Shakiba Moghadam picked from 7,000 applicants to compete on SAS: Who Dares Wins

10 January 2020

2 min read

Portsmouth PhD Researcher Shakiba Moghadam has been chosen as one of an elite group of women and men facing a series of endurance challenges on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins.

She’s among 25 civilians selected from over 7,000 applicants for the current series, which airs on Sunday nights at 9.00pm. The show’s training course replicates the notoriously intense selection process for the SAS. Participants are put through their paces by former special forces soldier and presenter Ant Middleton, taking on mental and physical challenges in the harsh environment of the Scottish mountains. 

Shakiba, a researcher within the University’s School of Sport Health and Exercise Science, said: “Every day the course became tougher - we were sleep deprived and survived on approximately 800 calories a day with hours of running across Scottish mountains, backwards diving into freezing cold water and swimming with all our kit. It didn’t matter what gender or size you were, we all had to complete the same tasks, carry the same load on our backs and were treated equally to our fellow recruits.”

Shakiba’s PhD research explores the mental health literacy of elite rugby players who identify as women, and more broadly female athletes who train and compete in male dominated sport. It follows her MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology and BSc in Psychology.


Shakiba at the University's Graduate School

She added “During my degree I gained first-hand experience of practicing mental skills training such as visualisation and breathing techniques to better manage nerves and worries. They really helped me whilst I was in freezing cold water or during an exercise that involved being at height. 

“My research areas predominantly explore female participation in male dominated sports as well as mental health in sport. It’s very rewarding to be able to relate my research to real life events that I’ve experienced. My time on SAS: Who Dares Wins has certainly increased my passion for my research, my self confidence has boosted as well as my beliefs in my research skills.”

Watch Shakiba on SAS: Who Dares Wins on Sundays at 9.00pm on Channel 4.