Billy Coleman – Student Profile

Billy Coleman is studying on our MSc Sport Rehabilitation and Therapy postgraduate course at AECC University College.

He tells us more about his motivation for taking the course, his plans for the future, and the important role that exercise plays in his life:

“I studied Clinical Exercise Science at Bournemouth University for my undergraduate degree and the course gave us access to the facilities at AECC University College. A lot of our lectures took place here on campus.

“We had access to the facilities here on campus, which are fantastic. We used the Sport Performance Centre to do exercise testing and got to use some of the amazing equipment that the University College has.

“The course gave me a good grounding across a number of areas relating to Clinical Exercise Science, such as physiology, nutrition and rehabilitation. That meant we could go on to pursue postgraduate study in any direction that we wanted. People have gone on to study Physiology or Sport Science or, like I’m doing, Rehabilitation and Therapy.

“After my undergraduate degree, and before the Covid-19 pandemic, I worked for a private cardiac rehabilitation centre on the Royal Bournemouth Hospital campus, called Bournemouth Heart Club. I did a placement there during my degree and I asked them whether there were any job opportunities. I was lucky enough to secure a job and it was great experience. I loved it. I’m hoping that when it’s safe to do so, I’ll be able to do some work there again.”

Studying at AECC University College

“The environment and atmosphere at AECC University College is great, because it’s a close-knit community of people who are all passionate about health sciences.

“I love living in Bournemouth and the lifestyle that it offers. I’m from the New Forest, which isn’t too far away. It’s the perfect distance away from home; far enough to be independent but also not so far that it’s difficult to get home if I need to.

“The course itself has been great. It’s a small group as this is the first year of the course, which is great for us. There’s also a nice mix of people with clinical experience and those that have come straight from university: we bring different skills to the course and can learn from each other.

“After I finish the Masters, I’d really like to work in elite sport. I also like the idea of pursuing academia and lecturing. I’d be really happy with either route. I like the idea of gaining say 15 years’ clinical experience to develop my clinical skills and then going into lecturing to share these skills with others.

“I’m just starting work on my dissertation now, which is due in August. I’m looking at the effects of two supplements on delayed onset muscle soreness, which is muscle pain or muscle damage that you get after exercise. 

“We’ve also got a trauma course coming up, which is accredited by UEFA. The course will focus on dealing with pitch-side medical emergencies and basic life support – for example, if someone has a cardiac arrest on the pitch.”

Importance of sport

“I’ve always loved football and it’s an important part of my life. I run my own Sunday League team. There’s a story behind it. In 2019, I unfortunately lost my dad to suicide. It was a difficult time but both the AECC University College and Bournemouth University were great in supporting me.

“I did a lot of fundraising after it happened for the charity CALM, which stands for Campaign Against Living Miserably. CALM is a movement against suicide.

“I managed to raise £14,000 for CALM the week after I lost my dad. The charity was kind enough to nominate me for an award and we discussed ways that I could go on supporting them with fundraising. After this, me and a close friend of mine decided to create a football team, DC United, with CALM being our proud sponsors.

“We’ve since raised a further £4,000 doing charity initiatives with the football team. For example, we won Hampshire FA’s ‘Local Legends’ competition and had the opportunity to have a game professionally filmed and analysed by ex-pro’s such as Ruud Gullit and John Barnes.

“I’ve been watching and playing football for as long as I can remember. It’s definitely influenced the choice of career that I am pursuing. I love exercise and am passionate about the positive effect it can have on people.”

You can find out more about the MSc Sport Rehabilitation and Therapy course here.

You can donate to Billy’s fundraising page for CALM here.