My journey so far...
Apprentice at Clayton & Brewill Chartered Accountants
Former Golf Professional (Represented England at under 18 level)
Tell us briefly about your career to date...
As a youngsters I represented Nottinghamshire at under 14s, 16, 18s and more recently mens 1st & second teams. During this time I was selected for the England golf unions Midland coaching squad aged 14 to 16, and then the England Golf union ASSE as an 18 year old. Also, I have competed in all the junior national championships with a highest finish of 15th – these fields attracted the best players from all across Europe.
How did you first get involved in the sport? And when did the opportunity come to start competing at an elite/national level?
I picked up my first set of clubs when I was 5 years old! Where I started playing on par 3 courses and then as a kid, I ended up playing as much as I could. I then joined a local club, Radcliffe on Trent GC when I was 10 years old and got my first handicap. From the age of 12, I started to compete in national tournaments and never looked back from there. I have to say also, my older brother of 18 months, was a great player also, so the competition between us was always high! I think we both made each other better!
To date, what’s been your biggest sporting achievement?
My biggest achievement to date was winning the county champion of champion’s tournament as a junior. This competition consisted of all the county champions from the junior ages who competed over two rounds. Some of the people playing that day in my category are playing in the England men’s elite team, some even professional household names, so looking back it was quite an achievement
Tell us a little bit about what is it that you are currently doing now?
When I completed my A-levels, at the West Bridgford School, I always new university wasn’t for me. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do! So I started looking in to professional apprenticeships, and subsequently joined Clayton & Brewill Chartered Accountants after successfully interviewing. Now at the firm, I am now finishing my ATT qualification which I should have completed by the end of this year. Following on from this I will be starting my Chartered exams (ACA) in March 2017 which is the start of the route to become a qualified chartered accountant.
How do you manage competing at an elite level, with full time education?
It is very hard as golf is time consuming! I try and get to the range when the nights are light but that’s always difficult with the light when the summer ends! I am now also trying to improve my game in other ways – ie stretching and flexibility, which can be done at home and doesn’t take up too much extra time. As a youngster, my school were extremely supportive and allowed me to have days off when I needed to compete, as mentioned before they let me play in the National schools championship which I wouldn’t have been able to do without their support. But now with full time work and study, it is extremely difficult to manage both
Now as a trainee accountant at Clayton & Brewill, do you think there are any skills/behaviours you have learnt through your time within elite sport, which is helping you excel in your current role?
Competitiveness – I have always been in a competitive environment in sport, and this stemmed from having a close sibling at the same level – which helped me push myself. This has certainly helped me in work as it pushes me to do the extra, to get jobs done ahead of other people and hopefully progress quicker than others. This is a mind-set I am used to.
Sacrifice – Competing at a high level, you always have to sacrifice your time and social life. But this has left me in good stead now, as I am committed to sacrificing my time to be as successful as I can in my work, my sport and my continued studies. Often this means when my mates are out, I am in revising or competing!
Self- discipline- I always believed I have had good discipline anyway from a young child, it’s even more important in my current role as of the rules and regulations in the law within the profession I am in – even when things aren’t going well I have to be disciplined to not cut corners in my work. But I have been brought up in competition where you can’t cut corners, so this is something I have taken in to the working world.
Time management – I learnt this during my time at England golf and have carried it through with me to work. It’s mainly due to organisation but it’s something that was emphasised during my time within golf and planning how you spend your time in my eyes is never a bad thing – and now with my work, study and sport, I need to manage my time affectively, and also leave time to relax and recover!
Do you have any advice for other students who are currently involved in elite sport, who are going through career transition from elite/professional sport?
In hindsight my biggest regret was not looking into going to university in America on a sports scholarship. Scholarships are widely available and the standard is getting higher and higher every year, especially in a game like golf when you’re playing career is so long, it’s not even a backwards step and you get a great education for free. But I feel now I am in a good place, being able to compete, study and work with a lot of support.
Mental perspective – I think this is important. Look to seek the positives from everything you do and not let the opinion of a coach or squad selector put you down, and take this resilience in to your next step.
Elite sport can be based on opinions and you need to build thick skin. Always believe in your own ability, take feedback on board and take this approach in to all walks of life.