Greg Downes

Sports Therapy - BSc (Hons)

Greg never saw himself attending university while growing up in Australia. He planned to pursue a career here in the UK as a professional footballer. When an injury ended his dream, he wanted to do something to help others experiencing the same thing, so decided to apply for our BSc Sports Therapy course to tackle injury management. Since then, he has embraced the opportunities BCU has given him to achieve his goals in his chosen career.

“I never wanted to attend university as I was growing up in Australia. I had my sights set on moving to the UK to pursue a career in professional football, however injury prevented that from being achievable. It was hard and it wasn’t until recently that I decided to build a career for myself in the UK. I have always been interested in injury management, so Sports Therapy was my ideal profession. However, to do this I had to do an extra study year at college, studying an Access to Science course as I didn’t do a a science course in college in Australia.

The content taught on my course is demanding but everyone is capable of learning and doing well. I think the most challenging thing for me is to keep achieving my expectation for each module.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve high results and, for me, this is the most challenging thing about my BCU experience. It can be difficult coming into university studying from college or employment and making that transition can be tough for students. I believe I am overcoming this, but I do, at times, get caught up with trying to keep improving and not taking as much down time as I should.

I am most proud of the results I have received so far on my degree programme. I never thought I would have adapted as well as I have. I have had some fantastic experiences out in the field, one of which was work shadowing the medical team at the Men’s Great Britain Basketball Team two months into my degree. It was a wonderful experience and one that made me even more focused to work within the sports industry. I have made the most of any extra-curricular activity that has been presented to students, which has made university life even more enjoyable as I get to meet other students from different courses.

I like the respect you get from staff and students around BCU. The staff have always shown an interest in me and it is fantastic to have that support when going through an undergraduate degree. I had a great discussion with my Programme Lead, Dr Peter Thain, at an Open Day I attended which really cemented why I wanted to attend Birmingham City University. The staff are fantastic and very proactive for students which helps us moving forward.

BCU has not only provided me a great course but also with additional work on Applicant Days and other marketing responsibilities. The extra income has been great. As well as this, there are always workplace experiences on offer to students who wish to apply for them. I have had many – for example, over the summer, students on our course got to experience a two week work placement in Canada. It’s a great learning curve when you’re in the industry, seeing first-hand what life is like in the sport and exercise field.

Birmingham City University is a part of me now and is helping me pave my way into a new profession. After my injury, I never thought I’d be where I am today but the opportunities provided have exposed me to new experiences, helping me to meet people and create new friendships and connections that benefit me at university but will also be invaluable when I graduate. I feel accepted as a student with a place of belonging in both the university and the city. I feel confident and proud when I represent BCU, especially on opportunities within my profession. I AM BCU is who I am."


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