Leslie’s volunteer roles while studying led to two dream jobs.
'Without Teesside University my career would be very different.'
I was living away from the area at the time and made the decision to move back to my roots with my fiancée and completely change my career path to something I would be happy to do for the rest of my life. The reputation of Teesside as a student-centred and lively University made the decision easy.
The course gave me a much more in-depth knowledge of sports coaching and a greater understanding of important aspects, from biomechanics and motor behaviour to sports psychology and strength and conditioning. The volunteering service run by the University was a vital step. I won a major award for my voluntary work with Volun-tees and it is something I am very proud of that has certainly led to me being offered the roles after graduation. Without Teesside University my career would be very different. I had a great balance between academic study time, hands-on coaching time and my family life with my new daughter and wife, all of which worked together to keep me refreshed – most of the time.
I have two wonderful jobs. I am a member of the Premier League’s tournament staff, and I work for the Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation as a football coach.
My work for the Premier League involves travelling to England’s elite professional football club academies as a representative of the Premier League to oversee various qualifiers and tournaments throughout the season.
The role can be anything from a one-day qualifier at a specific Football club to a five day major international tournament at St. George’s Park, and involves work such as briefing the coaches about the tournament and ensuring the tournament is managed correctly, watching the games as a pitch manager, tactical analysis, and media training with Sky Sports for the players.
My work for Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation involves targeting young people from underprivileged areas of the community, and demonstrating to them the valuable lessons sport can teach. My personal role is that of a football coach primarily, although also assisting in the delivery of courses such as the Sports Leaders Award in schools, and football holiday courses.
I carried out both these roles as a volunteer throughout my studies, and on finishing my course I was offered both roles as a member of staff. I coach with MFC through the week, and attend Premier League tournaments over the weekends. I have both of my dream jobs in football, they work perfectly alongside each other and I am very happy.