The inaugural Scottish FA Sports Science and Medicine Conference took place at Heriot Watt University on Sunday, 3 December.
It offered a rare chance for the sports science and medicine community in Scottish football to come together, exchange ideas and benefit from the expertise of the speakers around the topic of ‘the challenges of managing sports science and medicine within a performance environment’.
The programme, put together by Scottish FA Head of Performance Graeme Jones also allowed attendees to have their say on the day thanks to a tie-up with Open Audience.
Chaired by Scottish FA Chief Medical Consultant and National Teams Doctor Dr John MacLean, the event kicked off with a talk from Grant Downie, Head of Performance (Academy) at Manchester City on ‘lessons learned in practice north and south of the border over 30 years.
Neil Gibson, Director of Sport, Performance and Health at Oriam, picked up from there with a discussion on ‘developing an effective department’.
Dr Stephen Boyce and Oliver Davies, Doctor and Physiotherapist at Scottish FA and Scottish Institute of Sport, presented on ‘managing conflict: coach and the medical team’.
After a summary of the morning’s events from Dr MacLean, Dr Derick Macleod – Medical Doctor with Team Sky and Scottish FA National Teams Doctor – lectured on ‘Re-Cycling Success’ before passing the baton to Jack Nayler.
The Head of Sports Science at Celtic expanded on the subject of ‘taking the show on the road: the challenges of a first team environment in different countries’.
Scottish FA Performance Director Malky Mackay – who spoke at Thursday’s Convention - delivered a talk on ‘delivering best practice’ before the day wrapped up.
Looking back on an insightful day, Jones said: “I was delighted with the whole day, from start to finish.
“The speakers all lived up to their excellent reputations, delivering enjoyable and interactive presentations.
“The turnout from clubs across the country was fantastic.
“Seventy-five per cent of the delegates were practitioners with less than five years’ working experience so we really were promoting best practice to existing staff and some we may work with in the future.
“The day was a massive success for all involved and I’m looking forward to next year’s Conference already.”