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Success Story - Jack Garwood

19 year old Jack Garwood is from East Tuddenham in Norfolk. The sports foundation degree student has just secured a scholarship to do a degree at Concord University in West Virginia (USA). Here he explains how.

I was planning to do five A-levels after GCSEs. However, after chatting to the careers people at school and my parents, I decided this wasn’t what I wanted.

I’ve always loved sport – especially football – so I chose to come to the football academy at Easton and Otley College.

I went straight onto a level three diploma. It was a two year course and I came away with distinctions across the board.

Then I decided I would do the foundation degree. I wanted to study with Easton and Otley as the college has a football academy and I wanted to continue to train alongside study.

I also knew the teachers so I knew it would be more personable. I spoke to my friends on similar courses at other Universities and they say they don’t know their lecturers very well. You have to book an appointment with them. At Easton and Otley, you can stop them for a chat around the campus, book one to ones, speak to them after lectures and this is obviously very helpful.

I’m really glad I chose this programme. It has been great for me. Because I chose to stay with the football academy in addition to my foundation degree, I’ve carried on training and playing. This has meant that I’ve worked with former professional footballers like Darren Huckerby (ex-Norwich City) and Russell Martin (current Norwich City captain).

Russell is playing in the premier league and is teaching us things that he puts into practice against some of the best players in the world.

I’ve also picked up additional skills and coaching badges in football, fitness and I’m about to do a weightlifting course. The college gives you lots of opportunities. I have also participated in work experience – like getting paid to officiate at college sports matches.

In addition to that, I’ve made lifelong friends. At school it was cliquey. Here, you meet like-minded people with similar interests.

I also like the support network that you have and the academic side of things.

All of this has enabled me to secure a place on a football and fitness scholarship that will enable me to go and study at Concord University in the USA.

I’ll be going there in August to do an honours degree for three years. I can’t wait. It will be in athlete training and I will probably specialise in fitness and the injury side of things. I’ll also be playing football six days a week and hope to make it as a semi-professional over there – or maybe even higher.

College sport is massive in America – so I’ll be playing in front of bigger crowds than I’m used to.

I decided when I was 15 that I wanted to go to the US so this is a bit of a dream come true.

I had support from the college and an external agency. I went to trial days – one at the Etihad Stadium and one at Bisham Abbey.

The agency created a video clip of me that was sent around to Universities in America and the coach from Concord got in touch. He facetimed me saying he wanted me as part of his team and within a week I accepted the offer.

I may stay out there after my course – I have been on holiday before to Florida and all the theme parks. In that area (Florida and Disneyworld),  you type in nearest fast food restaurant in your phone and about 20 McDonalds restaurant’s come up in a ten mile radius.

I’m not going to University for that - I’m going for the new cultural experiences and the new opportunities.

www.eastonotley.ac.uk

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