On December 5th, I was lucky enough to attend the BMA Foundation for Medical Research Awards Ceremony, hosted at the spectacular grade II listed BMA House in London. The BMA Foundation has been supporting medical research since 1839 through awarding grants and prizes that encourage medical research, and each year they host an awards ceremony for the annual grant winners, of which I was fortunate to be one this year. This provides a wonderful opportunity for the successful candidates to hear from past winners about the work that the BMA grants have enabled them to complete, as well as meeting some of the fantastic people involved in running and supporting the BMA Foundation. The awards ceremony took place in the beautiful Great Hall, which was decorated very much in the theme of Christmas, and certainly got me feeling festive!
It was inspiring to hear from previous award winners, Dr Shreelata Datta and Dr Timothy England, who presented the findings of their research that their respective BMA grants enabled them to complete. Fingers crossed that I will be in a position to report back with similar impactful findings as a result of my work in a couple of years’ time! I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Scholarship Grant, which will be used to support research comparing the risks and mechanisms of serious injury across UK sporting populations. Serious injuries and fatalities are rare but unwelcome consequences of participating in physical activity and sport, and may result in substantial lifetime-treatment costs for the healthcare system. However, relatively little is known about the incidence or impact of such events in the United Kingdom. As such, my BMA Scholarship grant will enable us to investigate these events, to hopefully help inform future evidence-based injury prevention and medical care strategies.
I had the pleasure of being seated next to Dr Philippa Whitford, who is a Member of Parliament and had rushed over to the awards ceremony having just voted on matters relating to the Brexit bill. This made for a fascinating evening of conversation, and I certainly learnt lots about the workings of Parliament and the Brexit process! To top the evening off, the after-dinner speech was delivered by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. As a Welshman myself, Baroness Grey-Thompson has long been a sporting hero, but it was equally inspiring to hear about her role in the House of Lords, and the work she is doing as a disability rights activist. I even had the honour of meeting Baroness Grey-Thompson; she is no stranger to sporting injuries and so was very interested in the work we will be undertaking.
Overall, this was a wonderful night, and it was a privilege to be in attendance. I now can’t wait to get started on the research that the BMA Scholarship Grant will enable us to undertake. I would like to thank the BMA Foundation once again for the award and invitation to attend the ceremony, and all those who made the evening such a success.