Former Mansfield student Damon helps it all add up for current crop

A former Mansfield student has taken time out from his university studies to help sport students decipher complex mathematical data for their first assignment.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 5:07 pm

Damon Butcher, 21, completed his A-Levels in maths and physics at West Nottinghamshire College in 2016.

Now a maths undergraduate at the University of Derby, Damon’s higher-level skills have proven invaluable for learners on the national foundation diploma in sport and exercise science level three.

Damon was invited in by sports tutor Maria Higgins to assist her group with the complexities of biomechanics and together they underwent a practical exercise session combined with inputting the data onto graphs in a theory lesson.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Former student Damon Butcher (back, centre) helped Marian Higgins' students with their current assignment

Maria said: “Biomechanics is the physics behind movement in the human body.

"It concentrates on the breakdown of how movement can be analysed in sports performance, enhancement and in injury prevention. It is also key in how sportsmen and women can achieve that extra second of speed and additional power in their sport.

“In order to work out biomechanics effectively, there’s a huge mathematical aspect to it.

"I remembered how I know a good mathematician and invited Damon in to teach my students how to formulate the equations and they’ve worked really well with him to gather their practical data to plot onto graphs.”

Damon, who would like to become a teacher eventually, observed the students working on physical exercise such as relay speed races and used his knowledge of maths to plot it.

He said: “It’s great that I can help the students with the complexities of this science and give them help with the analytical thinking. It’s beneficial to me as well to get some experience of teaching and observing.”

Sports student Dominic Williams, 18, from Mansfield, was one of the learners working with Damon.

He said: “Our lesson with Damon has helped us to plot graphs properly after gathering the practical data and will really help us with our research.

"It’s a complex thing but I feel I have a much better understanding now.

"This will be really useful in the future as I’d like to go to university after this course and focus on more sports science or personal training.”