Combining study with employment can be challenging, but Sam Holden is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work and commitment.
Sam will soon graduate from our Sports Development programme and is contuining his studies as he looks to progress into teaching. We spoke to Sam to find out more:
Tell us your thoughts about UCLan and why should people study here?
UCLan developed my passion for becoming the best person I could possibly become. Through extensive support from the tutors, to their subject knowledge and guidance they've given, I'm confident in achieving success in the future.
University develops a high level of critical thinking and UCLan provides the perfect learning environment for you to excel no matter what your passion is. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
What have you done alongside your studies?
I work part-time for Bolton Wanderers Community Trust (BWCT) coaching athletes from a variety of backgrounds. On Saturdays I shadow academy coaches to further develop myself. I've recently been accepted onto a PGCE linked with Edge Hill University where I'll teach and study for one year, which will result in me becoming a NQT in Primary education.
You recently went to Spain – tell us about the trip.
I travelled to Valencia with a group of BWCT with a view to developing potential international contacts and partnerships. We coached football at Lliria FC to children there and helped them pick up basic English language skills. The Trust has since decided to focus their efforts locally.
I was subsequently offered a role as Disability Coordinator as part of a three-year project, but decided to decline the offer to continue with my studies and gain a primary PGCE.
What sort of challenges do you face in your role?
Balancing a part-time job with study can be difficult. The biggest challenge I've faced is structuring and managing my time properly.
I have to make sure I organise my life in order of importance and cut out anything that gets in the way of my development, to make sure I achieve my overall goals.
What have you enjoyed about the job?
It primarily provided me with pocket money! It's also enabled me to practice different coaching styles and methods which have been established through University modules. Finally I see children not only develop and learn new skills but to develop as individual people which gives me a huge amount of job satisfaction. Travelling to Spain was also a great experience.
What are your long-term aspirations?
I want to become a Head Teacher within either a mainstream or SEN primary school setting as soon as possible. From this point I intend to develop a new structure for primary education which involves tailoring each lesson towards the individual. I also aim to highlight the importance of Physical Education.
My main objective is to inspire individuals in becoming the best they can be and contribute towards change in education.