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Matt Richardson - BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching, 2014

Matt Richardson is the Area Manager for Little Sport Coaching (LSC) in Leeds.

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Children playing football

Matt Richardson is the Area Manager for Little Sport Coaching (LSC) in Leeds.

Can you tell us why you applied for the sports coaching degree?

"I travelled to New Zealand when I was 17, and over nine years became a professional polo player both there and in the UK. I then set up my own business in the industry which involved teaching and coaching polo.

"When I returned to the UK, I signed up to the Royal Marines, but was unfortunately medically discharged due to a knee injury. It was at this point that I started to consider a return to education. I left school with minimal GCSEs and A-Levels and hadn’t been in education for 12 years since. It was a scary thought, but it was something I wanted to do and I had a lot to prove.

"I'm a sports fanatic and have played and taught sport all my life. As a mature student, a degree in Sports Coaching from Leeds Beckett seemed the obvious choice and has been fundamental to my current role as Area Manager.

Was the course what you expected?

“I found the breadth of understanding around the course, plus the culture and opportunities at Leeds Beckett particularly attractive. I also can’t praise the lecturers enough, they were open, easy to talk to and always went above and beyond, which, ultimately, inspired me to work hard and succeed.”

"The Sports Coaching degree helped me to develop a number of skills which I now regularly use in my role as Area Manager at Little Sports Coaching. University equipped me with vital skills such as planning, understanding individuals, and learning how to manage teams. These tools are key when it comes to understanding children but also understanding people in business."

Matt, can you tell us a little bit more about Little Sport Coaching?

"LSC was founded in 2006 with a mission to develop children’s sporting abilities right through from 18 months to 18 years old, before, during and after school, as well as weekends and during the school holidays. The business now works with over 160 primary and nursery schools and sees close to 35,000 children each week offering coaching across different sports."

Can you describe a typical day at work?

“My role is extremely varied and no two days are ever the same. Some days I may be coaching and visiting schools, or teaching the Tiny Tots or Mini Soccer programmes, and other days I might be forming new contacts in the Leeds and Yorkshire area, focusing on B2B marketing, reporting to the board and finding new opportunities and contacts for Little Sports Coaching.

"I also lead the ‘ExerScience’ programme with Little Sports Coaching; an innovative primary school scheme focused on the most deprived areas to encourage parents and children to combine healthy eating and sport. The programme challenges the myth that families can’t eat healthily and exercise on a fixed-budget."

Do you feel your time at Leeds Beckett was valuable?

“Achieving a first class honours degree was an immensely proud moment. If I could give one piece of advice to potential students, it would be to put the effort in and you’ll definitely reap the rewards. Use your tutors’ time wisely and ask questions; this was a game changer for me!

“I’m lucky enough to now be in a fantastic role with Little Sports Coaching where I have the freedom to really make a difference, both for the children in our care and for the company as a whole. I’m looking forward to an exciting future.”

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