Sports and Exercise Science student at University of Leeds

Safia Zerdazi

Why did you choose to come to Leeds University to study the above course? 

What attracted me to come to Leeds over other Universities I had been looking at was the campus University and how close it was to the city centre. Being really into sports the sports centre and gym particularly really amazed me when I came for the visit day and it was an image that stuck in my head when I was choosing what university to come to. The students union also really stuck in my head, it was so much more impressive than any others I had seen and was amazed by the amount of opportunities there were going on.

What have been the highlights of the course/programme so far? 

Highlights of being on the Sport and Exercise science course were making so many new friends so quickly as it was such a sociable course. The experience of being in labs or such high quality. Even though it was tough at times the feeling of accomplishment when handing in the dissertation and how proud I felt knowing all the hard work I had put into it was a real highlight for me. At Graduation I was Awarded the Adamson Award for outstanding achievement in Biomechanics. This was a real honour and I felt so proud as Biomechanics had really underpinned my love for Sports Science. 

What is your research project on and what has it involved?

My research project was in the field of Biomechanics and it was looking at footwear. It was looking into whether the minimilst shoes were an accurate representation of actual barefoot running. I collected data in the labs from 6 participants running on a treadmill in a complete barefoot condition, running in a sock and in a minimilst shoe. I collected kinematic (movement data) by placing retro reflective markers on specific anatomical points on the participants body which were picked up by the 13 optoelectronic cameras in the lab through a system called Qualysis. I also recorded force data through a system called Pedar. This is effectively an insole with 99 force transducers in picking up the amount and area of force whilst the participant is running on the treadmill. 

How do you think doing a research project has benefited/will benefit you in the future?

My research project has given my valuable lab skills that are now essential for my Masters project. The research project and all other coursework throughout my 3 years has definitely improved my writing style and technique and my ability to use excel for producing lab reports. Again skills which are now essential for my Masters. In the future I hope to have a job based in the field of Biomechanics so I feel these two main skills will also help me with this future work. I found the topic of my project really interesting and footwear is potentially an area I would like to work in in the future.