Sally Fenton

thanks everyone! its been a really good 2 weeks!

Favourite Thing: Meeting new people from different countries and getting to work with them. It is really interesting to learn about new cultures and understand how people from other places in the world think and work…you can learn so much from them!



Friesland School (1998 – 2003), Bilborough College (2003-2005)


University of Birmingham

Work History:

Lanes Garden Centre (Sales assistant/cashier), Brannigans Bar and Restaurant (Waitess/bar staff), Long Eaton School (Cover Teacher),


University of Birmingham

Current Job:

Me and my work

I am a researcher at the University of Birmingham and I am looking at how participation in youth sport football can help to keep young people healthy (mentally and physically) and reduce obesity.

I work in the Sport and Exercise Science department at the University of Birmingham and carry out research in the areas of Sport Psychology and Physiology (the part of biology which focuses on how your body works and responds to things like exercise). I have 2 supervisors who help me design my research and guide me (a bit like a teacher). They help me to plan studies where I will recruit people take part, collect data, analyse it (the maths bit) and write it up in reports so other people can see what I have been doing. I am working as part of a big team and the research I am carrying out is also being done in France, Greece, Spain and Norway. This is quite exciting as hopefully I will get to visit these places, see what they are doing, and get ideas to help me improve on my own research here in England (I also don’t mind the idea of getting to go to other countries as part of work :)). So what is my research all about? I am sure you have been told over and over again how taking part in physical activity is good for you and helps to keep you healthy as you get older…well I am trying to find out how taking part in football and playing on a regular basis can help to do this! Good news for all the football fans! The sorts of questions I am trying to answer are… how many calories do you burn when you are playing a game of football or taking part in a training sessions?… how much does this contribute to the amount of calories you burn during the day?… and how much football do you have to play in order to maintain a healthy weight and stay healthy in general? By showing that taking part in regular football helps to keep your mind and body healthy, we will be able to promote participation in football as a way to keep people all over the world healthy. So now you have an excuse to play even more football!

My Typical Day

Working out how to use lots of high tech sports equipment :s.

I am not a morning person so I always aim to get to wherever I am supposed to be for 10.00am and work till around 6.00pm… Every day is different. Some days I will be at Birmingham Children’s Hospital working in the exercise lab where I will test children who want to take part in my research…while others I could be out and about visiting gyms, football clubs and schools letting people know about the research I am doing and recruiting people to take part. At the minute I am having lots of meetings with people from Aston Villa Football Club about a big study I am doing next year where they will be helping me out. Generally it is quite an exciting and varied job..although I do have those odd days where I will be in my office drinking endless cups of tea and reading.

What I'd do with the money

I would use it to publicise my research with Aston Villa to children so more people are aware of what I am doing and will have the opportunity to take part!

As part of my research I will be using a mobile health bus..which is really just a lab inside a big bus with lots of technical equipment in it. We will park this at schools and football pitches where volunteers will be able to take part in the research there and then! Our idea is that Aston Villa may be able to come along with us on these days. We will use the money to promote this and also to buy things like t-shirts etc. to hopefully give as souveniers to the children taking part.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Friendly, talkative and sporty

Who is your favourite singer or band?

I have always been a Britney fan…but I also like singers like Katy Perry, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas…most things in the charts…and Cheryl Cole is slowly working her way up to the top of my ipod playlist!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I used to live in Africa when I was younger and we had monkeys which lived and the bottom of our garden…and a Cheetah! That was pretty fun and I would love to go back there. I also love America….and after I finished my degree I went travelling around the east and west coast. I visited places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Mexico, New York, Miami and the Florida Keys. Whilst we were there we stayed with some friends who live in LA (they are friends with Tom Hanks and Pamela Anderson!) and we were lucky enough for them to take us out on their boat and private plane… (we saw killer whales in the wild and one swam right under our boat!). They also gave us an old soft top car to drive up the whole whole west coast in, so I got to see some really beautiful places. [myimage1]

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1. To live in California (near the beach!) 2. To never get old 3. To have an endless supply of Haribo fizzy cola bottles.

What did you want to be after you left school?

A backing dancer for famous singers (mainly Britney Spears)

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Probably not as much as I should have been…

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Up until now I would have to say it is getting to wotk with Aston Villa! Although I may also get to be involved in some things which will be recorded for channel 4 which may just top that!

Tell us a joke.