- Year of graduation:
When choosing a university it is important to make sure it is right for you. For Sports Development and Coaching graduate Kieran Connolly, the opportunity to meet new people and experience life away from London was key to his decision.
“I went to the open day with my mum and really warmed to the area and the tutors. There were only a few universities which did the sports development degree and Staffs definitely stood out as the place I would be happiest at, I was proved right,” says Kieran.
Since graduating in 2009, the twenty-six-year-old’s choice has rewarded him with a succession of opportunities within sport.
London Sport Awards
Kieran said: “I immediately got a job with Lambeth College working as a Sports Instructor. I left in July 2010 and begin doing sessional coaching for Millwall Community Scheme, Fulham FC Foundation, Southwark Community Games and Lewisham Youth Services.”
In February 2011, Kieran began working at the Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation as a Social Inclusion Officer before promotion to Bromley Kickz Officer later that year.
Kieran added: “I later joined London Youth as Sports Development Officer working on the ‘Getting Ready’ Sports Programme, which has recently won ‘Community Sports Project of the Year’ at the London Sport Awards.”
But Kieran is keen to point out that coming to Staffordshire University hasn’t just benefitted him professionally.
“Staffs had a big impact on me personally as well. Living away from home for the first time was a challenge at the beginning but it helped me to develop from a teenager into a young man in preparation for leaving University and going into the world.”
“My most memorable moment at Staffordshire University came when playing for the football team at Varsity in 2009. Varsity was poised at 6-6 going into the final event of the day, Boys Football at Newcastle Town Football Club. Keele were winning 1-0 but I came off the bench to score the equalising goal and Staffs went on to win the game 2-1 and win Varsity.”
Kieran is now looking ahead where as he aims to become a Chief Executive of a regional community sports organisation that works predominantly with young people.
“This would allow me the power to be able to influence policy and practise leading to higher standards of delivery for young people which can lead to a lifelong love of sport.” Kieran added.