Updated: Aug 8, 2022
Connecting people and information so they can make better informed decisions alongside a passion for female performance has driven my career and the choices I have made...
I come from a background in neurophysiology from the University of Liverpool, UK and through my own experience as a track and field 800m athlete and transitioning into exercise physiology found a special interest in understanding the female athlete.
I studied and completed my PhD which dived deeply into the effect of Oestrogen and Progesterone on high intensity physical performance in women. From that 10 years of work at Southern Cross University, Australia, I then got an opportunity as the first physiologist with the US Ski Team, where I worked intensively with the women's teams growing the area of Understanding the Female Athlete. Over my 8 years with the US Ski team I became their Director of Sport Science and alongside many incredible specialists in Coaching, Strength & Conditioning, Biomechanics, Nutrition, Medicine, Physiotherapy and more grew my experience in applying science, data and knowledge to informing decisions to advance human performance. It really does take more than a village, but a community to optimise human performance.
Toward the end of my time working with the US Ski Team I took the journey into parenthood and experienced the pleasure of learning how to become a mother (still learning), juggle the needs of a high performance 'on the road' career and help myself and others achieve special outcomes whilst also seeking balance. I chose to work part time (1-2 days a week when not on the road). I also took the opportunity to teach a little again at Southern Cross University. Enjoying the chance to give back some of my first hand experience and learnings to the next generation of Sports Scientists.
During this period of my life, and embracing balance and family, I chose to head back to the UK. This time to Scotland so my daughter could really know her family. It was at this time I got the opportunity to work for the Scottish Institute of Sport (SIS) as their Head of Physiology. There I had the pleasure once more to work with a whole team across many disciplines and deeply collaborate on ideas and how to bind knowledge together out of data and information. Through this work with the team at the SIS I became the primary driver and architect of the Institute’s National Data Management System. We also had the benefit and pleasure of collaborating with the IT experts from McLaren and from this built their first Athlete Management System (AMS) using Smartabase (By Fusion Sport). After 4 years we were also able to then use that system to implement my core interest area 'Understanding the Female Athlete'.
Over my 40+ years in elite sport at various levels and with a spread of organisations I have found that embracing the complexity of performance optimisation, collating as much data and wholistic contextual information as possible in the hands of a team of people to grow knowledge and create simplified options for enhanced decision making by individuals and coaches is a winning combination.
Having now spent 7 years with Fusion Sport, starting as their smartabase head of product and finding great joy in collaborating with many of my former colleagues around the globe to enhance the product and by virtue of that enhance their outcomes. I gradually progressed as the company grew from 12 to over 120 staff to COO and have been able to add to my physiology and sporting organisation background with IT experience and business accumen. As COO I have been primarily responsible for the ongoing operational development and growth of Fusion Sport overseeing People and Culture, Information Services, Consulting and the Operations team. I have also been able to apply my deep domain and customer knowledge within the executive team in the strategic development and growth of the Fusion Sport Business.
Now, I would like to take the opportunity and reverse that: Applying my new found business knowledge and experience to my area of core experience, expertise and interest and further the understanding of female physiology. I hope to make the knowledge available to the wider population aswell as continuing to provide enhanced tools to the athlete population at all levels. I really feel like the time is right to change the perception of the female performance cycle and make it a true power house of positive change. I would love for this change to fuel Universities and research to change both how and how much research is done releated to women, women's health and women's performance, most importantly from a women's perspective. I hope I live to see some of the knowledge generated change how we think and deliver health with a much more personal, wholistic data and information based model.
Whilst I am focussing on women first, and the female performance cycle within that, I hope that splink will grow into a much wider community & set of tools in the future.