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October 12, 2023, by brzms6

Winning in the workplace: lessons from sporting heroes

Amrina Kaur, Employability Officer

We spoke to a number of our sporting alumni to identify who their sporting heroes were and how their admirable qualities can be a source of inspiration to excel in the workplace.

We asked our alumni: Who are your sporting heroes and what admirable qualities do they have that might be useful in the workplace? 

First up, we spoke to Marcus Briggs, President of UoN Dodgeball, 2020-22, and Intra Mural Sports Executive, 2021-22.

“Sarah Hunter. She is a world-class women’s rugby player who not only received the highest number of caps for any England player but inspired a nation into enjoying women’s rugby. Her leadership abilities, commitment and charisma are skills of hers that are useful in the workplace.” – Marcus Briggs

Marcus Briggs uses his skills as a sports leader to understand attributes that are valuable to players and professionals alike. He now works as a Club Development Coordinator in the Sports Development Centre at Loughborough Sport. This involves working with the Athletic Union team in assisting their 62 sports clubs.

Next, we caught up with Millie Doherty, President of University of Nottingham Tennis Club, 2018-19, and SU Sports Officer, 2019-20.

“Kelly Holmes – always loved her story and how she just kept going. I work in an environment where every day is different and you never know what to expect. That determination to keep going and getting better with each day is something I really admire.” – Millie Doherty

Kelly Holmes is celebrated not just for her Olympic gold medals but also for her remarkable journey. Calling on what you’ve learnt and how you’ve grown when you’ve faced challenges can help you to move forward positively, particularly in the fast-paced world of work.

We then spoke to Sophie Jackson, Women’s Flag Football Club Member, BUCS Big Wednesday and Flag in Schools Volunteer.

“Someone I really resonate with is Phoebe Schecter, she has created a career out of her passion and unrivalled love for American Football. I admire her work as she inspires women to be strong and get involved in a male-dominated sport, which can feel overwhelming sometimes!” – Sophie Jackson

Sophie acknowledges Schecter’s dedication to her passion and her work in encouraging women to be strong in fields where they may feel overwhelmed. Phoebe Schecter’s story is a testament to channelling self-belief and valuing your own lived experience, whatever that might be, to build confidence and challenge industry stereotypes.

A recent graduate Andrew Salgo, who is UoN Sport’s Inclusive Sports Ambassador, spoke to us about his favourite sporting hero.

“Ross Graham Smith, Canadian footballer, who upon the conclusion of his professional career founded No Tippy Tappy Soccer Camp. They’re community driven approach, determination, charismatic, passionate.” – Andrew Salgo

Andrew, our Inclusive Sports Ambassador, works to support para-athletes at the university, and has created volunteering initiatives with para-sport organisations for students to participate in. He recognises the universal importance of Smith’s qualities, which extends beyond sports, encompassing inclusivity and teamwork within the workplace.

Menaf Al Nasir, our Intramural Sports President and UoN Volleyball President, 2019-23, had not one but three sporting heroes to praise!

“Phelps, Bolt and Neuer. They’re three top level athletes who pushed on and never backed down. Even as ‘new and better’ competition/athletes challenged them, they proved time and time again why they were the best by training harder and maintaining their excellence without getting complacent. These qualities and tenacious mindsets are aspects I choose to implement every time I’m challenged at work.” – Menaf Al Nasir

The legendary athletes Phelps, Bolt, and Neuer are praised for their unwavering commitment to excellence in their respective sports. Menaf, a sports leader, recognises how their dedication and unwavering commitment set them apart as legendary athletes. Menaf is now a MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate, and works as a Sales Development Representative for Beacon.

Sporting heroes are more than just figures on the field; they are a source of inspiration for qualities that can drive success in the workplace. Whether it’s leadership, determination, passion, or a commitment to excellence, the lessons we can learn from these heroes are invaluable as we embark on our careers. By channelling the spirit of these sporting icons, students and graduates can aspire to achieve greatness in their chosen fields.

How has your sports involvement contributed to your career journey? How has your sports involvement contributed to your career journey? Answer our question to be entered into our prize draw for your chance to win some UoN Sports prizes!

Posted in Sports