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Sapphire is on the Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3
Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3 (Development, Coaching and Fitness)
North Devon Campus
“When I first started at Petroc I was on an A Level programme. However, I soon found that this way of learning and the strong focus on exams wasn’t for me. I’m much more suited to learning in a practical way and completing coursework.
I’ve always been interested in sport and competed at a regional level for swimming when I was younger. Even before switching to the BTEC, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in this industry after college, and set my sights on Bath University.
Because I did well in my GCSEs there was an assumption that I’d do A Levels, and other options weren’t really presented to me. I didn’t think that I’d be able to go to university without doing A Levels, which I now obviously know isn’t true. In fact, I think my options have been increased since switching to the BTEC as, if I’d carried on with A Levels, I don’t think I’d be as focussed as I am now. I’m not saying A Levels are worse than BTECs, it’s just a different way of learning and I’m more suited to the latter.
I enjoy many aspects of my course, but I found the Nutrition and Anatomy and Physiology modules particularly interesting. I’ve always loved healthy foods and healthy living, so I have been able to apply what I’ve learnt to my own lifestyle.
The facilities at Petroc are excellent, and I am a regular user of the gym. Since I’ve been going I’ve seen a steady increase in the number of users, especially females, which is great. The prices are really reasonable and the opening times are good, so hopefully more and more people will be encouraged to use it.
Through my course I’ve had several opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities. Last year I went to Romania with the Tag Rugby Trust, to teach the sport in remote parts of the country. It taught me many new skills in terms of teaching; the children couldn’t speak English so we had to adapt our teaching style accordingly and really focus on communication skills to overcome the language barrier. It was a fantastic experience and I’m going again this year.
I’ve recently secured a conditional offer from Bath University to study Sport and Social Sciences. Through a gifted and talented programme I took part in at school, I’ve had the opportunity to try several winter sports and, at Bath, I’ll be able to pursue this further, which I’m really excited about.
In the future I’d like to get into sport marketing and promotion, for someone like Octagon [sports marketing company] or Nike. In the third year of my university course I’ll get to go on a work placement. I know that Octagon is one of the options and I really hope I get to go there as, if I make a good impression, it might lead to further work experience or even employment in the future.
My advice to anyone wanting to follow a similar path to me would be; do your research. I fell into A Levels, even though they weren’t right for me, when a BTEC was a better option to get me on the university course that I wanted. There are loads of options out there so make sure you pick what’s right for you and don’t be scared to make a change if you feel it’s the right thing to do.”
Luke Doyle has studied a whole host of qualifications with Petroc, to boost his career prospects
Luke Doyle started at Petroc in 2009, on a Level 1 BTEC Sport course and, after passing with Distinction, progressed onto the two-year BTEC Level 2 Sport (Performance and Excellence) course.
In his second year he decided that he would like to study for an evening course to gain a Fitness Gym Instructor qualification, as this would be essential if he was to pursue a career in fitness.
After passing his BTEC with a Merit, Merit, Distinction profile, he decided that rather than go to university he would study to become a personal trainer and sport therapist. So, his fourth year at Petroc was spent studying Level 3 Sports Massage, Personal Training, Sports Conditioning, Outdoor Fitness and Business and Marketing.
During this time he secured a part time job in his local town's gym, G&S Fitness.
After completing his Personal Training course and recognising the importance of continuing professional development, Luke, then aged 20, took on two more qualifications; a Level 2 Strength and Conditioning course and a Level 3 Diploma in Mat Pilates, which he will achieve by June 2014.
Luke has also set up his own business running a fitness boot camp in the South Molton area.
Luke said: “Within the fitness industry there are a whole host of qualifications that you can study, depending where your interests lie. It’s great to be able to do these at Petroc, only a few miles from home, as this means I can still work whilst continuing to study."