UAH kinesiology graduate Kate Winstanley promotes physical and emotional strength training

Catherine Winstanley
Catherine Winstanley

Catherine “Kate” Winstanley aims to empower people – herself included. That’s why she decided to major in kinesiology to become a strength and conditioning coach. That’s why she pursued greater personal challenges by transferring to The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). That’s why she spearheaded the UAH chapter of the One Love Foundation, focused on educating and protecting people against domestic violence.

Winstanley, who graduates on May 4 from UAH, a part of The University of Alabama System, knows strength doesn’t come easy.

“I wanted to be uncomfortable,” she says about her 2021 transfer to UAH from Norwich University in Vermont, where she played ice hockey and lacrosse. “I was at a place where I wanted to be pushed academically and athletically. I also wanted to get into research. I made a ‘Hail Mary’ leap of faith, and it was the best decision I ever made.”

Since joining the UAH women’s lacrosse team, the Philadelphia native has made an impact on and off the field.

Every athlete at Norwich had been involved in the One Love Foundation, Winstanley says. With the help of a UAH assistant coach, she registered UAH as a participating school. The UAH chapter now has two trained facilitators, and 312 individuals have been trained in the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. She says the feedback from UAH men’s and women’s teams has been “amazing,” and they’ve presented workshops with coaches and administrators.

“To get them involved is great. All over Spragins Hall are posters sharing these resources for people to get help.”

Winstanley achieved her research goals at UAH, too. In spring 2022, she and three classmates proposed a research project exploring the effects of the menstrual cycle and contraceptive use on female collegiate athletes. Last fall, they collected data, analyzed results and successfully defended the project. Then they submitted their abstract to a regional conference of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). This spring, Winstanley presented her research at the Southeast ACSM annual meeting.

The project found “no statistically significant results,” she says, but they “did see a fall-off in performance” leading up to menstruation. With this information, athletes and coaches can take informed steps to counteract the effects of hormonal fluctuations.

“Fuel your body to negate some of the effects,” she advises. “Listen to your body. Give it the food, sleep and exercise it needs. And don’t beat yourself up mentally.”

Winstanley’s post-graduation plans are as strong as anyone who knows her would expect.

She’s scheduled to spend the summer working as a strength and conditioning coach with football players at the University of Pennsylvania. During last summer’s internship, she worked with the strength and conditioning team at Penn State University.

This fall she will begin her master’s work in strength and conditioning at Smith College, where she received a graduate assistantship. She also sees a Ph.D. in her future.



Kristina Hendrix

Elizabeth Gibisch