04 March 2015
Despite showing no signs of slowing down just yet top athlete Jenny Meadows already has one eye on her future after signing up to a master's degree at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The World and European athletics medallist, who is currently competing in Prague at the European Indoor Championships, has begun a part-time Master's degree in Sports Marketing and Business Management at UCLan and is due to graduate in 2016.
Jenny commented: “During my career I've gained a useful insight into many aspects of the sports industry and have been privileged to gain first-hand experience working with a variety of key stakeholders.
"The daily demands of a professional athlete are in some ways very similar to being on a work placement scheme, as I'm gaining 'on-the-job' experience through my involvement with NGBs, local authority staff, sports development teams, sponsors, fans, sports agents, event management, corporate, media and production teams and sports regulators.
"This has ignited my interest in the field of sports marketing and business management and fuelled a desire to increase my theoretical knowledge to enable me to undertake a managerial career after my athletics career is over."
“Having been an athlete for all my adult life I'd always assumed I would dread the moment when I finally hang up my spikes, however through my studies at UCLan I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my professional life.”
Due to training and competing commitments Jenny will complete her studies via UCLan’s online distance learning option which will provide the 33-year-old with a recommended structure of study to fit into her busy schedule.
“Obviously there is a degree of flexibility in this around the demands of my job, however I've found the pace of recommended learning very realistic," said Jenny. "The combination of work and study has given me a new focus and has actually enhanced my passion for both as I can see the correlation between what I'm experiencing and what I'm studying in the course modules.”
Jenny's husband and coach, Trevor, is also currently studying at UCLan on the Postgraduate Diploma Elite Coaching Practice course, and the pair are using each other's experiences to enhance their learning.
Jenny added: "We're finding plenty of common ground to discuss around the dining table, as well as both looking over our shoulder to see if we can benefit from any research or study notes that the other one is using.
“This next step will enable Jenny to continue making a significant contribution to the sports industry in a different way once she retires from athletics.”
"Having been an athlete for all my adult life I'd always assumed I would dread the moment when I finally hang up my spikes, however through my studies at UCLan I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my professional life."
Course tutor on the MSc Sport Business Management degree Dr Sue Minten said: “We are delighted to welcome Jenny to the University. She brings a breadth of experience to the course with an international career spanning almost two decades and this next step will enable Jenny to continue making a significant contribution to the sports industry in a different way once she retires from athletics.”
Jenny completed her undergraduate studies at Liverpool Hope University. Later this year she will head to the World Championships in Beijing before beginning her build up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.