Cycling Performance Analyst for Team GB, Deborah Sides, age 28 from Bradford, attended Bradford Grammar School (BGS) in Sixth Form. She dropped by the school to let BGS know what she had been up to recently including her journey to Rio 2016 and beyond.
She said: “There are two Analysts for Team GB including myself, so we both attend all the training sessions, travel to all competitions, video the cyclists’ performance and then break this all down, in terms of looking at the times they’re producing, the technical work (so the powers they’re producing on the bikes) and working alongside the team pursuit squads, especially when trying to get that Olympic Gold medal.
“Both the women and men’s teams won Gold at Rio so that’s fantastic news and really exciting to be in a job like this. I remember being stood in the Sixth Form Centre on the day that London got given the London 2012 Olympics and I remember thinking – ‘that’s where I want to work’, and my dream came true, I was at London 2012 and then Rio 2016.”
Deborah studied A Level PE at BGS alongside Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.
She continues: “The School helped me in that I had all the qualifications and experience I needed so I was top of my game when it came to applying for a job, as these jobs are quite rare to come by. I owe a lot to the school, the A Level PE programme was fantastic and I loved every minute of it alongside the Biomechanics side, the movement and physics of sport, it’s all so interesting.”
I also came back to speak to a BGS pupil who’s interested in cycling so it’s lovely to pass all this experience and knowledge on to current BGS pupils.”
As well as studying at A Level Deborah gained a lot of work experience with lots of different sports teams and the same went for University at Bath where she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science. After this she completed a PhD with British Athletics for three years and then British cycling for three years.
“My path was laid out nicely for me, but it’s all about being in the right position and that’s where BGS came into the mix. The teachers also really helped to support me with my work experience and selection of University’s. They treat you as an individual and really tailor support to your needs. Even now the teachers stay in touch and support me and like to know what I’m getting up to – you’re not just a name, they really care about you and your future.
“As a student looking at other Sport Scientists for Cycling I could see that was the pinnacle if you like of what I could achieve with that sort of job, it’s the most successful Olympic Sport so I knew I wanted to reach for that.”
Next up is the 2020 Olympics and Deborah is already preparing the team for success
“So next we’ll be starting all over again for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and looking at different ways of doing the sports analysis to stay at the forefront of Olympic success, constantly thinking of new ideas and we’ll have younger athletes coming in.
It’s also really interesting looking at the opposition, so I also analyse other countries to predict what they’re going to do at the Olympic games so that we can try to be faster and at Rio we were so that’s great and we’re hoping this sets the tone for 2020.”
“I owe a lot to the school, the A Level PE programme was fantastic and I loved every minute of it.”
no images were found