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UKSI and UEL unite to share experiences of working in high performance sport with students

08 January 2024

The UK Sports Institute (UKSI) and University of East London (UEL) have been working together in the last six months to produce a series of guest lectures to UEL students, bringing to life the range of jobs on offer in high performance sport.

Students at the University of East London

The activities are part of an exploration of how the UKSI and UEL might work together in the future to contribute towards making job opportunities in high performance sport more accessible to all.

The UKSI employs around 400 people across the country in a range of performance support roles across areas such as sports science, medicine and data roles, with a focus on enabling Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to excel.

Director of Communications and Partnerships at the UKSI, Tash Carpenter, explained: “We are excited to be working with UEL to share with some of their students the broad range of roles that exist in sport and, from our perspective, in high performance sport.

“We hope that by working closely with the University of East London and their students over the coming months and years, we can increase awareness of and access to some of the fantastic careers we offer.

“This is the first part of what we hope will be an exciting working relationship with UEL and we are exploring what we might be able to achieve. This relationship will supplement the other projects and plans we have to make the UKSI a more inclusive and diverse place to work.”

Diversity is one of the defining features of UEL, with the university’s vision and mission firmly focused on social mobility and careers-first outcomes.

Hilary Lissenden, Assistant Chief Operating Officer for Sport & Active Campus, says the developing collaboration with UKSI is a perfect fit: “We have a strong sports offer at UEL, and our students have a wealth of talent. However, due to background or circumstance, they’ve not always enjoyed equitable routes into – or even been aware of – the range of job opportunities that exists in high performance sport.

“We’re therefore delighted to join forces with UKSI, as an organisation showing a clear and authentic drive towards a more diverse workforce in the sector. I’m confident that our staff and students will benefit from UKSI’s expertise, as we explore together how those aspiring to a career in sport might best be supported into the delivery of elite performance support services.”

The first joint initiative has been a series of guest lectures at UEL, with students hearing from Director of HR Jaqui Perryer, Technical Lead & Senior Performance Lifestyle Coach Marcia Bailey, Performance Innovation Consultant Dave Thomas, Safeguarding Lead Ieuan Watkins and Director of Clinical Governance & Paralympic Chief Medical Officer Dr Pippa Bennett. The aim has been to bring to life some of the roles that the UKSI offers, and ultimately encouraging students to consider a career in high performance sport.

The countdown is on to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games that take place later this year in Paris. The UK Sports Institute will be supporting sports and athletes in the build up to the Games, as well as having a large number of practitioners on the ground in Paris.

Find out more about the University of East London (UEL).

Find out more about the UKSI’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work.