Dr Mark Faghy is a physiologist and researcher in both applied sport and clinical settings. He has considerable experience in professional football, swimming, athletics and more recently using evidenced-based sport science practices within clinical research investigations.
Mark is currently leading a number of projects in the areas of respiratory and performance physiology and physical activity. Mark is head of the University of Derby’s Human Performance Unit, which provides bespoke sport science support services to athletes and coaches.
Mark’s enthusiasm for research wholly informs his applied work, he seeks to use the innovative teachings of scientific literature to inform evidence-based approaches to adopt an individualised approach that positively influences performance. Throughout the record attempt, Mark will be coordinating an interdisciplinary performance team that will utilise the latest research and techniques to best prepare and support Leigh on this remarkable journey.
Dr Philip Clarke is a Performance Psychologist and is a published researcher in the area sport and exercise. Phil’s PhD centred on performance under pressure, specifically on choking and the yips in elite level sport. Phil focuses his work on the use of performance psychology in the development of skill and performance in high level sport.
Since 2011 Phil has worked at the University of Derby as a lecturer in psychology, where he delivers innovative, research-driven and contemporary lectures to sport and exercise and psychology students.
Phil delivers tailored workshops and one-to-one sessions with athletes and coaches to improve their performance, these have included athletes from novice to world championship medallists. In 2011 Phil ran the length of Ireland; 16 marathons in 13 days, he brings a depth of endurance experience to this event.
Phil will be monitoring Leigh’s mental wellbeing to ensure that the project is kept on track through a concise and thorough programme of strategies and solutions.
Nicky is a Freelance Dietitian and Registered Sport and Exercise Nutritionist with nearly 30 years of experience as a specialist practitioner and lecturer in diet and nutrition for sport and physical activity. Locally, she is well known for her many years working with players and families at Nottingham Forest Football Club as well as supporting many other national teams and Olympians. She is passionate about making scientific theory both practical and accessible to all, and in her role as an Honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham, Nicky’s teaching and research activities focus on health promotion and diabetes management through lifestyle interventions. She is an enthusiast of the British Dietetic Association ‘Work Ready’ initiative and is currently working on novel projects with industry to support health and well-bring in the workplace. Sharing her own enjoyment of food, sport and active pursuits, she encourages and supports others to embrace healthy living and to fulfil their goals and potential.
Ruth Machej has been a practising Sports Therapist since 1998 and is an ex-international standard pole-vaulter. Ruth has a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy and BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy; her cutting edge work has been published in the Strength & Conditioning Journal.
Ruth established Belper Life-Fitness & Performance Physiotherapy in 2010, through which she treats international athletes and enjoys still being a part of high-level sport. Ruth’s experience from her own sporting career shapes her as a Physiotherapist, understanding the frustrations of injury, the disappointments of the body failing, the drive and the desire to succeed.
Bringing to the team considerable experience in Joint mobilisation, Soft tissue release techniques, Acupuncture, Strengthening programs, Sports Massage, and Core stability, Ruth will ensure that Leigh is in peak physical condition for the Fastest Cycle Across Europe.
Anthony “Jem” Jemmett an Army veteran who is currently rebelling against the mob with a ponytail and full on beard! After heading up the Army MTB league he has gone on to set up the cycling based company, Epic Performance. Specialising in all things cycling, endurance based cycling challenges have become ‘the norm’!
After leading a cycling relay team across the US in aid of a military charity, Jem has the knowledge and experience to support Leigh through this Epic event.
He has the mechanical skills to ensure the bike stays running ‘sweet’ for Leigh to generate max power and can fix a puncture quicker than you can read this – he’ll be keeping Leigh on the road for as long his legs can pedal.
Jem’s meticulous planning and ‘techno’ geek side will ensure Leigh has the route sorted, GPS data and Guinness World Record evidence are collated all in a normal days work.
Anything to make sure, the only thing Leigh has to worry about on this challenge is pedalling.
Jahna is a physiotherapist with a vast array of experience ranging from working within major NHS Foundation Trusts in London to working with sports teams and private clients. Jahna’s background of experience in the sporting world include Physiotherapy for the London Marathon, working abroad in winter resorts to assess and treat Ski and Snowboarding injuries, and making history as the Physiotherapist for the first all Diabetic GB Team to enter the DiaEuro Futsall Campionship.
It was gaining a BSc(Hons) in Physiotherapy that lead to undertaking further education in a MSc Applied Sports Nutrition at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Having a sporting background in running, cycling, CrossFit, skiing and climbing Jahna understands the inter-twining link between nutrition, performance and rehabilitation.
Jahna will be in charge of monitoring Leigh’s daily nutrition and hydration intake whilst assessing and treating any musculo-skeletal injury to prevent injury en route.
Kerr McNicoll is a Scottish adventure film maker and photographer with a keen eye for stories, and the people that make them. A Bachelor of Arts in Adventure Media and years of media experience allows him to make documentaries about incredible people and the things they do.
Kerr has a knack for fast and innovative thinking that can be seen on any project and will be entirely necessary in helping the team with day to day tasks. He has built up his skill set through various ventures, and these skills allow him to stand out as a media professional. While filming the whole attempt as part of a larger documentary about Leigh’s life, Kerr will also be making social media content to update everyone about Leigh’s progress along the way.
I recently spoke on a panel with the record-breaking team, from which delegates took away lessons learned on an elite sports project that could be directly applied to achieving their own personal and business goals
On the 18th of October it was my pleasure to take 70 business owners and senior managers behind the scenes of my record-breaking fastest cycle across Europe, in a keynote speech about delivering a world-class performance