Europe’s Solheim Cup stars had LJMU’s own Amy O’Donnell to thank for the amazing energy levels that brought women’s golf’s top trophy home.
The Master’s in Sport Nutrition student worked behind the scenes to ensure Leona Maguire, Catriona Matthew and co wouldn’t feel under par at the US-Europe competition in Toledo, Ohio.
Amy (pictured 3rd from left) was among a group of LJMU students on placement with The European Tour.
She said: “It was amazing to feel part of the Tour and to make a real contribution to the health and performance of the players.
Hotel menus to energy balls
The Master’s students, were involved at every stage of the player’s eating regime, adjusting the hotel menus, providing on-course snacks and smoothies and creating educational signage and infographics for the players.
“I was really keen they understood things like on course fuelling, hydration, recovery and they were really open and appreciated all our advice.
“I also requested that the staff made sure all food was labelled and to make sure the right players got the right foods if they needed gluten free or whatever.
During the play, Amy and her pals made energy balls and smoothies for the players and caddies to take out onto the course.
“Players would sometimes radio on the course to get more smoothies out to them or energy balls and I would take them out to them straight away, so they enjoyed them!
So what did they eat on the tees and greens?
“Stuff like oats, peanut, almond, nut butter, almond milk, Greek yoghurt, honey, chia seeds, dark chocolate chips, mixed berries, mango and pineapple!
“Catriona Matthew (Europe team captain) and several members of the European team thanked me many times and said what a good job I had done!
“It was fabulous to be on the course to see the winning putt and be part of Team Europe’s celebrations which is something I won’t forget!”
Professor of Sport Nutrition Graeme Close said: "What an experience for the students! They've learned so much and really come of age."