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CASE STUDY DAVID ROYAL

What is your current role?

I am the course leader of the City & Guilds (ISRM) Higher Professional Diploma (HPD) in Sport & Recreation Management at Loughborough College.

How long have you worked as an academic?

A total of 12 years, 7 of them at Loughborough College.

The technological revolution has brought with it the need for new skills

active – such as we are here at the University of Chester – then you have got to be, irrespective of your background, prepared to teach because it is a major part of the job.” At Loughborough College, the links with

the industry mean that there even more emphasis is being placed on a prospective lecturers’ professional credentials. “When we appoint HE lecturing staff in

leisure management, one of the pre-requi- sites is that the candidate has to have worked to a senior level in the leisure industry,” Angela Edwards said.

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What did you study and where, prior to becoming a lecturer?

My first job was as a PTI in the Royal Air Force, which provided me with a sound grounding for my future career path. I then went on to become a leisure centre manager with nearly 20 years operational manage- ment experience. I completed the ILAM (now ISPAL) Certificate in Leisure Management as well as the ISRM Diploma in Sports and Recreation Management, I went on to com- plete an MBA at Nottingham Trent University and then gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the same institution.

Describe your typical day.

I perhaps spend a lot of time (more than I think) communicating online with students on the HPD distant learning course. The dis- tance learning programme has grown signifi- cantly in recent years and we currently have two large contracts with major operators, namely – Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) and Centre Parcs. This has provided us with approximately 40 managers and trainee man- agers. Additionally we have a further 12 dis- tance learning students located throughout the UK and one guy located in South Africa who is heavily involved with the FIFA World Cup organisational plans this coming sum- mer. Distance learning students can fall into

“This is because we feel that it is very

important for our graduates to be taught by people who have got a very sound under- standing and background in industry. "So the profi le is of lecturers who worked in

industry but also have the correct academic qualifi cations. In our case, this means candidates having at least a masters and preferably a PhD.” Cable concludes by adding that the sheer

diversity in sport-related programmes means – coupled with the advances in technology – means that whether working on ‘soft’ or

different categories. Some need little guid- ance others require continual support, so my daily emails from this group of students can vary from a quick hello to asking me to look over piece of work that they may be unclear about. In between catching up with emails I have teaching commitments on a range of HE Leisure/Travel ¶ Tourism courses we provide. Wednesdays can be a busy day for me. The HPD day release programme currently has 28 students who attend weekly (on Wednesday) and travel from throughout the East and West Midlands, North Derbyshire and Cheshire. This is challenging but highly rewarding, working with students from industry.

How much research do you conduct/get involved with?

The amount of research throughout the academic (timetabled) yearI get involved is limited owing to the teaching commitments my colleagues and I have. However research and industrial updating is a key element in other parts of the year to ensure we maintain our standards of excellence. Furthermore, my PhD studies also provide me with continued professional development.

What would your advice be for graduates looking to get into academia?

I believe that to become a successful lecturer you increasingly need to have ‘real-life’ experi- ence from industry. I would advise prospective lecturers to undertake a teaching qualifica- tion (PGCE or similar). Reflect and consider what you could offer students and be honest to yourself. Also strive to achieve a masters degree in your chosen area as standards are continually improving and prospective employ- ers are raising their employment criteria.

‘hard’ sport science programmes, academic staff can look forward to a challenging yet rewarding career. Describing his own day-to-day role, he says

that no two days are the same. “Some days involve giving lectures and meeting with students, some meeting with staff to discuss various initiatives. Some days may be spent researching in the laboratory and others having meetings with individuals from elite sport or health agencies to help them problem solve or discuss joint research. Life is therefore very varied and enjoyable.” ●

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