Kimberley Yeung: exploring the field of sports nutrition

Kimberley Yeung graduated from BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Exercise and Health in 2016. She now works as a Wellness Coach for Solutions4Health in Dudley, West Midlands.

This is Kimberley's story

Choosing Plymouth


One of the main things that made me decide to choose Plymouth was the enthusiasm from the lecturers for the course – knowing they had a passion for the subject and would want to support everyone as much as they could. Previous students on the course really helped to show the drive to learn more about nutrition when I spoke to them.

During the degree, we got hands on experience to work with a sporting individual to try and help them with their nutrition. These athletes could range in experience in their sports and I got the chance to work with an international swimmer. Being able to help them with more information and guidance made me more motivated to explore the field of sports nutrition.

This course offers an optional work placement year, which gave me the option to gain experience in the field if I wanted, or to carry on with my studies.

I undertook a placement in Hong Kong for a year, where I was a sport coach for young children, but also worked with The Chinese University of Hong Kong with their research on the bone health of the Hong Kong jockeys. Whilst working on the research, it helped to further my passion with sports nutrition, where I could look at the food diaries of the jockeys and help to see if they could increase their calcium or vitamin D intake. This helped with my decision to complete a masters in sports nutrition.

On my first trip to Plymouth, I fell in love with the area surrounding the University. Seeing the Hoe and hearing that was where we would have our graduation clinched it for me. Especially when it isn’t often you’ll find somewhere you could study with places you can relax with a view too.



Plymouth helped me find my interest in public health nutrition and how something you say to someone can have a profound effect on their life. I originally thought my sole career path would be into sports nutrition, but I knew it would be a harder field to get into as it is so specialised. With my background in coaching sports, speaking to the general public about ways they could get more active helped to find my own way to speak to them in a way that was engaging and motivating. This is what is needed in public health as it can be very hard to motivate individuals to better themselves when they aren’t confident to make that change themselves.


University support

The support network at the University is there, whether it’s from your lecturers, peers or other services, you’re never short of someone who will listen. There are plenty of way to socialise, with sport teams or other societies, as there are a mix of interests within the University.

The library services helped a lot throughout university, where it gave a quiet space for studying and completing coursework. The staff on site were very helpful, whether it be three o'clock in the afternoon or three o'clock in the morning. Having a library that is open 24/7 is definitely a huge benefit, especially when you want to get away and concentrate on your work.

Helping each other on the course is beneficial, as ideas are circulated and more of an interest is generated through discussion. Knowing what I now know, I would try and tell myself to enjoy it and not get too stressed out. There is plenty of help around, from lecturers, tutors and even peers. I would be less hesitant to join sports teams, as I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of swimming and water polo as well as the netball team. I ended up making a lot of friends through these teams, as we all had similar interests.

Volunteering opportunities

In my first year, I went along to one of the volunteer fairs and managed to get in contact with someone to volunteer with swimming, as I am a swimming teacher. I was able to help the local Hub Club, where they taught and developed young children with a variety of disabilities, with their swimming. This furthered my knowledge and experience with different disabilities, especially in the way to communicate with them. Throughout my time at university, I volunteered with this group and thoroughly enjoy every moment of it.

With my volunteering work with the Hub Club, people in the swimming and water polo club recognised this and nominated me for the ‘Sport in the Community’ award at the Sports Awards in my final year at university, which I ended up winning. I didn’t expect to win the award and it was incredible to be recognised for my work for the local community.

I didn’t understand how important networking was or even how volunteering can help get you the experience needed in the field. If I didn’t go to search for voluntary work, I wouldn’t know about the services available in the local areas. Understanding how public health services can vary in different areas can help with the delivery and expectations from the public and commissioners of the service.


Applying knowledge


After studying at Plymouth, I went on to complete MSc Applied Sports Nutrition at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. With this MSc, I had a chance to study more in the field of sports, applying the knowledge I have learned through the course. I furthered my understanding of the differences with sport nutrition and public health nutrition, as well as furthering my interest in recovery nutrition in sports. With the course, I completed my Level 2 ISAK course, enabling me to take anthropometric measurements on individuals.

Having only started the job a few months ago, I am still learning the job and slowly understanding the way the service is run. However, the best thing is being able to help the public with weight management and the joy they get when they meet their goals or targets, especially when they can see or feel a difference in their daily life and know they changes they’re making are positive and sustainable.

Stepping up to talk to a group about weight management in my job was difficult in the beginning. But using some of the techniques and ways I put information across when I was at Plymouth, I can now be sure the public are motivated and enthusiastic about their journey in weight management. 

Being able to stand up in front of a group of people, whether it be your own course or potential students and their parents, is quite a daunting thing to do. From doing presentations on a specific subject or about the course, my confidence improved in being able to communicate the information in a positive and motivational way.


Follow in Kimberley's footsteps

Lack of physical activity and poor diet increasingly contribute to obesity and chronic diseases. This course will give you an insight into the key disciplines that relate exercise and nutrition to health. You’ll also develop the practical skills, critical awareness and proficiencies required for professional competence. 

You’ll graduate ready for employment in the food or fitness industries, health promotion, lifestyle education or public health.


Study BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Exercise and Health