Monday, 2 March 2015

Star athlete looks to the future

Top athlete Jenny Meadows' international career spans almost two decades, but despite having one eye on the future she shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

Jenny is the fastest 800m female athlete in the World indoors in 2015 and is currently preparing for the European Indoor Championships in Prague.

Later this year she heads off for the World Championships in Beijing, before beginning her build up to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Whilst that might be enough to keep most people occupied, Jenny is also undertaking a Master's in Sports Marketing and Business Management at UCLan, as she prepares for life after Athletics.

She commented: "During my career I've gained a useful insight into many aspects of the sports industry and have been privileged to gain first-hand experience working with a variety of key stakeholders.

"The daily demands of a professional athlete are in some ways very similar to being on a work placement scheme, as I'm gaining 'on-the-job' experience through my involvement with NGBs, local authority staff, sports development teams, sponsors, fans, sports agents, event management, corporate, media and production teams and sports regulators.

"This has ignited my interest in the field of Sports Marketing and Business Management and fuelled a desire to increase my theoretical knowledge to enable me to undertake a managerial career after my Athletics career is over."

Due to Jenny's training and competition schedule she is unable to attend UCLan campus. Course Leader, Dr Sue Minten, helps Jenny utilise the distance learning option available on the course, providing her with a recommended structure of study which Jenny tries to fit into her busy schedule.

"Obviously there is a degree of flexibility in this around the demands of my job, however I've found the pace of recommended learning very realistic," said Jenny.

"The combination of work and study has given me a new focus and has actually enhanced my passion for both as I can see the correlation between what I'm experiencing and what I'm studying in the course modules.

Jenny's husband, Trevor, is also currently studying at UCLan on the PG Dip Elite Coaching Practice course, and the pair are using each other's experiences to enhance their learning.

Jenny added: "We're finding plenty of common ground to discuss around the dining table, as well as both looking over our shoulder to see if we can benefit from any research or study notes that the other one is using.

"Having been an athlete for all my adult life, I'd always assumed I would dread the moment when I finally hang up my spikes, however through my studies at UCLan I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my professional life."

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