High Performance Team

Nicholas Cross 

Bachelor Exercise Science and Human Movement
Masters in Applied Science (Exercise Rehabilitation)
Doctor of Physiotherapy (Melb)


Nicholas joins ‘The Stride’ with a large interest in track and field, as both an athlete, sports scientist, exercise physiologist and physiotherapist. From the age of eight years old Nicholas started completing in the amature athletics scene. Over the years Nicholas’ love for the sport grew. He trained with 18-­time national 800m champion Tamsyn (Lewis) Manou, who set a perfect example as what it takes to get the best out of oneself. At the age of 25 Nicholas’ athletic career shifted to professional running whereby he still competes Australia wide. During his time on the professional circuit Nicholas has been successful on multiple occasions at the prestigious Stawell Athletic Club in Victoria, over the 400m novice and Asics backmarker event.

As with most sporty people they generally enjoy all things sport, and it was to no surprise that Nicholas completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in exercise science, masters in applied science (Exercise rehabilitation) and a doctor of physiotherapy through Victoria and Melbourne University.

Over his academic and athletic journey Nicholas worked as a High Performance Manager through AFL Victoria’s TAC competition, whereby he successfully directed the physical preparation, rehabilitation and sports performance for the Oakleigh Chargers Football club. Due to meticulous planning across all facets Oakleigh were premiers in 2014 and 2015 season, and successful in seeing large volumes of numbers players transition effortlessly into senior AFL teams. Throughout the time Nicholas spent involved with AFL Victoria, he visited The University of Southern California (USC) to gain further experience in both their athletic and health services. Here Nicholas spent significant time working with the Trojans football and track teams, focusing on injury rehabilitation and prevention. In 2016 Nicholas will continue to grow and consult with runners of all distances, with his main focus and passion being track athletics. Nicholas will strive to bring together and share all areas of experience and education, to assist in providing you with the training tools and necessities in order to take the next step with your running.

Dean Little

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons.) (Melb)
Grad Certificate Sports Physiotherapy
Masters of High Performance Sport


Dean joins ‘The Stride’ with considerable experience in assessing, treating and rebuilding recreational and elite runners to peak performance. Dean has an interest in sporting injuries of the lower limb and tendon pathology. He has worked to develop his skills in assessment of biomechanics, diagnosis, management and prevention of these injuries using the latest evidence-­based protocols and technologies. Aspirations to become a better practitioner lead. Dean to spend 6 months at Stanford University in California and also undertake further studies in High Performance Sport and Sports Physiotherapy. Dean has shared practices with world renowned surgeons, researchers and clinicians who focus on lower limb injuries and was privileged to work with Stanford’s Alumni currently playing in NFL in their offseason witnessing the speed and explosive nature of these athletes and their programs . Dean was able to gain exposure to the practices of the bay area professional teams in the NBA, MLS, NFL and the Olympic Institute. Dean’s passion for running medicine took him to running labs at UCSF and USC and has ongoing discussions with key researchers worldwide including Harvard’s Spaulding Running Program. Dean aspires to provide runners far and wide the tools to go further, faster and finer.

Lisa Middleton

Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement)
Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics
Graduate Certificate of Sports Nutrition


Lisa joins ‘The Stride’ as one of Australia’s most experienced Sports Dietitians. Lisa has spent over 15 years advising some of the nation’s most elite athletes and teams across a range of sports including VIS athletes, the Essendon, Hawthorn and St Kilda AFL Football clubs, Melbourne Vixens Netball, Melbourne Storm Rugby League and Melbourne Victory Football clubs throughout grand final and premiership years. Lisa currently works with Melbourne United Basketball Club, and provides private consulting at Lifecare Ashburton Sports Medicine Centre and for corporate/sporting groups and the food industry. Lisa has lectured at Deakin University and Victoria University and is the past President of Sports Dietitians Australia. Lisa is an author, a speaker and provides regular media comment.   Lisa has a background in cross-country running but these runs for fitness.

Emma Poynton

Bachelor of Podiatry 
Masters of Health Specialisation (Podiatry)


Emma joins ‘The Stride’ as our Clinical Sports Podiatrist with over 10 years of experience. Emma’s strong interest in clinical sports podiatry came though her own involvement as a competing athlete, originally in track and field sprinting on the Victorian Athletic League circuit before transitioning into ice hockey. Through being an athlete and working with elite athletes, and in professional sporting environments, Emma has developed a clinical and practical understanding of what injured athletes need as part of their treatment and management plans. Emma’s clinical practice specializes in biomechanics, sports medicine and injury management with a strong interest in running. Extending beyond sports medicine, Emma consults on all common foot and lower limb complaints such as heel and arch pain, extra corporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), nail conditions and surgeries, diabetic assessments, foot and leg pain, orthotic therapy, and paediatrics.Educating her patients to understand their ailment, and management strategies involved  is vital in Emma’s practice.

When not consulting, Emma regularly provides return education sessions for colleagues and athletes through channels such as chairing the Australian Podiatry Association’s Sports Podiatry Special Interest Group, presenting on numerous sports medicine topics to podiatry colleagues within Victoria, and presenting similar topics to physiotherapists at the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Emma works as the Western Bulldogs (AFL) podiatrist and consults at Lifecare Prahran Sports Medicine, Lifecare Ashburton Sports Medicine and Lifecare La Trobe Sports Medicine.