August 10, 2020, by Charlotte Gauja
Meet our Performance Director: Alex Perry
Elite athletes studying at the University of Nottingham benefit from a world-class sporting experience combined with an education from a global top 100 University.
Our vision for sport is ambitious and student athletes join a proud history of sporting success. Our students and alumni have gone on to win Olympic, World and Commonwealth gold and we’re committed to developing the talent of the future. Director of Performance, Alex Perry, leads the performance programme, we caught up with him to find out more about the work his team does and why he is passionate about student sport.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your sport story
My journey in sport has taken me from being an athlete and coach at international level through to managing and developing others and leading sports programmes. I was fortunate enough to be in the senior national team for table tennis for 13 years, with a highlight of my career being winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in front of our home crowd.
Why did you chose to work in performance sport…
There is a clarity and simplicity about performance sport that really helps you learn those key life lessons and life skills. My passion is to use the experiences I gained from performance sport to help others on their sporting journey to climb their mountain, whatever that mountain might be and to learn and develop in the process. Working with athletes who are driven, committed, inspired and passionate about what they do is something that I regularly reflect upon and am thankful for. As a previous student at the University of Nottingham I had first-hand experience of balancing studies and international sporting commitments, and I am a firm believer that the two can successfully run alongside each other. In fact our scholar academic performance sits above the university average in terms of undergraduate degree outcomes.
How long have you been at University of Nottingham sport
I have been in the role of Assistant Director of Sport (performance) for 6 years and have seen a huge development in both the quality of the sports facilities and the quality of support for our students. My role involves leading the team of coaches, sports science and sports development staff to provide outstanding support to our clubs and scholarship athletes, helping students to improve their performance in BUCS and other national and international competitions. As a team we are proud to have moved into 2nd position in the BUCS rankings, winning more team and individual medals than ever before, and are extremely excited about the future for sport at Nottingham.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The most enjoyable aspects of my role are without doubt to work with a staff team who are passionate and committed about helping our students to develop, see success in their sport and studies as a result. As a team we are always looking to improve and to forward to the next challenge, but when we receive messages of thanks from students for the support our staff have shown them as they move through their journey, it helps you to stop and reflect on how far the program has come. There are many high points in my time so far at the University. One that does spring to mind is our second hosting of the BUCS Big Wednesday finals in 2019 when we achieved 16 teams in the finals and won 13 of them.
What are you most looking forward to the 2020/21 academic year?
Going into this challenging year, however the format looks, I am most excited about seeing our club and BUCS program provide some much needed excitement, challenge and reward for our student community, enabling them to forge new bonds that last for life.
Find out more about our performance programme here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/performancesport/index.aspx
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