January is a great time to look ahead for the next 12 months and make plans for the rest of the year.
After a turbulent couple of years, students across the country are looking at Universities, planning their careers and finalising the UCAS applications ahead of the deadline on January 26.
The West Ham United Foundation has been partnering with the University of East London (UEL) to deliver its BSc in Sports Coaching and Performance for the past three years and are inviting young people to join this September.
To discuss his time on the Sports Coaching and Performance degree, we spoke to final year Rayhan Noor about his time at the university…I chose to study the degree with WHUF and UEL because of the opportunities and progression pathway that came with it.
As coaching is something I have a great passion for, the modules taught on the programme has definitely helped me develop and grow as a coach. Since starting the degree programme the opportunities provided have been amazing, including work placements at West Ham United Foundation delivering community sessions, trips abroad to coach and be a part of competitions such as the United World Games in Austria.
I also received extra qualifications, which was a standout for me personally, as I was struggling to find FA Level 2 coaching courses before I joined. Within my first year, the degree programme funded this, and I was able to gain the coaching qualification. Gaining this qualification helped me volunteer at the women’s academy, a pathway that the staff on the degree programme fully supported me on.
My favourite part of the degree has been the work placement module, as this has allowed me to develop and gain valuable experience. I have completed this module whilst being at the women’s academy and this experience has been so beneficial to me. It allowed me to work alongside highly qualified and experienced coaches, whilst constantly learning from them.
I have developed so many skills, such as working in a team, how to be well organised, designing training sessions and how to work with different players in different age groups. This opportunity was so good, it has all progressed from there.
After finishing my work placement, I started as a volunteer for the Under 14’s helping out at their training sessions. Since then, I have progressed even further, and I am now the Assistant Coach for the Under 16’s; having more responsibility such as leading training sessions and matchdays when needed.
During my three years on the degree, we have had many guest speakers join us both online and on-campus to speak to us about their experiences and insight into their journeys. This included people such as Jarrod Bowen from West Ham United’s first team, and it was so inspiring listening to his journey and what they had to do to get there.
Having an insight on a full-time footballer’s schedule, what they do on days off and their focus on specific training programmes was really beneficial to me. The degree programme helped me find out what I want to do as a career, which is to become a PE teacher whilst still coaching football in the women’s game.
The modules taught on the degree has helped me gain knowledge and an insight to how to coach specific age groups including students with learning difficulties, and I will definitely carry this knowledge throughout my career.
I would highly recommend studying for the Sports Coaching and Performance degree if you see yourself wanting to have a career in sports. They offer amazing support throughout the course. I still am in contact with the WHUF lectures who are great mentors to have as they are always offering support. They have played a massive part in my university journey and supported me in the women’s academy.
The partnership between the West Ham United Foundation and the University of East London provides the students with unique experiences with a Premier League Club. The deadline for applicants via UCAS is January 26.
For more information, click here, or email Dominic Edwards, Higher Education Manager on DEdwards@westhamunited.co.uk.
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