Gareth Haylins graduated from the UCLan MA Sports Coaching degree in 2011 and now works as a football coach and development coordinator at China’s largest grassroots football organisation.
Gareth’s passion for coaching began while he was studying for his undergraduate degree in Business Management at the University of Manchester. During this time he gained his Level 1 and 2 football coaching certificate and following his graduation he went to coach football in the USA.
He then embarked on the UEFA ‘B’ Licence coaching course, which he achieved with very little coaching experience and is his proudest achievement to date. This success prompted him to apply for UCLan’s MA Sports Coaching course in order to develop as a coach and improve his knowledge and credentials. Immediately after graduation he took up his current position in China.
He said: "In America I did lots of coaching hours for very little pay, but I cherish this experience to this day due to the impact it had on my coaching development. After that I became serious about coaching and therefore went and achieved the UEFA 'B' and an MA in Sports Coaching.
"I now coach children of all abilities from ages 4-16 and run two teams in the Beijing International Junior Football League. I am responsible for developing the quality of the Chinese coaches who translate and assist the lead coach."
Gareth has fond memories of his time at UCLan, which taught him to be more self-reflective and allowed him to learn from other coaches.
"I would highly recommend the MA Sports Coaching degree to every aspiring coach. I learnt a lot about coaching philosophy and the importance of having one. I found the coaching philosophy module most useful and I have introduced this notion to my current organisation. It has definitely had a huge impact on the way I coach and how effective I am."
Studying at UCLan enabled Gareth to embark on a career he loves, something he believes all students should aim to do.
He added: "Ensure you pursue something that you enjoy and feel passionate about. I feel so lucky to be doing something I completely love. Cherish all your experiences and self-reflect."