Harvey Sawyer


Why did you choose to come to Petroc?
Petroc has always been a really convenient option for me being only a 20 minute drive away. Petroc has a variety of courses and also a good reputation through previously graduated students. Having a college close to where you live gives you more time to pick up a part time job and enjoy your own free time a bit more – rather than being stuck on a train.

What made you pick this particular course?
As a younger kid I was quite inactive with a sedentary lifestyle but then I found my love for sport through coaching and playing different sports. I had never really thought of pursuing it as a long term career. Elements of the course such as the anatomy, training methods and coaching methods have kept me interested in the course and wanting to learn more. Studying a BTEC was different to my other two A Level subjects, but I found the BTEC format was much more realistic and could teach me skills which are transferable to a job. I like the fact that this course could be studied alongside any other two A Level subjects.

What have been the highlights so far?
When I first started studying at Petroc I was actually put into contact with a Sports Centre Manager in Bideford (the Atlantic Racket Centre) and was offered a chance to get a self-employed badminton coaching role. One of the lecturers was extremely useful putting me in contact with this manager! Just because I decided to study at Petroc I have now been working as a Badminton Coach for almost three years – developing my interpersonal skills and enhancing my sports knowledge.
My chosen sport is badminton which I play (and now coach) to a decent standard. Petroc has given me chances that other colleges haven’t for their sports players to go to events such as the Association of Colleges (AoC) regionals and nationals competitions – competing and representing the South West.

What do you most enjoy about studying at Petroc?
The Petroc sports staff are all amazing! Every single one of them has a reputation with ex-students and I can see why. The lecturers are friendly, patient and make sure every student gets the help and support they need to reach the best grade possible. There is a decent balance of practical to theory sport sessions which keep variation in learning – preventing anybody from getting bored.I feel like Petroc and particularly the sport course has opened many doors for my next step.

What do you plan to do when you leave Petroc?
I have currently got a conditional offer at Cardiff Metropolitan University, providing I get a D* again this year. I plan to spend the summer working in coaching and saving up some money before heading off and studying Sports and Exercise Science for three years.

What’s the long-term plan?
I would like to get myself a Sports and Exercise Science BSc at Cardiff Metropolitan which will allow me to specialise in strength and conditioning. My long-term career goal is to get myself a strength and conditioning career working with athletes in a sports team. Doing the sport course at Petroc has given me the opportunity to go to higher education to pursue this goal.

Any advice for someone thinking of choosing the same course as you?
Some older generations think that sport can be a bit of a ‘drop out course’ or ‘easy to get the grade subject’ but I can promise you it is not. Within the course there is a module which allows you to explore the amount of jobs in sport at both grassroots and elite level. The BTEC can give you valuable interpersonal skills and knowledge to get into a sports career. There is huge amounts of money in both grassroots mass participation and elite level sport, meaning equally there are a tonne of jobs. This course doesn’t just restrict you to becoming a football coach or trainer- it allows you to become so much more and gives you the skills to do whatever you want in the sporting sector.


BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Sport

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“The lecturers are friendly, patient and make sure every student gets the help and support they need to reach the best grade possible.”