Where are you from originally?

Gloucester, but I’ve lived in Carlisle since I was 12. My family moved up to Cumbria and I have lived here ever since.


Were you the first person in your family to study at university?

Yes, the first in my immediate family.


What made you choose UoC?

It had the exact course I was looking for, while being on my doorstep. It was an extremely easy choice.


Why did you choose your particular course?

I had aspirations to become a PE teacher and the course I chose offered progression into that as well as other options – which all became useful.


What did you like most about your course?

As well as the modular learning, I liked the way that the lecturers encouraged free-thinking and independent research.


What was your favourite experience at university?

We had a module on outdoor education that was really good. We went away into the Lake District for a few nights and practiced our teaching skills - on each other.

The trip was really good for the group as a whole and also our individual learning. Also, it was such a laugh!


Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?

My favourite module, Sports Event Management, involved a whole lot of interesting things. Our team managed to create a partnership with Carlisle United to host a primary schoolgirls’ football tournament.

We also managed to host the final match of the tournament at Carlisle United’s grounds, Brunton Park. We had the chance to ‘borrow’ the mascot outfit and got the participant teams free tickets to watch Carlisle beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0.


How did coming to university change your life?

I’ve learnt a great deal from studying at university and I’m not just referring to my academic studies. University teaches you to think. Not just about your studies but about everything. That really does change you.


Did you make any lifelong friendships at university?

Yeah, I try to stay in contact with a few people from university and meet up regularly with those living close by!

I’ve learnt a great deal from studying at university and I’m not just referring to my academic studies. University teaches you to think. Not just about your studies but about everything. That really does change you.

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?

When I started university I wanted to be a PE teacher. Although I still think this is an admirable profession, I knew after my placement module that it wasn’t for me. Luckily my degree had other modules, Sports Event Management being one that I was more suited to. I would say my ambitions have changed somewhat!


Would you be where you are today, without your degree?

I would definitely not be where I am today without my degree. It gave me knowledge, as well as confidence and other life skills. It also secured my current role as event specialist with UK Cycling Events Ltd.


What are your current career ambitions now and in the long-term?

Currently, I’m planning to provide another successful season of cycling events in the UK, following on from two previous seasons. In the distant future, perhaps I will start my own events company.


What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Our customers are cyclists. Cyclists include everyone from ex pros, amateur racers and club riders to weekend hobbyists and first timers. Seeing someone ride maybe 30, 50, 100 miles for the first time and experiencing their joy with them is amazing. That’s what we do.


What are you most proud of?

I bought a house with my girlfriend in Carlisle this year. I know it’s not a massive achievement but I feel like I’m doing something right. I’ve also started swimming and completed my first triathlon in 2017. That was a great achievement for me as swimming has always been a weakness of mine.


What advice would you like to pass on to current students if they wish to pursue a similar career to yours?

Organisation is really important in my career. It used to be a weakness of mine before university and now it’s one of my strengths. Stay organised.


Anything else?

While I studied at UoC, I also worked as a fitness instructor in the sports centre on Fusehill Street.

It was great to help people and I really enjoyed it. Now in my spare time I like to try and inspire people to try new things fitness-based by running a website listing all the local fitness, race and finish line events in Cumbria. It’s called Fitness Cumbria (www.fitnesscumbria.co.uk) so go check it out.

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