About the UK Strength and Conditioning Association
For a number of years there has been the need for an independent voice which represents the UK strength and conditioning profession.
The UKSCA is the pre-eminent professional body for strength and conditioning practitioners in the UK. Launched in May 2004 with the support of UK Sport, the UKSCA has grown to represent over 2600 members, of whom more than 800 have attained the highly respected “Accredited Coach” (ASCC) standard.
The Association has the following aims:
- To establish and maintain high professional standards for UK strength and conditioning practitioners and facilities;
- The promotion and dissemination of good practice, knowledge and research in strength and conditioning;
- To facilitate communication among UKSCA members;
- To represent the interests of the membership of the UKSCA;
- Through our members, ensure that world class coaching in strength and conditioning is available to athletes at all levels in the UK.
The UKSCA is a not-for-profit, limited by guarantee company and is managed by a voluntary Board of Directors, elected from and by the membership. For biographies of the Board, see below...
Andy Boyd, ASCC
Chair of the Board and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director
Andy is currently head of athletic development and learning at the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), overseeing S&C and nutrition for the performance pathways. He has previously held positions of lead and S&C coach for the SRU and Edinburgh Rugby. Andy is the first director of the UKSCA with specific responsibility for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and feels 'we have the responsibility to create more opportunities and mentors for our members reflecting a modern and diverse sporting population which will drive progressive improvement in our industry'.
Will Abbott, ASCC
Director and Training and Education - Post ASCC
Will has been Academy Performance Manager at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club since 2019, managing a team of 19 full-time S&C, sport science, medical, physiotherapy, psychology and nutrition staff. There he designs and implements science and medical support provided throughout the Academy – from U9 to U23. He has also been the module leader for the ‘Technology in Football’ distance learning course at Anglia Ruskin University since May 2020, responsible for formulating the content, leading the delivery of lecture material, organising practical sessions during the residential week, and holding tutorial sessions throughout the course.
Will completed a PhD in ‘Monitoring and prescription of GPS training load in elite academy soccer athletes’ in 2018. He also has an MSc in sport performance and a BSc in sports and exercise science. He has published over 20 investigations in peer-reviewed journals and presented at over 30 conferences/workshops in the last five years.
Rob Ahmun, ASCC
Director for Professional Standards
Rob Ahmun has been a S&C coach for more than 15 years, working in a range of sports at national and international level. He has been involved with developing aspiring coaches in their paths towards becoming Accredited and has also worked as a mentor to coaches who are already established.
Rob has worked as National Lead for S&C at England and Wales Cricket Board since November 2017, where he ensures performance impact in elite men’s cricket through quality assurance of S&C as a specialist support discipline. He has established standards of S&C delivery in the field of cricket; currently all staff who work with county professional squads are UKSCA-Accredited, and over 90% of Academy S&C coaches are also Accredited – or in the process of becoming so.
Associate Board Member
Steve is currently the director of sports science and research innovation at Playermaker; previously, he held positions with Hull City Football Club, the Football Association and Scunthorpe United Football Club. Steve thinks 'the pathway of each member of the wider community in strength and conditioning is varied', and that through his experience of working in different roles, he can build support and guidance for the associate membership. He says: 'Not every person will be working within elite level team sports and as an Association we need to provide the relevant support to assist and provide a communication network for our members'.
Joel Brannigan, ASCC
Director of Education and Training - Pre ASCC
An experienced coach and manager, Joel has worked in strength and conditioning since his retirement from sport in 2004 (Joel played rugby for Edinburgh, London Welsh RFC and Newcastle Falcons RFC; he also represented Scotland at international level). Accredited in 2007, Joel has worked with success across a diverse range of organisations and has a depth of experience in elite and professional sport, NGBs, education settings and the private sector. He has been delivering workshops for the UKSCA since 2012 as a tutor and is also a practising assessor on the current accreditation process. In addition, he has been involved in several UKSCA working groups on the subject of early years practitioner development; he is also part of the team who has taken the new UKSCA Trainer Award from its infancy to product launch.
Dan Cleather, ASCC
Finance and Administration Director
Dan was accredited by the UKSCA during their first ever accreditation day in 2005. He served as Director of Finance and Administration from 2005 to 2009. He was re-elected in 2017, 2019 and 2021. Dan is currently Programme Director of St Mary's University's distance learning MSc in Strength and Conditioning, and is also a Reader in Musculoskeletal Mechanics and Strength Training. Prior to joining St Mary's he was employed as a strength and conditioning coach with the English Institute of Sport, principally working with rowing, track and field athletics, canoeing, women's rugby and fencing.
Kevin Paxton, ASCC
Kevin has been re-elected to the Board for a second term and currently works as the head of Academy Sport Science at Leicester City Football Club. He has previously worked for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and Sheffield United Football Club. During his last term on the board, Kevin launched the Annual S&C in Football Conference, was co-director for the UKSCA's Annual Conference, supported the development of Special Interest Groups and worked hard to champion UKSCA standards in sport and improve standards of coach mentorship programmes.
Paudie is currently the lead Academy S&C coach at Arsenal Football Club and also works as a tutor at Setanta College in Ireland. He has previously held positions in the Irish Rugby Football Union and at Munster Rugby; in addition, he was awarded the UKSCA's Youth Coach of the Year in 2015. Paudie says that: ‘with such a high job instability across the sector, there is a strong case for developing trade union type services to offer advice and protection’.