Leaders of tomorrow
The RPA has teamed up with Northumbria University and Newcastle Business School to offer you a degree that fits in with your existing sports career, gives you credit for your prior sports training and one that will prepare you for a future career in Leadership and Management.
The course offers flexible learning hours that can easily fit around your training schedule and allow you to study at a time that suits you best. The course has been specifically designed with professional sportsmen in mind, drawing upon a number of skills you already have and offers you the chance to obtain a full degree in a maximum of three years.
Already over 30 players have signed up for this year’s programme, two of those being Newcastle Falcons’ Allister Hogg & Tyson Keats of London Welsh. They joined The Players’ Room to tell us why they signed up and what it was that drew them to the course in the first place.
Q. What was it that made you sign up for the course?
Ally: There were a couple of reasons really, firstly I’m getting a bit older now and I need to start thinking about what I’m going to do after rugby. Secondly I came into rugby straight from college so I didn’t really have any qualifications and when the opportunity arose to do this course it fitted in perfectly with my schedule and with what careers I’m interested in pursuing.
Tyson: The RPA presented all their members with the opportunity to apply for the Leadership & Management degree and I thought it was a fantastic opportunity and one that I couldn’t turn down.
Q. How do you think this qualification can benefit you in the future?
Ally: We learn a lot of skills as professional rugby players and use a number of them on a day-to-day basis, the course will allow us to formalise them as a recognised qualification as well as putting them into a working context and hopefully show potential employers what we’re capable of.
Tyson: I think that it could potentially open a number of doors to me once my playing days come to an end, it will really help with my future plans. It gives me an opportunity to formalise a number of skills that I’ve already acquired being in a rugby environment.
Q. Do you think there should be more courses available like this one?
Ally: Northumbria University have been really flexible in allowing us to do it this way and with our type of work we don’t always have the same day off and can’t always attend on the same day each week. It allows us to gain a degree when in other circumstances it may not be possible. I think if there were more courses like this far more boys would sign up to do a degree.
Tyson: Absolutely, like I said before the benefits are huge and it allows us as players to tailor the course to our needs, although it’s based in Northumbria I can continue playing for Welsh down here and earn degree at the same time. It’s unbelievable to think that in two years I could have a BA hons in Leadership & Management, I’ve been fast tracked into the second year because of my previous experiences in professional rugby.
Q. How important do you think it is for players to have a degree?
Ally: With guys getting picked up younger and younger now it’s really important, not all of them will get signed, so having something to fall back on is massive. Even for those guys who play week in week out it’s great to have something to focus on away from rugby.
Tyson: I think it’s extremely important, there are a lot of people who just play rugby and don’t think about their careers beyond that. You should always be doing something outside of rugby, whether that’s work experience or furthering your education, you’re only in this game for a short period and you need to be prepared for the future.
If you would like more information on the Leadership & Management degree please speak to your PDM or visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/rpa