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Football pitch

Garry Halsey

BA (Hons) Football Studies

Graduated 2014

Garry Halsey headshot

This course is for you if you have a passion for football, and are interested in learning about the many different sides of the game: coaching sports psychology and sports massage, to name a few.

University helped me to gain invaluable work experience and contacts within the professional game, as well as knowledge surrounding both professional and grassroots football. Without my time at Solent, I would not have the confidence I now have in my abilities and understanding of the game. 

Thanks to Solent’s excellent contacts within professional football, I was given the opportunity to complete a season's internship as a first team performance analyst at then-league two side Aldershot Town FC. This opportunity allowed me to make contacts within the professional game, leading to a role working as a performance analyst within the first team goalkeeping setup at AFC Wimbledon the following season.

I was also coaching Solent’s own ladies football club during my final year, alongside two of my course mates, which is one of my best memories at Solent.

The first break in my career came when I was offered a role at Wiltshire County FA. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my role, it was short-lived as just a few months later I was successful in applying for a job within the professional game team at the English FA, where I remain almost 18 months on. Alongside my full time job, I have had the pleasure to coach at a number of different clubs including AFC Rushden and Diamonds, Northampton Town FC and currently Burton Albion FC.

Based at St George’s Park, the National Football Centre, I currently work right in the hustle and bustle of the English FA. My job is to support a number of FA Youth Coach Developers (FAYCDs) and National Coach Developers (NCDs) in their work throughout the country, in addition to collating and reporting the data they collect. I also assist in the running of FA coaching development programmes such as Pro Licence, A Licence and Advanced Youth Award courses. My working days often vary, from primarily admin days to more hands on support. Every day is different in my job, something that always keeps me on my toes.

For me, football has progressed from a hobby, to a degree, to a career, to a way of life. Cliché but true!

If you want a career in football industry, I'd advise you to build contacts whenever you can, as you never know what opportunities will arise. Be persistent but patient; travelling long distances and working long hours will all be worth it when you land your dream job.

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Sailing at sea

Nick Scott

BA (Hons) Adventure and Extreme Sports Management  

Graduated 2016

Nick Scott headshot

After getting my outdoor education diploma from college and having few jobs as watersports instructor in south of France and the Philippines, I decided I wanted to do more with my watersports career but wasn’t sure how best to go about it or what avenue to take. So I looked at outdoor education type degrees that were available and found the Adventure and Extreme Sport Management degree at Solent. 

This course is for you if you’re set on the idea of embarking on a career in the outdoor and adventure sports industry, but are yet to figure out your niche. You learn such a wide variety of topics above and beyond ‘coaching’ and ‘management’ that spark the potential for infinite diversification within the industry. 

One of the most valuable skills I learned at university was how to organise myself. I also grew in confidence through the numerous presentations I had to give in front of large numbers of people as part of my assignments. Finally, university has significantly developed my leadership skills, which was by and large achieved through group work assignments. 

Throughout my studies at Solent, I worked my summer of first year in Turkey as an instructor, and the summer of second year I spent operating the wakeboard cable at JB Ski. I also worked the occasional day for Solent University watersports centre on the Hamble teaching keelboat courses. 

I think by far the most unique thing about this course is that it can adapt and evolve in real-time alongside the unfolding of the industry.

After graduation, I started working at Lagoon Watersports in Brighton. The centre offers a huge array of watersports activities to over 400 members as well as providing activity weeks for kids, and getting loads of newbies into watersports for the first time. My role as an instructor was diverse, doing everything from sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and stand up paddle boarding. 

A year later I was appointed as the centre manager. My typical working day starts with a morning meeting with the instructors and run through the day to make sure everyone knows what they are doing. We then set up the centre so all the equipment is ready for the day. 

During the day I am the RYA senior instructor on site, which means I have overall responsibility for everyone on the water. When members are out on the sea in stormy conditions, their lives are in my hands, so we have a very specific recording system to ensure no one gets lost. 

I also have the usual logistical management responsibilities such as organising the rota, overseeing the general maintenance and upkeep of the centre, running staff training sessions, taking bookings, organising events such as wakeboard competitions and charity fundraising events, as well as people management. 

My tips to anyone wanting a career in this industry is to demonstrate your enthusiasm for growth and commitment to long term personal development and you will get your foot in the door easily.

From the point of view of an employer in this industry, we want people who are self-motivated, and whom want to develop themselves personally and professionally. From there, it’s just a case of being a team player, being the first one to arrive in the morning, and asking lots of questions.

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Snowy mountian

Clinton Elmes

BA (Hons) Adventure and Extreme Sports Management  

Graduated 2016

Clinton Elmes headshot

Solent provided me with so many of the skills I need in my career path, but also the persistence to succeed and a chance to grow up and become independent, as well as learning to take responsibility for myself.

During my years at Solent, I joined clubs including trampolining, gymnastics, climbing, paintballing, boxing, kickboxing, wakeboarding and other water sports. The skills I have learnt and people I met throughout my years here have been invaluable. I also had a number of job roles: from working for Go Ape, to being in the Army Reserve. I tried to undertake as many varied experiences during my time at Solent as possible. 

Being an outdoor management graduate, all of my spare time goes into travelling and outdoor pursuits. For example, I am about to undertake a three week excursion to California to surf, climb mountains in Yosemite and travel around the coast. If you plan accordingly and get the work done early, there is plenty of time for the fun stuff too!

My career highlight so far has to be staying in America for three months and instructing wakeboarding and water-skiing as a water sports technician. It's entirely possible for anyone with the drive to do something different.

I have recently finished my Masters in Marketing Management at Solent, which involved a rather large amount of coursework! I will be beginning my career this October as a Financial Recruitment Consultant.

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Seek a dynamic, challenging and fun course that will provide you with a multitude of transferable skills to succeed in many industries in the future.


Sport coaching

Dan Janowski

BSc (Hons) Sports Performance Coaching

Graduated 2014

Dan Janowski headshot

This course is for you if you want to challenge yourself, if you want to learn from some of the best professionals in the industry and most importantly, if you want to make yourself employable on completion of your degree. Sports coaching is about educating and inspiring others.

How did university prepare you for your career?
Well, it isn't handed to you on a plate, so just your degree alone will not guarantee you employment. However, it WILL present you with various opportunities to volunteer within your chosen industry, working with industry professionals at the highest levels and allow you to research and understand the theories and underpinning knowledge to give you the solid foundations of an accomplished sports coach.

What's your favourite Solent memory?
On our first day, we were asked a very simple question. "Who is here to graduate with a first class degree?" I thought, 'absolutely no chance, not me.  But what the heck.' I stuck my hand up anyway; only two of us in the entire class did.  Needless to say, we both graduated with a first. Self prophecy perhaps, or just hard work?

In one sentence, what is sport coaching?
The capacity to inspire and educate anyone through the medium of sport.

Tell us a little about your career story so far.
I started my company - Active8 Minds - in 2014, on a budget of £5,000 with my neighbour (a former IBM employee). We essentially offer sports education and childcare for children aged 3-16 throughout Hampshire and the surrounding areas. We see on average 2,000 children every week, have nine full-time employees and 14 part-time members of staff. Our current turnover is in excess of £350,000, showing a healthy profit, and we are on target to hit £500,000 turnover by 2019.

Tell us about what you are doing now and what it involves – a typical working day.
My current role as the company director varies from the day to day running of the business, staff salaries and finances, marketing, sales, business development and HR (something I had no experience in at all).

What’s your career highlight so far?
I do not have a particular highlight, as there a many small ones. Being able to to provide a good life for my family is very important to me as is providing an exceptional service to children and schools throughout Hampshire.

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry?
Don't give up when the going gets tough. Attend every seminar, practical and lab session. Volunteer and help out as much as you can. And, just as important, look smart, be smart. 

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