Former business student Jake Ward has taken his winning approach to a career that’s encompassed the Olympics and the Queensland Reds Super Rugby Women’s team.
How do you help an athlete win Olympic gold without actually going to the Olympics? Follow in Jake Ward’s footsteps and become a sports scientist. Jake helps athletes prepare for their major sporting goals. He uses methods based on scientific studies to ensure athletes are the fittest, fastest and strongest that they can be.
Jake enjoyed his STEM subjects at high school, but wasn’t sure of his career path. So when it came to uni, he figured a business degree would lead to a good job and salary and enrolled in a uni exchange to study abroad. After a few years working in different office roles, Jake realised it wasn’t for him. His twin brother was studying sports science, so, aged 27, Jake headed to QUT to follow his true interest.
Jake did a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at QUT and is now employed by the Queensland Academy of Sport as a strength and conditioning coach. It just goes to show that you don’t need to know what you want to do at 18! Like Jake, you could change your mind and end up helping athletes reach the top of their game.
This year he’s helping the Queensland Reds Women’s Super Rugby team get in top form for the upcoming season. To do this, he combines the use of high-speed cameras and force plates in the ground to analyse the team’s running techniques, and studies video footage of competitions and the team’s resistance training in the gym.
Jake is excited for the future of sports science, as the past 20 years has seen technology exceed his expectations and create breakthroughs in his field. Just think where sports science could lead you in the future! – Saskia Horgan-Catchpole
Jake’s study and career pathway
- Bachelor of Agribusiness at the University of Queensland
- Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at QUT
- Sport Scientist, Queensland Academy of Sport
- Intern, 2020 Tokyo Olympics
- Lead Strength and Conditioning coach, Queensland Reds Super Rugby (Women’s)
Author: Saskia Horgan-Catchpole
Saskia Horgan-Catchpole is a Uni student studying Archaeology and Linguistics. She enjoys learning languages, painting and martial arts.