Organizing Committee Bios

Scott Saunders

Scott Saunders is the Performance Pathway Manager at Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar. He holds a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and a Master of Science degree in Biomechanics from Thompson Rivers University and the University of Alberta, respectively. He is a former coach of Athletics wherein he has worked with a wide spectrum of athletes ranging from youth to international calibre athletes with a particular focus in the sprint events. As the former Sport Science Manager at the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre, Scott has coordinated several Athletics conferences and seminars that feature world-class coaching educators with integrated sport science themes. At Aspire Academy he is primarily responsible for the development and implementation of athlete development pathways for several sports, including Athletics.

Marco Cardinale
(Event Strategy)

Dr. Marco Cardinale led the Sports Science activities for the preparation of Team GB at the Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympics. A published and cited author in the scientific literature on various aspects of human performance, he has also patented an innovative exercise device consisting of a vibratory biofeedback system. He is an honorary reader in computer science in Sport at University College London and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in the School of Medical Sciences. Dr. Cardinale has been an advisor to various companies (e.g. Polar Electro, and Technogym), government agencies (e.g. the European Space Agency) and professional sport organizations and national governing bodies in 5 countries (USA, Italy, Spain, Sweden, UK) before working in Qatar. In 2011 he was awarded the honour of "Cavaliere dello sport pontino" by the Italian Olympic Committee for his services to international sports.

Alex Natera
(Sport Science Coordinator)

Alex Natera has over twenty years of experience in high performance sport including time spent as a professional sportsman, a technical coach, a sport science lecturer and his primary role as a strength & conditioning coach. Alex is currently Senior S&C Coach of Aspire Academy Athletics and has been responsible for the assessment, development and physical preparation of track & field athletes for the past six years. Alex has been fortunate enough to ply his trade, and learn his craft, from influences working across the globe in a variety of sports including Premier League Soccer and Rugby. As a previous S&C coach for both the English Institute of Sport and the South Australian Sport Institute, Alex’s extensive work with sprint cycling and modern pentathlon also broaden his skill set and expertise in the physical preparation of high performance athletes. Notably, Alex has played his direct part in a number of World Championship and Olympic medal successes throughout his career. Alex holds a Master’s degree in Applied Sport Science, the ASCC from the UKSCA and the CSCS from the NSCA and he is currently undertaking his PhD where he is investigating a novel aspect of power development- repeat power ability.

Phil Graham-Smith
(Sport Science Coordinator)

Dr. Phil Graham-Smith is currently the Head of Biomechanics at the Aspire Academy of Sporting Excellence in Doha, Qatar. In addition to his academic career at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Universities he was also the consultant Head of Biomechanics at the English Institute of Sport. He is a BASES Accredited Sports Biomechanist, BOA registered Performance Analyst and a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. He has over 21 years applied experience providing biomechanical support to UK Athletics and professional football and rugby clubs.

Lee Christopher
(IT Coordinator)

Lee Christopher currently works as a Multi Events Athletics Coach at Aspire Academy. Lee holds a Bachelor’s degree in Coach Education from the University of Bath, UK and a Master’s degree in Coaching from the University of Alberta, Canada. Before moving to Qatar, Lee was the Lead Jumps and Multi Events coach at the University of Alberta, coaching the team to multiple national medals. During his time in Canada Lee also worked as a lecturer in the Faculty of Physical Education at the University of Alberta and worked at the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre managing and delivering coach education content. Lee has coached at all levels in athletics from youth development to senior international and currently manages incoming international training camps for Aspire Academy’s IAAF Accredited Training Centre status.

Matt Cullen
(Speaker Liaison)

Matthew Cullen (B.Sc Hons, M.Sc, QTS) is a Sport Psychology and Personal development Facilitator at Aspire Academy. He has served in high performance leadership roles within Premier League football, National Federations, Education Councils and Public Private Partnerships. Matthew has supported performance level athletes from elite youth to Olympic and retired athletes in the UK, USA, UAE, Australia, NZ, Colombia and Qatar. He has presented internationally in the UK, India, UAE, Japan and Qatar. He has completed 8 Marathons on 5 continents.

Andreas Neubauer
(Marketing Officer)

Andreas Neubauer joined the Marketing & Communications Department of Aspire Academy as Senior Public Relations-Specialist in 2014 after spending sixteen years working in sports, media and education. Before coming to Qatar, he mainly worked in the football industry in Germany, England and Austria, held various positions at clubs and has profound experience in journalism, sport management and teaching. He holds a Master’s degree from Graz University (Austria), class of 2008, and also studied at Bellarmine University in Louisville (USA).

Joachim Krug
(QAF Representative)