Student Case Studies
Jack Faren, HND Coaching & Developing Sport
Jack Faren joined Police Scotland at the age of 18, but one year in he realised it wasn’t the career path for him.
“I’d always loved football, I used to play Highland League, so when I came across the HND in Coaching & Developing Sport at Inverness College UHI I realised I could turn my passion into a potential job.”
The course involves mandatory coaching placements and Jack spent his with Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club.
“The placements opened up lots of opportunities for me. After doing the placement at Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, I was offered a coaching role in its Academy. I’m studying, coaching under-13s and doing my SFA coaching badges through the club, all at the same time. I’d encourage anyone interested in this course to think about what you want to do as a career, pick a placement that is most relevant and embrace the opportunities. I didn’t want to settle with the police, and I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m doing something I love.”
With SFA badges under his belt, Jack is heading to Canada this summer with Challenger Sport to coach football to youngsters and hopes to continue his studies next year with the BA (Hons) Sports Management.
Matthew Tidey, BA (Hons) Outdoor Education and Learning
Matthew Tidey initially studied NC Outdoor Pursuits before progressing to study Sport Studies. The NC provides students with a basic introduction to outdoor sports, giving them the opportunity to work with High Life Highland and do The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. As part of Sport Studies, Matthew specialised in outdoor education and this year progressed to our BA (Hons) in Outdoor Education and Learning with the view to becoming an outdoor instructor in the future.
“Sport Studies is a really good course and has really helped me decide on the career I want in the future,” he said. “We do everything from hill-walking to mountain biking, orienteering, kayaking, skiing and rock-climbing. Our lecturers have just been amazing, they are all very experienced in their fields so you get really good feedback and they are so enthusiastic. The course has really strong links with High Life Highland and Glenmore Lodge, the Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre, so we’re learning so much and meeting the right people. I really enjoy rock climbing and would love to go on and be an instructor.”
Allan MacPhee, BSc (Hons) Sport and Fitness
Sports student Allan MacPhee helped lecturer Nicki Diggins succeed in her first Half Ironman Challenge after devising a 12-week exercise and nutritional programme for the 53-year-old. The programme formed part of Allan’s coursework for the HND in Fitness Health and Exercise, which qualifies students for a career as a personal trainer.
Allan, who is currently on the third year of the BSc in Sport and Fitness, was tasked with getting Nicki in peak physical condition for the challenge – consisting of a 1.9 mile open water swim, 90km bike ride and ½ marathon – and put together a strength and conditioning plan using free weights in the gym to complement her regular runs, swims and cycles.
Nicki’s goal was to finish within the top 10 per cent in her class at the Half Ironman Challenge, which took place in Aberfeldy in August 2017, but she ended up on the podium, finishing third in her class. She felt fitter and faster and now has her sights set on the full Ironman Challenge next year.
“At the start Nicki struggled with the weights, but as she progressed she grew in confidence and by the end, her performance had improved by 100 per cent. She could lift heavier weights and she was stronger and fitter. It was such a rewarding project to be involved in. Completing the HND qualifies you to be a personal trainer, so to be able to work with people on real-life projects is just a fantastic experience for students.”