A strong future is ahead of budding sports coach Leeroy Watson who is graduating with a first class degree.
The 33-year-old gained valuable experience working alongside British Judo, based at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus, on strength and conditioning.
Now he is embarking on the next stage of his career working as Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University. The initiative enables Wolverhampton graduates to gain employment experience in an academic support role.
Leeroy, from Wolverhampton, decided to study at the University because he really liked the sound of the BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching Practice course and was keen to stay close to home.
He says: “I chose this degree as it had a mix of classroom and practical based learning. Also, I liked that it offered sports science based content which could be applied to practical situations.”
The Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing student faced a number of challenges during his time at university, but was determined to succeed. His previous employer asked him to go full-time which he felt he could not do alongside his degree, so he left his job. He also found returning to education after 10 years away posed challenges.
But he was keen to continue his studies, and gained valuable experience working alongside British Judo which has a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence at the Walsall Campus, and worked with Leicester Tigers Developing Player Programme (DPP) for a season.
Now he is managing to combine his full-time job at the University with work as a strength and conditioning coach. He works with West Midlands Regional Netball, with the Regional Performance Academy and the National Performance League team, West Midlands Warriors, assisting the strength and conditioning coach.
His role as a Graduate Teaching Assistant involves assisting academic staff in providing a high quality student experience, including providing additional support for students. This may include teaching, face-to-face drop in sessions, online support and assistance to students with their writing and study skills.
He also has ambitions to gain work as a lecturer.
Leeroy says his experience at Wolverhampton was positive, and university is really what you make of it.
“There are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of inside and outside of the degree course of as long as you want to put the work in,” he adds.
Leeroy will graduate with first class honours this week at a ceremony at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.