I’d like to welcome everyone to the 8th Sport, Health and Exercise Science Student Thesis Conference (STC). The STC has grown rapidly over the years to the point where it is now one of the highlights of the year for us. Although it is a challenging day for many, the feedback we receive from former students who have been through the STC experience is that the day is one they look back on with a great sense of achievement. Like you, I was once an undergraduate many years ago (I won’t say how many!), and remember very well my first presentation to other students and staff. As is often the case, on that day presentations were ordered based on surname, and yep, with a surname of Abt, that meant I was first! In this particular case I had to present the results of my dissertation to all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students, together with postgrads and staff – around 200 people. To say I was nervous is an understatement. In the end the presentation went well and wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. What I do remember is the enormous sense of achievement I had of having done it. Since then I’ve gone on to give many presentations and learnt a few things along the way that might be of help to you today:

  1. For 3rd years presenting the results of your dissertation, you’ve spent a year of your life learning about and doing your research project – you probably know more about what you’re presenting than anyone else in the room, including many staff! Be confident in that knowledge.
  2. Remember what the audience wants to know from you – why did you do it? How did you do it? What are the implications of the results? If you give the audience that information as clearly as possible, they’ll thank you for it.
  3. No research project is perfect, so don’t worry about it. As staff we’re just as interested in your reasoning, rationale, or justification for doing the project the way you did it, as much as the outcome of what you did.
  4. Give as much support to your fellow classmates as they give to you. It’s great knowing that people are there to support you, but it’s an even better feeling when you know that you’ve helped someone else through a stressful time.

So, from all staff within Sport, Health and Exercise Science, we hope you really enjoy STC2018. We look forward to seeing you rise to the challenge!

Dr Grant Abt

Subject Group Head for Sport, Health and Exercise Science