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Sports and Exercise Therapy Graduate Stories

Sports and Exercise Therapy Graduate Stories

With a global increase in sporting participation and challenges faced by health related issues such as obesity, sports therapy graduates are well placed in terms of employability skills. Sports therapists can find work in sports injury clinics or with a sports club or sportsperson. Many therapists combine working in this area with other roles and may work with a range of patients or at a number of workplaces. Some therapists are also self-employed, working with private patients.

Some of our graduates talk about their experience on the BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy course, how it has helped them achieve their career goals and advice for new students.

Women giving physio
Plus Icon Craig Holding


Graduated 2017

"Upon graduating from Leeds Beckett University I got a full-time job working for Blackburn Rovers Football Club. My job title is ‘First Team Sports Therapist’. On a day-to-day basis, I treat first team players using several different treatment modalities. I complete injury assessments and conduct hydrotherapy, gym rehabilitation and more functional based rehabilitation for our patient group on the grass. In addition to this, I also lead parts of the pre-training prehab sessions. This must be carried out to a high standard due to the patient group we have and the standards we set within the medical team. I have also had the experience of dealing with leading surgeons when being present at player consultations and operations. All of this requires me to work independently and as part of a team, which is specifically highlighted with the highly pressurised first aid cover we provide on match days."

What advice would you give to someone starting the BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy Degree?

"Ensure that you complete as many placement hours as possible in as many different sports, and in addition to that, try to complete different courses to gain more experience and knowledge in areas of sports therapy that interest you. I would also advise attending sports medicine based conferences, so that you can speak to current working professionals to gain more knowledge in the profession. That could lead to more placement hours or even employment in the future!"

Plus Icon Becky Perry

Graduated 2017

"Since graduating in 2017 I have been employed by Super League rugby league team Leeds Rhinos. My role at Leeds Rhinos involves working within the medical team of the first team and heading up all treatment and rehab within the women’s team.

What I enjoy most about my job here is the variation in what I get to do. Across both teams I am involved in massage, injury diagnosis and rehabilitation, CPD training, pitchside first aid and extrication of players. No training session is the same, so it never gets boring. Alongside this I am studying part-time for an MSc in Strength and Conditioning.

The BSc (Hons) Sports & Exercise Therapy Degree gave me the basic knowledge and confidence to deal with pitchside injuries and the subsequent treatment and rehabilitation of athletes. The placement module developed my confidence further by allowing me to put into practise many of the things that I learnt in the classroom at university. On placement I was exposed to all sorts of injuries, where I was required to use knowledge gained in evidence-based rehab to quickly adapt and apply what I had learnt to treat different injuries and to use current research for injuries that I hadn’t come across before.

Sports Trauma was probably the most useful module for me and one which I really enjoyed. I also went on to complete an Emergency First Aid in Sport qualification at the end of my second year, allowing me to travel to Holland with an AASE Rugby Union team that played the Dutch and Belgian national 7’s teams.

In 2019 I also completed the RFU Level 2 Pre-Hospital Immediate Care in Sport course, which allows me to work at higher levels of competition. Having a trauma qualification has also allowed me to work pitch side at games for the Rugby Football League, Leeds Beckett Rugby Union and League teams.

Since graduating I have had to deal with numerous serious injuries that potentially could have been life or limb threatening if not dealt with quickly and correctly. If we hadn’t completed a module in Sports Trauma, my interest in pitch side trauma management wouldn’t have been sparked and I wouldn’t have known where to start in dealing with these injuries."

What advice would you give to someone starting the BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy Degree?

"I would advise new students to make an extra effort to engage with placement providers and the athletes they’re working with. Jobs often come as a result of placements, but only if you show that you want to be there and want to learn.

I started on placement with Leeds Rhinos in my final year and continued to volunteer for almost a year before being offered a permanent job with both the first team and women’s team. This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn't made myself available every week for the early morning starts and late finishes, been punctual, presented myself well during my time there and generally made a few sacrifices for a job in professional sport, something that I have strived for from an early age.

One more piece of advice I would give is to learn more about the sport you’re working in if you don’t know it well already. This will allow you to chat to players when you’re treating them, and shows you’re making that little bit of extra effort."

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