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Alumni

Neil Graham

Career Path: Coach Development Manager, Scottish Rugby Union
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

I come from Berwick Upon Tweed, and studied and worked at Northumbria University for a total of seven years. I always wanted to get into coaching and coach development, Northumbria offered the perfect undergraduate course for me at the time. I was lucky enough be asked to work for Team Northumbria when I graduated in 2005, my first role was as a Community Sport Development Officer before gaining promotion to Professional Development Manager where I managed all student sport scholarships, internships and coach education activities.

What are you doing now?Neil Graham

I head up all coach development activities at Scottish Rugby, from UKCC Level 4 course development through to coaching resource production. I manage a team of six full-time staff who support the delivery of coach education activities throughout Scotland in schools, clubs and universities. I also support some developing nations through the World Rugby Training and Education scheme. In this scheme I have delivered coach development courses in countries such as Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, and Malaysia.

 

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

 

Studying at Northumbria provided me with excellent opportunities to link with national governing bodies and gain recognised qualifications and experiences. I gained my first paid coaching role as a result of a placement I undertook with the RFU.

 

What was the best thing about your course?

Gaining a breadth of understanding on the current coaching landscape, and being able to gain real coaching experience through various placement opportunities. Whilst studying, the Director of Sport at the time, Ian Elvin, was a real inspiration to me and helped a lot in my early years whilst working for Team Northumbria.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Playing for the Rugby Team and winning the Stan Calvert Memorial Cup. Playing in front of 4,000 people at Kingston Park in the Clash of the Titans match.

 

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

The course provides you with lots of relevant experiences which will place you in good stead for working life.

 

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

 

Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.

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