A number of high-profile speakers were invited to share their stories and offer masterclass sessions on various topics within sport science.

Professor Barry Drust

Talk: Playing the Game: Talent identification and development the Liverpool John Moores’ way

Professor Barry Drust

Barry Drust is Professor in applied exercise physiology at LJMU, with a vast knowledge in the physiology of intermittent exercise and temperature regulation. He continually strives to break down the barriers between scientists and practitioners, working directly with football clubs to gain a deeper understanding of the professional game. 

Since 2009, Barry has worked as Sports Science Consultant for Liverpool Football Club and in 2012 he took on a similar role for the England Men’s Senior Football Team. He gained his BSc (Hons) and PhD at Liverpool John Moores University and has also worked at University of Durham and the University of Teeside, which included working with Middlesbrough FC.

Dr Adam Coldwells

Talk: TBC

Adam Coldwells

Graduated from Liverpool Polytechnic in 1990 with a BSc (HONS) first class. I then undertook a study into circadian rhythms, ageing and physical activity under the supervision of Tom. 

I graduated with a PhD with this work in 1996. I moved up to Aberdeen in 1996 when my wife, Christine, got a job in the University. I imagined I would, sooner or later, get a job in the University and follow an academic career …. meantime as we moved up to Scotland we had our first child and so the need for me to earn money was very important! 

I got a job in the NHS helping staff to design and analyse clinical audit studies. Nearly 20 years later I have had an incredibly rewarding career in the NHS. Following some new Scottish legislation last year I have been working on the Integration of Health and Social Care within my local Council area and now work between both the NHS and the Council trying to ensure we maximise the welfare of our citizens in a time of unprecedented growth in demand and a diminishing envelope of resource.

Dr Una May

Talk: From lab rat to investigator - my journey in anti-doping (and beyond)...

Una May

Director of Participation and Ethics, Irish Sports Council Una commenced working with the Irish Sports Council in 1998.

She was Director of Anti-Doping up until 2013 and is now Director of Participation and Ethics, with a responsibility for the development of Participation in Sport through the Local Sports Partnership Network and the National Trails Office. Her Ethics remit includes both Anti-Doping and General Ethics and Best Practice in Sport. She has a PhD in exercise physiology (1996) and a BSc (Hons) in sports science (1991) from Liverpool John Moores University. She has represented Ireland in both orienteering and mountain running. 

Una has been an Independent Observer appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency to monitor the anti-doping programmes at a number of World Championships and Olympic Games. She is a Lay Representative on the Board of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons.

Prof Frank Sanderson and Vaughan Thomas

Talk: The Early Years

Vaughan Thomas

Frank Sanderson was one of the team that launched the Sports Science degree at Liverpool Polytechnic and was admissions tutor in September 1975 when the first students enrolled. He lectured in sports psychology for many years before becoming increasingly involved in management, first as head of the Department of Sports Sciences and then as director of the School of Health Sciences. In 1991, he was awarded a professorship, and after the polytechnic achieved university status, he held a number of senior positions, including University Dean, Director of Liverpool Business School, and at the time of his retirement in 2011, Executive Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor. His current public roles are as a trustee of Liverpool Students Union and as a governor of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

A former county squash player, he is an experienced skier, an improving golfer and an enthusiastic gardener. 

Frank has been an active family and local history researcher since the 1970s and has written two books since stepping down: Life and Times in Victorian Weardale: The Letters of Francis Vickers (2012) and Life in the Northern Dales: Stories from a Farming Family (2014).

As a physical educator, Vaughan Thomas dreamed of providing the first academic sports course in the UK, rather than PE teacher training. Fresh from his own sports science PhD (a UK first for a physical educator) in 1971 Liverpool gave him that opportunity. With finance from John Moores in 1972 he established a sports science lab, and appointed Tom Reilly as research assistant for a three year project with Everton FC. That was the beginning of the present wonderful research programme. Vaughan will be joining Frank Sanderson reminiscing about the early years.

Prof Don MacLaren

Talk: TBC

Don MacLaren

Don is an emeritus professor of Sports Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University, which is a testimony to his many publications on the subject in journals and books as well as his presentations at scientific and coaching conferences. He has been research active since 1980 in the fields of carbohydrate and fat metabolism, nutritional ergogenic aids, and applied aspects of sports nutrition. 

He was chair of the BASES ‘Sports Nutrition Interest Group’ and a member of the working party on sports nutrition accreditation; a joint initiative between BASES, Nutrition Society, the BOA, and dietitians. He was secretary of the ‘physiology section’ of BASES and is an accredited physiologist with the BOA. A consequence of the work undertaken has resulted in two prestigious fellowships being awarded i.e. FBASES and FECSS. Don has been nutritional consultant with Liverpool F.C., Derby County F.C., Colchester United F.C., Hull F.C., Wigan Athletic F.C., Sunderland F.C., Sale Sharks R.U.F.C, and Northampton Saints R.U.F.C. Currently he is nutritional advisor to Everton FC and Bolton Wanderers FC. Don has undertaken significant contracted research with such companies as Novartis, Mars, GSK, and Red Bull, and has been responsible for the development of the NutritionX ‘Elite’ range of sports nutrition products. His lecturing duties have resulted in many successful PhD, MSc and BSc students ‘passing through his hands’. 

In addition he wrote, organised, and was programme leader for the BSc Coaching Science degree in the early 1990s – the first coaching science undergraduate programme in the UK. Although retired from full time duties at LJMU in 2010, Don has kept his links by lecturing to final year students and on the MSc programmes as well as helping with research ideas and projects.

Prof Tim Cable

Talk: Building Momentum and Pathways to Excellence

Tim Cable

Tim Cable is Professor of Exercise Physiology at LJMU and also Director of Sports Science at the Internationally renowned Aspire Academy in Qatar.  Tim completed his undergraduate degree at Liverpool Polytechnic in 1984, having been mentored by Professor Tom Reilly during his Honours project.  He then spent a number of years completing his PhD and lecturing Exercise Physiology at the University of Western Australia, Perth.  In 1993 he returned to the Centre of Sport and Exercise Science at LJMU to take up a lecturing post, becoming Head of Centre in 1999. In 2002, Tim received his Professorship and was appointed Director of the newly established School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, LJMU.  Between the years of 1999 and 2012, Tim strategically managed the growth and expansion of the Department, both in terms of student numbers and staff.  He oversaw the development of high quality exciting and applied curricula enriched by world-class research, as well as further enhancing the research culture and environment that permeated the Department form its beginnings in 1975.

Tim’s research area is exercise and cardiovascular adaptations.  He has published 190 research papers, supervised 50 PhD students and acquired over £8m of competitive funding.  He is a National teaching Fellow, and President Elect of the European College of Sport Science.  Despite now working largely in elite sport in Qatar, Tim remains a proud advocate of Sport and Exercise Science at LJMU and the influence it has had on the discipline in both the UK and internationally.

Evening reception and entertainment

Maff Brown, compère

After graduating from LJMU, Brown was hired by Gerrard Houllier's team at Liverpool FC as a technical analyst. After leaving Liverpool he was offered a coaching position in Singapore for Woodlands Wellington. Two seasons later, after losing two games which were shown on television, Brown was paid off. "They wanted me to make a public apology. I refused. You lose games in football. That's life." 

Brown began performing stand-up in 2005 and set up the now cult weekly Outside the Box Comedy Club at the Fighting Cocks pub in Kingston, which very quickly won the prestigious Best Comedy Club Award from Chortle.co.uk – guests at the club have included Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey, Lee Mack, Dara Ó Briain, Jo Brand, Lenny Henry and most notably Robin Williams, to name a few. Brown tours his own material around the UK, including at London’s Comedy Store and the Edinburgh Festival, and has played in Greenwich Village and at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York.

Graeme Park: 30 years on the decks, 20 years on the radio

Whether through his sets, his radio shows, his productions and remixes or simply by getting to know his audience, Graeme has spent over 30 years getting his jocular personality across. He was there before it all started, he was at the forefront of the dance scene when it was at its zenith and he’s still there, still rocking it, years later – longer than some of the people on the dancefloor have been on the planet! And the best thing is he still loves it, still loves the music and still loves to play it for people to dance to.

Jason Isaacs: 'A sax player who sings a bit'

This is probably how Jason would have described himself when he started out, but he can now add recording artist, musician and front man. 

Loved by audiences not only for his fabulous vocals, but an easy ability to charm and a great sense of fun. Backed by the dynamic big-band sound of the Ambassadors of Swing, Jason warmly invites you to share a night of great music. 

Come and join the party with the nation’s favourite self-taught sax player who happens to sing a bit…