James Redman – Graduate Profile
10th December 2018
Graduate interview – James Redman
What course did you study and when did you graduate?
I studied Sports Therapy and graduated in November 2018.
Tell us about your time at the university…..
My time at UoG definitely lived up to expectation. Being originally from a small city, it was just like being home from home. The open days were enough for me to commit myself to the uni, as all the subject staff were all so friendly and passionate about what they do. I didn’t want to just be a number in the system and all the way through my journey; I was always given the right support and advice in which I needed to succeed.
During my 1st year I lived in halls. At first I didn’t know anything about anyone, which was pretty daunting. But after that first night, I got to know the people who I was going to live with for the next 3 years and make lasting friendships. The 1st year was personally my favourite. There was always something going on whether that was with the uni or externally, from creating a 5-a-side football team with my flat mates (big up Crickley FC!) to learning all the new content and what the sports therapy world had to offer. Also, during my 1st year, I worked at Cheltenham racecourse during race weeks. In terms of jobs, I found it quite hard to find the balance between studying and wanting some extra pocket money, as my timetable was pretty ruthless. But with that being said, I’m sure other people found it easier to manage.
From a personal point, the best thing about the whole UoG sports science area was the exposure to such a vast range of different opportunities. The standard of the placements on offer were incredibly high. Throughout my 3 years I was able work with athletes of all different sports, ages, gender and ability, and from that I have developed different skills and they have set me in good stead for life after university.
What is your current role?
I currently work as the lead Foundation Phase & Youth Development Phase (u9’s to u16’s) Sports Therapist at Cheltenham Town football club and I am also an intern Sports Therapist with their first team. My role is to lead and oversee the medical procedures for all FP & YDP academy teams as well as the u19’s development squad. During training nights, I run an academy injury clinic to which I am responsible for providing examination & assessments, diagnosis, advice and rehabilitation. On match days, I oversee all medical emergency pitch-side care and conduct warm ups and cool downs.
I secured the role, after a year’s placement at CTFC where I shadowed another graduate from UoG SPT who is the lead therapist for the PDP (u18’s) squad. The placement was a great opportunity for me to learn what it would be like to be involved in the day to day running of a professional football club as a Sports Therapist. I was fortunate enough to be given quite a bit of responsibility during the placement as I was exposed to examination & assessments of injured players accompanied by rehabilitation sessions. Looking back, the amount of practise I had during that year was really beneficial and has now allowed me to gain the opportunity of working in a professional football club as a graduate sports therapist.
What is the best thing about your job?
There are so many good things about what I do. Working within an academy setting, for me holds so many intrinsic rewards. Week in, week out I see my skills which I learnt through my degree having a positive affect on the players in which I work with both at the academy and professional level. I enjoy waking up everyday and I always look forward to the day ahead.
What is the hardest thing about your job?
I am constantly being pushed outside of my comfort zone. I keep reminding myself that I am still only a new graduate so there are still so many things still to learn and experience. I am only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of my career, and so far since graduating, there have been situations where I have needed to adapt to. But I think the hardest thing, is that how volatile football can be. From a Sports Therapist’s point of view, when you’re in a team environment it’s easy to get dragged into a place of disappointment and negativity when things go wrong. However it is so important to try to keep spirits up and I’m afraid that’s something that uni doesn’t teach you. You’ve definitely got to be quite strong willed, which at times has been tough.
What are your ambitions in sports therapy?
I have quite a few things I would like to accomplish in my career. From an educational point of view, I am eager to continually develop myself as a practitioner and I am consistently looking for courses to help expand my toolbox and I am actively seeking to enrol on a MSc degree program that suits my aspirations to add strings to my bow as it were.
In terms of sports therapy and the pathway I want to take, I will always have the view of keeping my pathways open. Although at this moment in time I am interested in applying my skills with team sports, especially football. However, I would never say no to the idea going down a different avenue within the sports therapy world, for example general practise or teaching.
What do you do outside of work?
I have recently moved up to Gloucestershire from Cornwall on a permanent basis, so whenever I get the time I always travel back home to see friends and family. I like to participate in sport especially football and cycling (Gloucestershire has some rather big hills). I also fancy myself a bit of a Gin and Tonic connoisseur so going out with friends is always good.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to study sports therapy or embark on a career in this area?
100% do it. I can only speak from the experience in which I had, but I truly believe that I wouldn’t have had the same support or opportunities given me if it wasn’t for the University of Gloucestershire. Along the way I have met and learnt a great deal off some very highly respected practitioners; I was given the chance to apply my new skills to a whole range of different sport placements which has lead to employment and I was fortunate enough to have had a strong support network around me from the lecturing staff and my course peers. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly some tough times during the 3 years, but there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. But if there was one message in which I could say to anyone thinking of embarking on a career in the sports science area, not necessarily Sports Therapy, it would be; always say yes!!! Get yourself out there, grasp any opportunity you can, meet different types of people of all sports and age groups, and just keep your options open. Oh yeah, and PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE!!!
You can find James:
Twitter – @James_RedmanST