Darragh McNamaragh has had a successful career since graduating from USW. Below, he outlines how undergraduate and postgraduate study provided him with the expert knowledge and skills required to succeed in the industry.
"Studying a BSc in Sports Science and Rugby at USW gave me the fundamental skills to pursue my passion as a lifelong career! Alongside the obvious benefits of acquiring top class knowledge and expertise in the sports science world, I connected with some of the most pivotal rugby people in the region during my time at USW. A major part of my career journey so far is directly attributable to the mentorship I received at USW. Our course lead, Dean Parsons, worked tirelessly to provide credible work experience opportunities through internships and voluntary placements with local rugby outlets and I cannot thank the lecturers and facilitators in this course enough for paving a career path for me.
In September 2013, I moved to Cardiff to study all things rugby with USW which led to me achieving an MSc in Performance Coaching and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Training as well as some invaluable employment experiences along the way. I started with a voluntary internship at a local College Rugby Academy in the capacity of 1st XV Assistant Coach where I cut my teeth as an aspiring sports coach. The mentorship and guidance I received from Dean Parsons at USW during this internship allowed me to acquire the vocational expertise to be successful in applying for my first professional rugby coaching position as Director of Rugby at Cowbridge Comprehensive School while studying my MSc at the time. Under the recommendations of my university mentors, I then pursued a teaching degree with USW which led to full-time employment as a Lecturer in Rugby Performance and Excellence at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.
Six years after embarking on a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening career journey with USW, I moved back to my hometown of Cork, Ireland to take up a full-time role in Adult and Community Education where I focus on implementing health and fitness initiatives in the Further Education and Training sector. Additionally, I now hold the role of U20 Head Coach at one of Ireland’s top-level domestic rugby clubs, Cork Constitution Football Club as well as working as a Backline and Attack Coach to 2019 Munster Senior Schools Cup winners, Christians Brothers College, Cork.
There can be no doubt that the vocational knowledge, expertise and experience I gained since making the decision to enrol on the BSc in Sports Science and Rugby at USW has been integral in the success of my professional life so far. Put simply, I would not be where I am today without the support, guidance and connections of the lecturers in the USW rugby department. Some of the fondest memories of my rugby life to date were spent at USW. Most notably, the promotion-winning season achieved as a 1st XV squad to the BUCS Premier division in the 2014/15 season and that of a tournament-winning performance at the Cardiff Rugby Fresher’s Festival in 2017 where I coached alongside a USW classmate of mine to give back to the institution that provided us with so much. I would highly recommend the rugby course at USW to anyone who is passionate about making rugby their professional lifelong endeavour – be it playing, coaching or professional development, USW rugby has you covered!"
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