Question Time: Richard Fidler talks sport with Mark Campbell

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Mark Campbell, aged 39, is a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach at the English Institute of Sport where he keeps the likes of Nick Matthew, Shelley Rudman and Kristan Bromley in top shape.

What have you been doing today?

Getting through paperwork and emails, the less glamorous side of the job, training swimmers and a trampolinist in the gym and planning out training programmes.

Who is your inspiration and why?

Probably my former Master’s Degree Supervisor Dr Gordon Sleivert who was an amazing sport scientist with a huge amount of energy for the job. He gave me my first opportunity to work in the Sport Science field. The other person would be my good friend Angus Ross in New Zealand who loved developing top level athletes.

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

Being a Kiwi the All Blacks obviously, but also Susan Devoy from squash, Ivan Lendl from tennis.

What’s your favourite other sport?

Definitely squash, madly addicted to it and hope I can play it for the rest of my life.

Who is the most famous person in your phone?

Carl Hayman, former All Black tight head prop. I have Jess Ennis-Hill, Nick Matthew, Shelley Rudman and Kristan Bromley in my phone too but Carl was an All Black!

When was the last time you cried?

Watching Super Saturday at the 2012 Olympics, I may be a Kiwi but that was a fantastic sporting moment and to see Sheffield’s own Jessica Ennis get that gold was spectacular.

Who or what are you most proud of?

Always so proud of any of my athletes I have worked with achieving their goals, just makes me feel privileged and proud to have been a part in helping them get there.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

Happy Wife, Happy Life.

When did you know you were good at what you do?

When at 15 years of age I started taking my mates at school who I played rugby with to the gym and getting them big and strong, the fact they were big Polynesian boys probably helped, but I loved it.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

My New Zealand Greenstone necklace that some good friends gave me when I left NZ, the stone itself means ‘Strength and Determination’ and the carving on it means ‘Friendship and Bonding.’

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

Standing at the altar on my wedding day this year.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

Yes, but I know I am trying my absolute best in what I do so I just give it a crack and my athletes trust me and are willing to work for me.

What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

I am fine with them, I just use them for what I want and so they work for me.

How do you relax away from sport?

Sport is my relaxation.

Where was your last holiday - and would you go again?

To Scotland and the Isle of Mull and yes would definitely go again, it was very beautiful, isolated and relaxing.

Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite - if not who provides that favourite meal?

Sure do, my favourite meal would be a Lentil and Spinach Curry at the moment. I actually prefer to bake and my favourite baked goody is a chocolate banana cake that everyone at work likes.

What was the last book you read?

Never Let Go by Dan John, it is a Strength and Conditioning book.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

Maybe a physiotherapist or doctor if I was being realistic, pro golfer if I was being a dreamer.

Tell our readers in your own words why you think we’re interviewing you?

I have been involved in helping some of Sheffield’s top athletes achieve some amazing performances over the past six years that I have been working here and maybe those performances have inspired people in some way shape or form or it is because Shelley Rudman keeps getting me good publicity.