If ever there was proof of the value and the benefit of Wolves Foundation’s University degree, it is in the number of graduates who go on to land a job within the industry shortly after completing the course.
And many of those have ended up working within the Foundation itself.
Ahead of the next Open Day for the degree, run in conjunction with the EFL Trust and University of South Wales, we caught up with Pav Davies, who graduated in 2020 and is now employed as a Schools Coach within the education & skills pillar of the Foundation.
Pav, a 23-year-old from Halesowen, decided to study for the degree after taking PE at GCSE level followed by a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport at Stourbridge College.
“I had always been interested in sport, from playing football from about the age of four to playing rugby from 12 right through to now,” Pav explains.
“My parents both worked as co-ordinators within Sports Development in Sandwell so I think my interest was always there.
“Before enrolling on the degree I remember speaking to Jonny (education & skills manager Jonny Warburton) about the course and what it entailed and from what I heard I thought it would really suit me.
“It offers a mix of blended learning between the theory and technical side and then the practice of implementing all of that into practical delivery at sessions.
“As you study it is not just about becoming better rounded coaches but also better rounded people, with all the increase in confidence and organisational skills that comes with it.”
That mix of classroom tuition - large parts of which is based at Molineux - and work placements within the Foundation combine to offer students plenty of scope with potential employment opportunities after graduating.
The wide-ranging modules can prepare for careers as PE teachers or sports coaches or indeed within the Foundation, which is what happened with Pav.
“Having mentors from the Foundation during the course really helped as I could take different parts from how they coached and put it all together in a way which I felt comfortable when delivering sessions,” he says.
“I was always putting myself forward and I think the staff saw something in me which meant they would give me more responsibility to lead parts of the Foundation’s Schools programme even while I was still studying.
“That allowed me to go out and build up my confidence and knowledge and know exactly how to follow all the relevant processes, including important areas like safeguarding.
“When an opportunity came up working within Schools Sport and I was successful it meant I could pick up from where I left off with the degree, adding in the administration skills which you need for the job.
“Now I absolutely love what I do.
“Having a positive impact on the participants and creating opportunities for them is so important.
“I am very big on equality and diversity and making sure we are giving opportunities to young people across Wolverhampton.
“We want them to be inspired towards doing what they want to do, and nurturing their interests and their skills to help them reach their potential.”
For anyone interested in potentially studying for the degree from next September, an Open Evening is being held at Molineux this Wednesday (November 10th), from 6pm-8pm.
Pav would encourage anyone interested to attend in order to find out more.
“It’s a great opportunity for anyone to come along and chat to Jonny and Brad (Senior Education Officer) and all the other staff who will be really approachable about the course and what it offers,” he added.
“People will be able to have their questions answered but from my point of view I would certainly say it is definitely worth considering for anyone with an interest in sport and coaching.
“There are lots of different pathways available in coaching and working for a professional football club, and being involved in that community around Wolves and Wolverhampton, is something I am really enjoying.”
CLICK HERE to register your interest and book a place for Wednesday’s Open Evening.
CLICK HERE for more details about the degree.