The UWTSD Academy of Sport aims to support students involved in high-performance sports to maintain and develop their performance.
Students will have access to the expertise of the University’s sports, health and fitness team which will provide a programme of activities to assist them to reach their sports goals. These will include coaching for technical and skills training, strength and conditioning, nutrition and diet, sports therapy as well as lifestyle management.
Martyn Bowles, Jonathan Garcia, Geraint Forster, and Richard Thomas will be joining the Academy of Sport as Strength & Conditioning Coordinator, a Football Coordinator, an Individual Sports Coordinator, and a Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Coordinator.
Martyn Bowles will lead the Strength & Conditioning provision for all the student athletes. He is a graduate of the UWTSD Sports Coaching & Performance degree and MSc of Cardiff Metropolitan University. He has 15 years of experience in sports as a player and coach.
Recently he has, alongside his academic achievements where he is a Lecturer at Coleg Sir Gâr and on the UWTSD Sports Coaching & Performance Degree, obtained a FAW/UEFA A Licence / Elite Youth Licence in Football Coaching, highlighting a desire to reach the very top within all disciplines.
“I'm hugely excited by the prospect of being the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for the new UWTSD Academy of Sport. The university's vision to make sport elite within their provision matched my ambitions and it was a no-brainer to take on this role in the next step of my career. I'm really excited to pass on my knowledge gained from international, professional, semi-professional and educational environments. To see players achieving excellence within their sporting disciplines is a huge motivation for me and a challenge I look forward to helping them towards.”
Jonathan Garcia has an extensive knowledge of coaching multi-disciplinary sports over the best part of 25 years. In his focus sport, football, Jonathan is a UEFA A Licence coach, and has been Director of Football at Coleg Sir Gar for 16 years, Academy Director at Carmarthen Town AFC and currently Director of Football at Llanelli Town AFC while also currently in positions as Assistant Manager of the Welsh Schools FA u18 / Welsh Colleges FA u19 International sides.
Coaching is not the only skill that Jonathan will be able to bring to the UWTSD Academy of Sport. His current role at Coleg Sir Gar as Performance Manager, highlights his capabilities to manage successful organisations and/or personnel.
He has been a lecturer on the Coleg Sir Gar / UWTSD Sports Coaching & Performance Degree since 2013 passing on his coaching knowledge to aspiring young student athletes for many years now.
“When this role was advertised it was a no brainer for me to apply. I have been involved in football in the area for 25 years, coaching at every level possible and age group. It seemed the natural step up for me in my career to help benefit those higher education student athletes who want to perform in elite BUCS competitions. I cannot wait to get started!”
Having considerable experience of both personally competing and coaching individual sports for decades, Geraint Forster will bring significant experience to his post as Individual Sports Coordinator. Firstly, he has competed up to international level himself, and can share his experiences with developing athletes. His experience over the years has been predominantly within individual sports – he has coached outdoor sports such as canoeing, kayaking and rock climbing, cycle sports including road and mountain biking, along with swimming, both open-water and pool-based. He has also been involved in coach-education for both British Cycling and the British Canoe Union.
As a current lecturer and programme director at UWTSD, his academic knowledge and interests lie within Exercise Physiology, coaching and training for sport. He has a very current understanding of research in the fields of sports nutrition, exercise programming, load monitoring, technique analysis, performance testing and ergogenic strategies. Thus, be in a strong position to advise and educate student athletes on the various strategies available to them to enhance their performances.
Geraint is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist and qualified to support student-athletes with programming S&C specifically for their sport if required. He will also be able to provide athletes with nutritional support on completion of the taught element of his MSc at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.
Richard Thomas is a Sports Therapy & Exercise Rehabilitation Specialist, a member of The SST with extensive experience in supporting students in sports such as Football, Rugby, Netball, Hockey and Lacrosse extensively in the BUCS leagues.
As a graduate of UWTSD himself, he now enters the next stage of his career looking to provide injury and rehabilitation services for students of the UWTSD Academy of Sport. Richard will combine this role with the teaching his does on the Sports Therapy degree here at UWTSD.
Lee Tregoning, Head of UWTSD Academy of Sport said:
“I'm delighted we have been able to secure staff of this calibre for the UWTSD Academy of Sport. The amount of experience in sport and their impressive coaching credentials will provide a fantastic service and environment for our aspiring athletes whilst they study at UWTSD.”