Produced by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog by Magnus Moen, who is studying BSc (Hons) Sports Development and Coaching Sciences.
My name is Magnus Moen, I am in my final year on my undergraduate degree at BU. I chose BU because of the placement opportunity they offer and I knew I wanted to combine my degree with a placement year because of the industry specific experience you gain.
I originally applied for placement roles at various high performance organisations/clubs, but realised working for a smaller sport club would provide more opportunities for responsibility. The placement companies I worked at were Fjellhamar Football Club and Lorenskog Raelingen Swim Club in Norway. At both companies I combined a coaching role with club secretary assistant. This combination provided me with a wide range of tasks to complete, for example, I helped with swim courses for kids in kindergarten, school, and swim coaching at all levels in the swim club, ranging from beginners to swimmers on the national team. I also assisted with the football club, and I was responsible for coaching the football academy and club secretary assistant.
During my placement I was asked to do many new things, which could be very challenging. It could be specific tasks such as planning an education course/workshop for the club’s instructors and being responsible for commentating as the speaker in the regional competition for the swimming club. Other tasks included ownership of referees in the secretariat at a regional football tournament and being the working head coach of the academy because my manager and senior colleagues had to attend an important meeting.
The most significant task I got was to lead the project of writing a handbook for the swim club. A club handbook is meant to answer all questions or guide you to where you get the answers, and support maintenance in the board and management who are mainly doing their work on a voluntary basis. I worked on it for 4 months in total, but unfortunately because of COVID I was not able to finish it before my contract at the club expired.
On reflection, what I take from my placement is that I was comfortable while being on placement, but I realised I did many things that I had never done before, and I accomplished these challenges without previous experience, which I am proud of. Also, I enjoyed working with the wide range of age groups and performance levels, I worked with any age between 5 years old and 60 years old, novices to elite athletes.
My focus during my final year has been to keep learning and my aspiration is to secure a role in sport coaching. I wish to gain more experience and improve my sport specific knowledge further.
My advice for future students going on placement is to apply for something you could imagine doing as a career, and decide between a smaller organisation with wider opportunities or larger organisations for more knowledge and less tasks. Lastly, I chose to do my placement close to home for economic reasons like safety and less daily costs, this is a key factor to consider too.