The USA Falcons, the women’s 15 developmental team who compete in domestic and international tournaments outside the main HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, recently selected Swansea University’s sporting facilities to train during their visit to Wales.
As part of their week here, students studying the university’s Sport and Exercise Sciences degree were also given the chance to gain experience with the team by completing a work placement to enhance their learning experience.
Huw Bevan, Director of Performance at USA Falcons, commented:
“I would like to thank Swansea University for allowing us to use its facilities, Professor Liam Kilduff for assisting with the recruitment of the students and the students who assisted us, Rosie Newman, Gwellaouen Labriere, Charlie Rowley and James Forsyth who were a credit to the University.
“The Falcons team consisted of players and staff that are primarily based in the UK. This means that we were relying on less staff than we usually would for a team assembly. Being able to utilise the students from Swansea University to provide support in several roles, from logistical support to S&C and Sports Science, was extremely beneficial for the team. The fact that the week ran so smoothly, and we were able to create an excellent training environment for the players, was due to the maturity and professionalism of the students that were involved.”
Liam Kilduff, Professor at Swansea University said:
“Having the USA falcons training here at the university for the week is testament to the world class sporting facilities we have here. In addition, we pride ourselves on developing students with the core skills required to work in an elite sport environment and this placement opportunity enhanced this learning for our students.
“I know from speaking with the students the experience was invaluable in terms of getting to apply some core sport science skills in an elite sporting environment and the learning from working alongside such an experience practitioner like Huw”.
James Forsyth, third year Sport and Exercise Sciences student at Swansea University, said:
“The placement has given me a practical insight into what I have learnt in lectures and labs and how this knowledge is used in a real-life, elite environment.
“I have always wanted to work in elite performance and being part of that environment and understanding the roles and responsibilities has provided an insight into what I would like to do. The experience also gave me skills and contacts that would benefit me post-graduation”.