Former NFL coach among leading speakers at third annual UCB sports conference

Trailblazing American football coach Phoebe Schecter will be among the guest speakers at an exciting sports conference to be held at University College Birmingham this month.

UCB's annual Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Conference (SPARC) will welcome top professionals from the world of coaching, fitness, physiotherapy and sports nutrition on Friday 31 January.

Now in its third year, the event at McIntyre House is open to current and former UCB students as well as the wider sports industry. The conference aims to link nationally and internationally-leading research to applied practice, offering the chance to hear leaders in sports performance and rehabilitation share their experience and knowledge.

Among the speakers at SPARC 2020 will be Phoebe Schecter, former coach with the Buffalo Bills and one of only a handful of female coaches to have worked professionally in the NFL.

Joining her will be Craig Keegan, former assistant coach of Great Britain’s outstanding gold medal-winning women’s hockey team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Also speaking at the event will be Dr Richard Allison, Performance Nutritionist at Arsenal FC, and Dave Fevre, a physiotherapist who served as Manchester United FC’s senior physio for the famous 1999 treble-winning campaign.

Further speakers include the Society of Sports Therapists chairman Professor Graham Smith, as well as Professor Anne Gates, Founder and Director of Exercise Works.

UCB sports lecturer and event organiser Gareth Bate said: "This will be our third annual SPARC event here at UCB and we wanted it to be bigger and better in every way.

"This year, we feel like we have used the feedback from previous conferences and secured more speakers from a variety of different professional backgrounds.

"There will be networking opportunities, and we will also have some of our students from last year exhibiting their dissertation posters and discussing their work with those on the courses this year."

The event will coincide with the opening of the University's brand new Moss House campus. The site will feature an array of state-of-the-art facilities for students on UCB's sports courses, including a 35-metre indoor running track for assessing speed and performance as well as a cutting-edge gym and strength and conditioning suite.

During the lunchtime break at the conference, a master trainer from Matrix Fitness will also be delivering a practical session in the new facility.

Tickets for SPARC 2020 are available to all current and former UCB students at a reduced rate of £10, while they are also available to external delegates from outside the University for £20. To book, please visit our EventBrite page.

Find out more about our range of courses at UCB's School of Sport and Creative Services here. You can also follow the latest updates from the school on Twitter and Instagram.

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