Richard Thomas, BSc Sports Therapy Graduate
"After much consideration I decided to return to full-time education by enrolling on a new course offered by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen – right on my doorstep! A degree in Sports Therapy.
"It was through word-of-mouth I heard about the course and after enquiring further and talking to the course director Kate Evans and Senior Lecturer Dave Gardner I discovered it was the only Sports Therapy degree in Wales accredited by the Society of Sports Therapists.
"I wanted to make sure that if I was to invest three years of my life, where I would have to sacrifice time and money and juggle being a full-time father, a part-time gardener and a full-time student, I would be suitably qualified after graduating to begin practising immediately without having to gain further qualifications.
"I knew that with the challenges ahead I would have to feel very passionate about the course if I was to sacrifice so much. I was happy to hear that after the first year we would be suitably qualified to begin practising sports massage on our own clients and therefore make some money while we studied.
"Kate was passionate about the degree and I was happy knowing that there would be lots of practical aspects to the course. If I’m honest, I wasn’t prepared for the academic writing and researching that was necessary – I had been out of education for some time and it was a challenge to write academic essays again – a real shock to the system!
"I also found the acquisition of modern technology skills – PowerPoint presentations and statistical data analysis programmes quite daunting, however the University helped by providing study skill sessions that allowed me to gain valuable 1-1 tuition and I was brought up to speed in no time.
"I have worked with the Newport Gwent Dragon’s regional rugby team where course director Kate Evans is head of rehabilitation. It was amazing to work with someone of Kate’s calibre – someone who has two MSc's and a BSc along with almost 15 years’ experience working in professional and semi-professional rugby union.
"Her depth of knowledge and passion for the profession filtered into us as students and she challenged us both personally and professionally, clearly wanting her fledgling first year Sport Therapy graduates to succeed and follow in her footsteps! Although it may be some time before I consider a PhD, as she is currently undertaking!"