Peter Collins, Sport, Physical Education and Community Studies, 2005

Current role

Disability Football Development Officer at Derby County in the Community

The University of Birmingham is an ideal place to study and socialise

Career experiences

Since leaving the University of Birmingham in 2005 I have worked in a Gym within a leisure centre for two periods of 6 months. In between those terms of employment, I worked as Faculty Resource Assistant at a High School where I assisted the Physical Education faculty in the delivery of the National Curriculum. In 2006, I spent 6 months in America working as a Football Coach for Major League Soccer Camps, an experience which will never be forgotten. Finally, I spent 8 months in 2007 working as a Sports Coach for my local Borough Council, specialising in the delivery of their Disability sports program before taking my current role.

What is the best thing about what you do now?

The best part of my role within Derby County in the Community is that I am able to work with diverse community, both in my coaching and in my development roles. The world of disability sport is underrepresented and misunderstood and I would like to help in some way to change that through my work.

And the worst thing?

I am constantly asked about the fortunes of the Derby County first team and why I cannot do anything to change it. The availability of complimentary tickets is also a burden.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?

The friendships and social networks that I created whilst living and studying here are as strong today as they were back then. Some of my best friends were fellow SPECS students or students that studied alternative courses who I lived with.

And the worst thing?

I do not think there is a worst part of my University of Birmingham experience and the SPECS course has helped me into the career I am now undertaking and so I would not have done anything differently. (Maybe a few earlier nights in the week?!) 

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?

I had a previous knowledge of Birmingham before I attended the University as my older brother graduated in 2004 and so I had spent many a weekend with him, getting to know the area and the campus. The University of Birmingham is an ideal place to study and socialise and my experience of the city and campus is close to my heart.

Advice for current students

I would advise current students that when looking for placements for different modules of the course, to secure placements related to their potential career as this will help. Two of my placements during my time on the SPECS course were at a Special School and at Derby County Football in the Community, both of which have helped me to secure the career I now have.