University Graduate Helps Coach National Lacrosse Team to European Title
A University of Worcester graduate and sports coach has helped a national team to European championship success.
James Evans is the strength and conditioning coach for the England Lacrosse Women’s Under 19s side, who triumphed at the Women’s Under 20 European Championships in Katowice, Poland defeating the Czech Republic 12-3 in the final.
He works as a Strength and Conditioning Technical Demonstrator in the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, alongside studying at the University for his Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.
“To be part of my first tournament was an exciting experience,” said the 25-year-old. “The tournament was very full on so we were busy throughout and it was exciting to be part of the inaugural Championships. Whilst we were favourites for the tournament, this meant the pressure was on us to win, which brought its own challenges and making sure we kept the girls focused on the processes of playing and recovering was a task for all the staff.”
James completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Worcester in Sports Coaching Science in 2014, then remained at Worcester to do a Masters in Applied Sports Science, which he completed in 2016.
He is a UKSCA Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach and currently provides strength and conditioning support to a number of University of Worcester teams and to several external high performing athletes, as he has done for the last six years. He also assists with the programmes for professional sides owned by the University, the Worcester Wolves basketball team and Severn Stars netball team. Alongside his role with England Lacrosse, James is also Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Worcester Rowing Club.
As Strength and Conditioning Coach for the England Under 19s, James was responsible for the team’s physical preparation. He has had this role for nearly two years, but this was his first time supporting them at a tournament. He now hopes to travel with them to the World Championships in Canada next year. James got the role through a member of staff who put him in contact with the then team manager, which led to a trial session in front of the coaches.
“My role was to primarily make sure the players were in fighting shape for every game, which was another challenge in itself as we played seven games in the space of eight days,” said James. “Using a number of methods including ice baths, pool recovery sessions, and stretch sessions, as well as ensuring hydration and nutrition were ideal, I, the physio and coaching staff managed to keep the injuries to a minimum to allow the girls to compete at their best throughout each game. Alongside this, I led warm ups and cool downs to prepare the girls for the games ahead and recover from the games they had just played. Throughout the whole tournament, the players showed an excellent attitude and commitment to completing all the sessions we asked them to and worked very hard to get the gold. This competition was also great preparation for the World Championships.”
There are a limited number of places available to start in September 2018 for well-qualified applicants.