Why I chose to study Sport Coaching

Student spotlight | Naadrah Hafeez, BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching


Naadrah Hafeez

Naadrah chose to study Sport Coaching after discovering a passion for helping develop others’ talents. She made the most of multiple placement opportunities on her course and, since graduating, she has gone on to work with Nike and has become part of the Female Coach Development Programme with England Boxing.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to studying Sport Coaching?

I’ve always been involved in sport since I was young. In high school, I was in the sports academy where we’d deliver multi-sports sessions to primary school pupils. As well as being in the sports academy, I also regularly coached at my taekwondo club and that was probably the beginning of my coaching journey.

College hadn’t been the easiest time for me as it was the first time where I really struggled during my education. I realised at that point that I wanted to pursue something that I was passionate about. I was drawn towards the Sport Coaching degree because it encompassed two things that I really cared about – one being sports and the other being the development of others.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett University?

Leeds Beckett University is one of the best universities for sports and, after doing my research and attending the Open Day, it was a no-brainer. As well as that, my cousin was undertaking her undergrad at Leeds Beckett and she had only good things to say about the university. When I attended the Open Day it really cemented how I felt about the university, because it was such an inclusive and warm environment that would enable me to learn and develop.

What opportunities have you had on your course?

I was very blessed with the opportunities that I had on the Sport Coaching degree at Leeds Beckett. First and foremost, I had world-renowned researchers and coaches lecturing on the course, which helped support my development as both an academic and a coach. We were also given placement opportunities that a lot of courses don’t have access to, especially over a long period of time, in a range of contexts (e.g. primary schools, high schools, performance clubs, PRU units etc). Furthermore, we had the opportunity to explore our own sporting interests, allowing us to delve deeper and truly dissect the sport, from both a coach and athlete perspective.

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?

My favourite thing about being at Leeds Beckett University is the course itself and the people because that’s what made the degree worthwhile. We had amazing lecturers and students on the course, and they were all there to facilitate one another’s development. I think that’s a credit to the Sports Coaching Department and to Leeds Beckett University because they’ve created an environment that facilitates people to thrive in and be the best that they can possibly be. When you’re surrounded by knowledgeable, down-to-earth people it’s so much easier to learn!

Can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to now since you graduated?

After graduating, I completed my Level 3 in personal training and have been personal training since. I also coach regularly at my local boxing club (as well as training) and I am a part of the Female Coach Development Programme with England Boxing.

In January this year, I started a Masters of Research with ICOACHKIDS and Leeds Beckett, evaluating the quality and impact of ICOACHKIDS’ Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). I have also worked with ICOACHKIDS and Nike to help film and create their Coaching Essentials which will be available on the Nike Training Club app soon!

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

If you’re thinking of undertaking the Sport Coaching degree at Leeds Beckett University, I’d say go for it! But before you do, make sure that you’re willing to put 100% into the process. The people who are most successful coming out of the degree and had opportunities lined up, were the ones who were the most resilient and who were challenged often. It’s not going to be plain sailing, you have to allow yourself to be challenged in order to overcome, grow and develop.

The teaching staff on the Sport Coaching degree are incredible. The experience that they have within the coaching industry, within the research industry and within education is second to none, and if you put in 100% then they will give you 100% as well. I can wholeheartedly say that they will be there to support your development as an academic, as a coach and as a person. Remember, you can learn from anyone and everyone, there’s a lesson in everything.

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