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Craig Fairbairn

Sports performance analysis expert Craig, enjoyed an exciting career working with Hull Kingston Rovers, Hull City FC Academy and New Zealand Rugby League before joining the team.

Boasting a PhD in Performance Analysis from the University of Hull, Craig is our resident specialist in sports performance analysis, heading up all performance analysis elements of our Sports and Exercise Science programmes.

Craig Fairbairn Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science square

With a PhD and a successful career as a Performance Analyst under his belt Craig is a true expert in his field. As our resident specialist in sports performance analysis, Craig leads on all Performance Analysis elements of Riseholme’s Sports and Exercise Science programmes.

Craig’s passion for Sports Coaching and Performance Analysis was cemented during his final year of his BSc Sports Coaching and Performance degree at the University of Hull.

“I loved the idea of being able to help athletes develop and improve their performance to work towards and achieve their potential. Performance Analysis enables me to influence and contribute to the trajectory of a sporting career, helping athletes assimilate knowledge and understanding to upskill, develop and improve their performance.”

Craig has had a hugely exciting career, working with premier level football and rugby teams. After graduating he worked as a Performance Analyst with Hull Kingston Rovers and was the Lead Performance Analyst at Hull City FC Academy for many years. He has also spent time working with New Zealand Rugby League at an international level, during the team’s time playing in the UK and France.

Building on his vast industry expertise, the opportunity arose for Craig to embark on a PhD in Performance Analysis at the University of Hull and this led to invitations to be a guest speaker at the University and at Edge Hill University amongst others. He was also asked to take on responsibility for a Performance Analysis module at Hull. Despite his love of working within the industry, Craig could also see the appeal of being able to impart his extensive knowledge to others.

“I found I really enjoyed teaching. I relished the opportunity to pass on the wisdom and expertise I’ve acquired to help others enjoy a similarly rewarding career.”

When the opportunity came to join the team in September 2022 Craig jumped at the chance. The specialist hands-on provision at University Centre was the perfect match to his expertise and research interests.

“The nature of the practical courses we offer really give the perfect route to progress straight into industry after graduation, with some incorporating accreditation so that on completion students can move fully qualified, directly into employment. I was hugely impressed with the well-connected industry partnerships and those, in combination with state-of-the-art facilities such as the Human Performance Lab, mean students benefit from new and exciting links and exposure to the wider sporting community.”

In addition to leading on all Performance Analysis elements of Riseholme’s Sports programmes, Craig also uses his skills and expertise to support the college's teams improve their sporting performance and capability. Having experienced large University campuses such as Hull he can see the benefits of the environment available at Riseholme.

“I love that I am able to get to know each and every student, be that on the degree level programmes or in the Sports Academy. There is such a strong sense of community that extends beyond the Sports department. Weekly games are supported by students and the faculty from across disciplines and there is a fantastic sense of camaraderie. I am proud to be part of the team that is empowering the next generation of sports professionals.”

If you'd like an exciting career within the sports world like Craig, take a look at our HNC Sport and Exercise Science (Coaching Science).  

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