Darren Roberts & Faye Downey – Award Winning High Performance Team

By peakfitness | July, 14, 2013 | 0 comments

Darren presented ‘Extreme Sports Athletes – Creating The Performance Playground’ at the Sports Analytics Innovation Summit which was held at The Oval cricket ground in London. The speakers were all from the very top level in sport globally and Darren was honoured to be asked to present alongside them. Darren was concerned that his non traditional approach to high performance would not be well received, but the organisers said that was EXACTLY why they wanted him there, to rattle cages and shake things up.

Read Darren’s abstract of the presentation;


If it can be measured, it can be improved. That’s certainly a mantra I’ve heard many times and even used myself. In terms of what can be measured and how – things have moved on at an exponential rate in the collection of data and the tools used to do so. Sports science has it’s map of the performance world, but what about the individual athlete’s map of their own performance world? Whether its sport or business, is perception greater than reality? Do we consider athletes as people or simply a series of data points and key performance indicators to be manipulated in an effort ‘improve performance’? In this presentation I shall explain some of the challenges we face with our athletes, how we support and encourage them – and how that might impact their performance.

It was a packed two days for both the speakers and the 200 attendees at the top level in sport from UK and Europe. There were also various awards during the summit, the catagories and winners were;

High Performance Team of The Year – Darren & Faye!
Sports Analytics Technology of the Year – Infostrada Sports
Sports Analytics Research Institute of The Year – Prof Steven Haake & CESR at Sheffield Hallam

The judging panel consisted of;

Scott Drawer, Head of Research & Innovation, UK Sport
Karl Cooke, Sports Science Manager, LTA
Ben Smith, Head of Development Performance Systems, Chelsea FC
Marco Cardinale, Head of Sports Science & Research, BOA

Darren & Faye were both surprised and overjoyed at winning the award, a fanstastic endorsement and recognition of the amazing work they both do with an incredibly challenging athlete group.

Looking through the list below, its clear how world class the summit was and Darren was humbled to be asked to present alongside them. The list is in order of the presentations over the two days;

The CARI Initiative: The story behind the US Olympic Committee’s quest for new sport knowledge
Peter Vint — Sr. Director, Research at US Olympic Committee

Player Welfare & Team Performance
Andy Shelton — Head of Sports Science at Leicester Tigers

Extreme Sports Athletes – Creating the Performance Playground
Darren Roberts — High Performance Manager at Red Bull

The Role of Analytics and Performance Systems in Player Development
Ben Smith — Head, R&D. & Prfm Systems at Chelsea FC

Analytics and the Olympics: The Development of Performance Analysis Systems for Elite Sport
Steve Haake — Director, Research at CSER

Lifetime Injury Prevention: The Sport Profile Model
Nick Webborn — Chief Medical Officer at Paralympics GB

The Current Issues and Applications of Analytics in Sport
Marco Cardinale — Head of Research at BOA

Evidence-Based Practices in Leadership
Simon Wilson — Manager, Strategic Performance at Manchester City FC

The Pursuit of Innovation in the Premier League
Tony Strudwick — Head of Sports Science at MUFC

Performance Sport and the Era of Big Data
Scott Drawer — Head of Research at UK Sport

Beyond Moneyball: Evidence-Based Coaching Not Just Statistics-Led Recruitment
Bill Gerrard — Technical Consultant at Saracens RUFC

Analysing & Influencing – The Application of Analytics in Super League
Giles Lindsay — Head of Analysis at Leeds Rugby

Management in High Performance Sport
Mike Whittingham — Director, High Performance at SIS

Preparing for Euro 2013
Phil Worrall — Senior Football Analyst at The FA

Perception, Knowledge and Big Data
Michael Bourne — Head of Sports Science at England Cricket Board

2012 & Beyond
Tim Jones — Director, Performance at British Gymnastics

Paint by Numbers: How Data is Enhancing the NFL Gameday Experience
Alicia Rankin — Director, Research at NFL

More information on the summit can be found here –

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