Mon 30 May 22
Sporty students have been given “one of the best work experience opportunities in the country” by coaching top players at Colchester United.
The international master's students both took part in the community programme at the EFL League Two as part of their Coaching Science degree.
Changgan Li and Harsh Madan worked with Colchester United Football in the Community (CUFITC) for 10 weeks.
The aim of the collaboration is to support international students with experience coaching within community and football environments within the U.K to enhance their studies and experience during their time in Colchester.
The two students were selected after an interview to join the CUFITC Community Team and support Delivery Staff with their community sessions on a weekly basis.
Both students had the opportunity to coach participants from the Male and Female Development Centre Programmes and Grassroots Skills Centre Programme.
Changgan, who came from China to Essex earlier this year, said: “This three-month placement gave me the opportunity to be involved in training players of all ages, both boys and girls and at different levels of their development.
“This experience also allowed me to look at some of the theoretical elements with a critical eye in a practical setting.
“Most importantly for me personally, this placement allowed me to critique my performance as a Coach for the first time with the support of professionals.
“I’m very thankful for having the opportunity to support the CUFITC Staff and gain experience coaching players in the U.K.”
A feeling echoed by Harsh, who travelled from India to England to study.
He said: “This is an outstanding club, with a positive working atmosphere. Studying the literature and what the research says on papers, is completely different from applying it in the field.
“To close the gap between theory and practicality, we were offered this opportunity to work with CUFITC.
“Being an international student, my will and desire was to work in the UK, and this has been boosted because of the club and university and the chance they both gave me to come and learn here.
“This experience has had a great impact on me on and off the pitch and I hope to apply what I’ve learned moving forward.”
Dr Jamie Tallent, from the school of School of Sport, Rehabilitation, and Exercise Sciences, said helped oversee the scheme.
He said: “The collaboration with Colchester United Football in the Community has given the opportunity for students to partake in one of the best work experience opportunities in the country.
“It is key for Essex University students to gain good quality experience of working to complement their degree. We look forward to continuing this partnership to ensure both domestic and international students have the opportunity in developing key skills essential in their future careers.”
Rick Goldsbrough, the CUFITC Community Performance Manager praised the students.
He said “Both Students have been a pleasure to work with and have integrated into our Community Team very well.
“They impressed us in the selection process with their passion for improving people as well as footballers and their excitement to contribute to the community within Colchester during their stay.
“Both have a great future ahead of them wherever they decide to take their coaching career next! We look forward to working with The University of Essex again in the near future supporting domestic and international students with work placement opportunities during their studies in Colchester.”