Olympic rider Jonty Evans talks about his road to recovery at Hartpury Conference

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Former Olympic event rider Jonty Evans didn’t have to think twice about accepting an invitation to speak at a showpiece event at Hartpury University, saying: “I love what Hartpury is doing.”

The 2019 Research Conference showcased and celebrated the wide range of research and application of research being carried out by academic staff and postgraduate students at the specialist education institution.

Jonty shared his insights about his journey back into the saddle after sustaining a serious brain injury in a riding fall during a competition.

He was invited to be a keynote speaker at the 2019 Research Conference by Associate Professor Kathryn Nankervis, Manager of the Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance at Hartpury where he is continuing his rehabilitation.

“When Kathryn asked me if I’d like come along to the conference, I didn’t have a moment’s hesitation in saying yes – I love what Hartpury is doing,” said Jonty, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“A big reason for me is the attention to detail, which seems to run through everything that happens at Hartpury. Performances in any sport at a high level are all about attention to detail.

“The research that takes place at Hartpury is really quite incredible and I have learned so much today just by being at the conference.

“I love the ability to learn at Hartpury and I imagine every student has a complete grasp of what they’ve got going on here.

“I’m very lucky in that I receive help and support from the Sports Academy and the Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance, which are two really big areas in my life at the moment.

“For me, the ability to have access to those superb facilities and the expertise of specialist staff at Hartpury is absolutely amazing.”

As well as Jonty, other keynote speakers were Prof Steve Williams (Kings College, London), who discussed ‘How can we measure and manage brain health? Hartpury academic teams shared exciting new research from all subject areas, while workshops showcased the state-of-the-art new facilities, including its new £8.8 million Sports Academy, that Hartpury will utilise in new research projects.

The expertise and experience of lecturers at Hartpury spans all areas of animal and agricultural sciences, and all staff are actively involved in research and knowledge exchange, either as researchers or practitioners.

Research is fully integrated within teaching, with staff research active in the areas in which they teach and many dissertations embedded in larger scale research projects.

All research activity either directly or indirectly informs not only current industry practice but also the curriculum.

Picture: Jonty Evans at the 2019 Research Conference at Hartpury

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