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UCLan graduate Gareth shares his career journey in Beijing

MA Sports Coaching graduate Gareth Haylins has progressed in his dream career abroad in Beijing after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire.

Gareth Haylins graduated from the MA Sports Coaching degree in 2011 and now works as a PE teacher at an international bilingual school in Beijing.

Gareth’s passion for coaching began while he was studying for his undergraduate degree in Business Management at the University of Manchester. During this time he gained his Level 1 and 2 football coaching certificate and following his graduation he went to coach football in the United States.

He then embarked on the UEFA ‘B’ Licence coaching course, which he achieved with very little coaching experience and this is his proudest achievement to date. This success prompted him to apply for UCLan’s MA Sports Coaching course in order to develop as a coach and improve his knowledge and credentials.

Gareth Haylins, MA Sports Coaching graduate
Gareth Haylins, MA Sports Coaching graduate

He said: “In America I did lots of coaching hours for very little pay, but I cherish this experience to this day due to the impact it had on my coaching development. After that I became serious about coaching and therefore went and achieved the UEFA B and an MA in Sports Coaching."

After graduation, Gareth secured a role as a football coach and development coordinator at China’s largest grassroots football organisation. Gareth worked here for four years and progressed to becoming a football development officer. 

After a stint at Premier Skills as a coach educator, Gareth was given the opportunity to represent Manchester City Football Club through their China Schools Project, with the aim to increase football participation and development. Gareth was then selected by Manchester City Football Club to head up their football education project in Beijing, namely the Kaiwen Manchester City Football School. 

"I would highly recommend the MA Sports Coaching degree to every aspiring coach. I learnt a lot about coaching philosophy and the importance of having one."

Gareth Haylins, MA Sports Coaching graduate

This was followed by Gareth deciding to evolve his career into teaching, so he could broaden his horizons and settle in Beijing with his wife. Gareth has recently started a new role as a PE teacher at an international school and he will also be studying for his PGCE at the same time.

Talking about his time at UCLan, Gareth Said: “I would highly recommend the MA Sports Coaching degree to every aspiring coach. I learnt a lot about coaching philosophy and the importance of having one. I found the coaching philosophy module most useful and I have introduced this notion to my current organisation. It has definitely had a huge impact on the way I coach and how effective I am.”

When asked about what advice he’d give to those wanting to do something similar, Gareth said: “Ensure you pursue something that you enjoy and feel passionate about. I feel so lucky that I am doing something that I completely love. Cherish all your experiences and self-reflect."