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Surprise Strength and Conditioning Award for Dr Paul Comfort

Aug 09, 2018

l to r: Paul, Dr John McMahon, PhD student Nick Ripley, MSc student Matt Cuthbert at a conference in Indianapolis
l to r: Paul, Dr John McMahon, PhD student Nick Ripley, MSc student Matt Cuthbert at a conference in Indianapolis

Dr Paul Comfort from the School of Health Sciences is celebrating after winning a prestigious award from the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), the national governing body for strength and conditioning (S&C). Even more surprising is that he didn’t even know his colleague Dr John McMahon had nominated him for it!

The award was one of several announced last week as part of the UKSCA's Excellence in S&C Awards 2018. Paul was unable to attend the ceremony as he was on holiday and unaware of his shortlisting, but was delighted that one of his former students Dr Pete Mundy, who also nominated Paul for the award, collected it on his behalf.

Paul commented on Twitter: “Thank you to the UKSCA for such an honour, which is only possible due to such an amazing team at the University of Salford.”

The S&C Coach of the Year for Education and Research is awarded to an accredited member who has made significant contributions to the education of coaches or who has progressed the profession through research.

Over the last 10 years, Paul has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles, edited several text books and educated hundreds of students. Late last year, he was promoted to Reader at Salford due to his extensive contribution to S&C education and research. He is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences where he is able to share his research into weightlifting biomechanics and athlete performance assessment. Last year, the UKSCA selected him as their representative at the National S&C Association's national conference in Las Vegas and this year he will speak on behalf of the UKSCA at the Australian S&C Association’s national conference in Sydney.

Fellow lecture Dr John McMahon who nominated Paul said: "This is a fantastic achievement for Paul and is testament to his relentless contribution to education and research within the profession. Paul’s weightlifting research is now widely recognised by the international S&C community and due to its applied nature, many practitioners have since implemented weightlifting derivatives into their athletes’ training programmes using the suggested loading paradigms identified by Paul’s studies. Paul also embeds his research into his teaching, which means our students graduate with a comprehensive understanding of the very latest weightlifting techniques used to develop athletes from a variety of sports."

Director of Sport, Exercise and Physiotherapy Dr Steve Atkins added: “This award is outstanding recognition for the work Paul has undertaken to promote teaching and research excellence in the area of strength and conditioning. The University of Salford has an exceptionally high profile in this area and Paul has been an inspirational figurehead to both colleagues and students. Recognition from the pre-eminent professional body for strength and conditioning shows the extremely high regard in which his work is held by both peers and practitioners alike. Congratulations on this success.’’