Rhiana Galvin, Lecturer in Performance Analysis at St Mary's University, Twickenham attended this year's Commonwealth Games as an Analyst for Team Wales Women's Hockey.
The matches were held at the University of Birmingham, where Wales played Canada, India, Ghana, and England in the pool matches and South Africa in the classification match for 7th/8th place, finishing 8th.
As the analyst for Wales, Rhiana was required to provide live feedback and video footage to the coaches and collect data from the live gameplay to be analysed post-match in preparation for the next opponent.
Rhiana Galvin, Hockey Women's Analyst and Lecturer in Performance Analysis at St Mary's said "For anyone wearing a Welsh shirt this is the highest level of performance competition there is, and to attend with the squad and staff members was a dream come true. There aren't many opportunities like this. To go to home soil games and for them to be the most inclusive games yet, I am proud to be part of the experience and history.
"It's hard to put into words how incredible the experience was, from the village to the crowds and the mass of friendly people you meet day in and day out. The most memorable moment for me was the roar of the crowd when Wales played England, and that day Leah Wilkinson received her 200th combined cap, so that was a special day.
"The aim for us as a team was to get our highest finish, which was 7th place but unfortunately, we just missed out on this by one goal and that can be difficult to take but also it gives scope to come back fighting harder for the next time. That's what professional sport is all about, the highs and lows.
"In terms of analysis, I think that was the most luxurious set up I've ever experienced. Being an analyst isn't always glamourous and in different situations, you must adapt and improvise to ensure that you get the footage and the information back to the coaches as quickly as possible.
"At a training session there was a tower that only went up to a certain height which wasn't high enough to see over the fence so I had to think quickly to find a solution, and, in the end, it all worked out in the end but it doesn't always go to plan.
"Meeting analysts from all over the globe and making life-long friends is a bonus to the memories we made together over two weeks. Supporting one another to be the best we can be, always makes the process and being part of the analysis team better."
Subject Lead for Football and Performance Analysis at St Mary's, Mike Gilham commented "We are really proud of Rhiana for undertaking this work at the Commonwealth Games. The fact that our staff are out living and breathing applied settings is a testament to their quality and dedication. This was a fantastic experience for Rhiana and one I am looking forward to her sharing with our students."
To find out more about our Performance Analysis courses, please visit the University website.