Training Programme for the thousands of athletes with severe or profound intellectual disabilities that are coached through Special Olympics across Great Britain.

Many congratulations to Niamh on this significant achievement.

Click here to view Niamh's profile bio on the Special Olympics GB web site:

SHES PhD student, Samantha McElligott works with Outlook Expeditions to make sure that young people get the most out of their expeditions.

The research with Bangor University has been conducted under the KESS (Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships) programme. The aim of KESS is to provide the support that knowledge based industries need to enable them to grow. The programme provides access to expertise within universities while also providing research training and post graduate education in a specialist area to a student, who then has valuable skills and knowledge.

Samantha's work aims to measure the benefits of overseas expeditions as a positive developmental experience for young people.  During the first year of the research project, over 800 15-19 year olds were involved in summer expeditions with Outlook, one of the leading providers of expeditions for young people in the UK. Using questionnaires, the feedback then allowed Samantha to examine the effect of leadership behaviours on aspects such as participants' self-esteem, teamwork and communication.

The results have so far been very positive; demonstrating that Outlook's Expeditions have a positive and significant impact on the participants' self-esteem, leadership skills, levels of responsibility, teamwork and communication skills.


High-risk Sport Research

Two SHES students, Alexandra MacGregor (currently studying for a PhD) and Dominika Kupciw (MSc 2010/11) have had an article published in the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) magazine. The article, published in the Spring 2012 issue of The Sport and Exercise Scientist, highlights the advances, practical implications, and future directions in high-risk sport research. In the article Alexandra and Dominika outline the findings from both of their MSc studies.

Vodafone Scholarship allows SHES student to strengthen the existing Partnership with Mencap Cymru

Jade Mottley, a Year 3 Sport Science student with the School has been successful in obtaining a student scholarship from Vodafone that gives her the opportunity to work with charity Mencap Cymru.

The Vodafone World of Difference programme is about spending time making a difference for a dream charity whilst getting paid. The programme offers 500 scholarships and past winners have lent their considerable expertise to diverse causes like children and young people, the environment, animal welfare, poverty relief, health and the arts.

Following a review of her proposal and a round of interviews, Jade has been successful in being awarded one of the 500 scholarships and will be working for the charity Mencap Cymru for the next four months for 15 hours a week. Mencap is the leading voice of learning disability and works with people with a learning disability to change laws, challenge prejudice and support them to live their lives as they choose.

The project that Jade will be working for is project 'Play our Way'. This is a BBC Children in Need project aimed at supporting young people with a learning disability to socialise independently, gain new skills and form friendships. The role that she will have within the project is to support the project Ambassadors to access a range of specialist/ mainstream activities. She will be supporting young people with leisure activities including dance, football archery and trips out to the cinema for two evenings a week and will lead team building activities for two Saturdays a month. 

This new link with Mencap Cymru adds to the already successfully secured ESF funding for the KESS PhD scholarship and the Access to Masters (ATM), both supervised by Dr Gavin Lawrence.

SHES Olympic Torch Bearer

Jamie Lee Turley, a Year One Sports Science (Outdoor Activities) student has been selected to carry the Olympic torch in its round Britain relay. Jamie was nominated as a result of being a young ambassador at a local and national level. (Feb 2012)

Jamie Turley seen here with Olympic Silver Medallist (2008), Jamie Baulch.

SHES PhD supports England U-19 Cricket Team on Bangladesh Tour

ECB funded PhD student, James Bell, will be travelling with the England U-19 cricket team on their upcoming tour of Bangladesh. This is a crucial part of the U-19's preparation for next year's World Cup in Brisbane, Australia. The team will be playing seven One Day Internationals in three different venues.

During the tour James will be working with the players on their mental preparation strategies to develop their ability to perform under the intense pressure of international competition. Bangladesh has been specifically chosen as a venue because of the many challenges it will provide for the players on and off the pitch. As a result James will work closely with the coaches to ensure that opportunities are taken to enhance the player's mental toughness. (Jan 2012)

SHES Research helps local company become market leaders

Bethesda-based Blizzard Protection Systems Ltd, are market leaders in the field of out-door thermal survival products partly thanks to research carried out by Dr Sam Oliver and PhD student Jenny Brierley of the University’s Extremes Research Group. Blizzard’s Managing Director, entrepreneur and inventor Derek Ryden commissioned tailored research into how effective the company's innovative material Reflexcell™, is in directing escaping body heat back into the body, preventing or delaying the onset of hypothermia in extreme conditions.  This has given Blizzard important information to help them market their products more effectively.

For the full story, click here.