Game changing experience

David Griffiths, rugby coaching

David Griffiths, 21, from Llanelli graduated from the FD Rugby Coaching & Development in 2014, and is now studying the BSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and Performance.

Last summer, he joined the organisation Bhupesi Pride on its annual tour to Africa, supporting rugby and community development in schools and community centres.

"I came to this Unversity because I was excited by the fact that it focused on rugby, which I had studied at college. I was drawn by the fantastic opportunities and links the University had. The fact that the degree was practical, with hands-on coaching suited my style of learning too.

For a rugby student, living in or close to Cardiff is perfect. It is an awesome city for students and I always look forward to the Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations!

The course also gave me the opportunity to gain extra qualifications, such as the IRB/WRU Level 1 Coaching Rugby Union Certificate and the IRB/WRU level 2 Refereeing Certificate.

This is very important - I am not just getting a degree, I have the chance to gain external awards in athletics, strength and conditioning and UKCC Qualifications. I recommend it to every student - if the chance is there for you to gain extra qualifications, you should take it.

The course presents the most fantastic opportunities to coach locally, nationally and abroad.

I have worked at the Wales Rugby Union coaching schools in Cardiff and with the Cardiff Blues u14s school side. It has been extremely useful as the more I coach, the more I can deliver better coaching sessions in lectures. Being thrown in at the deep end with some difficult schools was a bit challenging but worth it to interact with different ages and abilities.

Last year, the legendary JPR Williams introduced Bhubesi Pride to us during one of our lectures.

Bhubesi Pride assembles highly qualified teams to carry out annual rugby coaching expeditions, using the sport as a tool for education and development in Africa. I jumped at the chance to get involved and joined the expedition for the Namibian and South African legs of the tour, coaching with senior South African coaches and players in numerous schools during the six weeks I was there.

It was an life changing experience. I met some incredible people, made friends for life with people from all over the world and hopefully, helped to create a sustainable legacy for villages and communities in some desolate areas of a magnificent continent. The game of rugby union has the power to do this."