carnegieXchange: School of Sport

From the Carnegie School of Sport to the Premier League

The skills, connections and experience Connor Aldridge gained at the Carnegie School of Sport gave him the platform to start a career in professional football, and soon after the Premier League. Read his story.

New Carnegie School of Sport Building

The sporting opportunities at Leeds Beckett University were a huge factor in my decision to enrol on to the BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science degree in 2016. My accommodation ‘Carnegie Village’ overlooked the athletics track where I spent much of my time running around in circles.

I was fortunate enough to meet some great people on my Sport and Exercise Science degree and have made some friends for life. Building these relationships was immediately supported by the university, where they organised a residential trip to the Lake District at the beginning of the first semester, which allowed everyone to form connections and close friendships quickly.

My degree was fundamental in helping to secure my first job in football after graduating; part-time academy strength and conditioning coach at Oxford United Football Club. The knowledge, connections and coaching experience gained from the course helped me to stand out from the crowd.

During my second year I worked as a part-time junior athletics coach as part of the Carnegie coaching programme and in my third year, I completed a 6-month sports science internship at Leeds United Football Club. The internship allowed me to learn from very experienced sports scientists and apply the knowledge gained from my undergraduate degree into real life situations within a world-renowned football club.

Fast forward 2 years and I now work full-time as an academy sports scientist at Aston Villa Football Club - the team I have grown up supporting, something I would have only dreamed of when I first started at Leeds Beckett University. I am still in the very early stages of my career, but I am certain that whatever I go on to achieve will have been built upon from the opportunities I gained during my time studying at Leeds Beckett University.