Coaching course continues despite lockdown challenge

There are many activities which have unfortunately but completely understandably been delayed or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But for those enrolled on the Wolves Foundation’s degree in Community Football Coaching and Development, run by the University of South Wales, the studies can very much go on.

Under normal circumstances, the academic delivery of the degree consists of lectures via an online platform hosted by the Foundation twice a week in the Study Centre at Molineux.

With that not possible at the moment, students are instead completing all their studies online at home, albeit with the support of course lecturers at USW and their Club Mentor at Wolves, Brad Moore.

And there are probably few better placed to help them on their way than Brad, who graduated from the course himself last June to continue a journey that began at the Foundation when first checking in as a 16-year-old apprentice:

As a club mentor, it's about helping them on their journey from their first year to graduation

The course would normally include a residential at the start and end of the year, and other practical assignments, but at least the cohorts from Years One, Two and Three are able to continue with their lectures via the online platform.

For me, as a club mentor, it is about helping them on that journey right from year one to year three and graduation, which includes offering personal and academic support and pastoral care.

That is probably even more important now, so I am making sure I am in regular contact with the students on the telephone and online, even if we can’t stay in touch face-to-face.

For some, this time of year means they have their final assessments, so we need to make sure we maximise every opportunity to keep in regular contact, utilising time with their lecturers at USW, and seeing what their plans are for the next couple of months.

There are so many different modules which help to prepare you for a career in sport 

It is good that they are able to carry on with the course during these difficult times and communication is key to help them continue to progress.

I was planning to go into the Sixth Form, but as soon as I saw that I could do an Apprenticeship with the Foundation, that seemed such a great opportunity.

After those two years, I moved on to the degree, combining studying with real experience and picking up skills which would make me more employable.

There are so many different modules on the course which helps prepare you for a career in sport, and what I learned during the three years really helped me to progress.

Whether it was from project management, or the teaching experience or coaching experience – which included travelling to Germany, Belgium and Cyprus – it all came together to make up a degree which taught me so much.

I have managed to get a full-time job with the Foundation

I have managed to get a full-time job with the Foundation and others have gone on to become PE teachers and sports coaches out in the region.

I am a massive Wolves fan, I have supported them all my life, and it is a pleasure to be around the club.

Working for the Foundation doesn’t really feel like work – I get out of bed every day and know I am going to enjoy what I am doing.

To be impacting the community for the club I have always supported and knowing what the badge represents is very rewarding and brings a real sense of pride.

Bobby Briers, course leader at USW, is full of praise for the efforts of Wolves Foundation staff in helping forge such a strong partnership in delivering the degree:

Wolves have been an exceptional club in the contribution of students on our course.

They have been delivering the programme for three years, with a 100% first-time pass rate completion on all students who have enrolled onto the course.

They provide a well-structured and accessible education programme which supports students undertaking their Foundation Degree and, from recruitment to graduation, they have proved they are supported every step of the way with some fantastic current student stories and alumni recognition.

There is clear evidence that the Wolves education department provides development both academically and professionally, preparing students for the very competitive football development & coaching industry.