1. What did you get up to in the first 2 years post-graduation?
For the first 2 months post-graduation, I actually found myself working in a local retail store. This was for financial support, whilst I looked for work in the field of Sports Therapy.
After around 4 months I managed to land my first Sports Therapy job at Northampton Town Football Club working three days a week (including weekend game days). Appointed as the Academy Sports Therapist I was able to use some of my clinical and first aiding skills. I was really enjoying my job but unfortunately I was not able to bring much money in. Taking out petrol for the commute to work I wasn’t left with much and living on the fringes of London, this made things a little more complicated.1 Year post-graduation - With working weekends and 2 evenings at Northampton town I volunteered at my local college teaching the Sports Injury module on the BTEC National diploma. I was then approached by a private education company to teach full time on their Sport and Active Leisure course, PAID and FULL TIME. Happy days.
2 Years post-graduation – At this point I was working 7 days a week, as well as studying again on a part time MSc in Sports Medicine Exercise and Health at the University College London. Things were starting to take shape, but this wasn’t without its challenges!!
2. Did you find it difficult managing so many different roles and commitments initially?
This was tough. Very tough. It was getting to the point where I had to make time in my diary to see family and friends! Something had to change…but my persistence and love of the job I knew would never change.
3. Now 4 years after graduation, how has your business developed?
Trying to manage and juggle so many different aspects of my life I felt like I was burning out. I had to develop a way to put my skills (personal and academic) into one job, so I started a Sports Therapy company called Kinetic Sports Therapy. It started as a small mobile business. This quickly took off and soon I was able to afford a small room in a beauty salon with a receptionist. As I continued to save, I then bought my brand new rehab facility that offers Sports Therapy and Strength and Conditioning with a total of 6 staff. Things progressed quickly!
4. How long have you been working in international sport for?
Just as I set up Kinetic, I was put in touch with Switzerland Netball as they were looking for a new Head Therapist. Given my experience I did not think I would ever be able to/be given the opportunity to be the Sports Therapist for a national team. Nevertheless, I flew over to Switzerland for a 2 day interview process.This was one of the most intense experience of my life. Imagine all the exams you have ever had and times that by ten. I threw everything I had at it, I knew I made some mistakes but just kept going.
A week later, I was told I got the job! When the scores came in I noticed they looked at so much more than your ST knowledge, i.e. your personality, professionalism, knowledge of the sport and dedication to your role to name a few.
I have now been working for Swiss Netball for the past 2 years leading on the Sports Therapy and Strength and Conditioning programmes. I also oversee activities that include the National Team right through to the Academy squads.
5. How do you find working in International Sport alongside running your own business?Now the business has grown to the size it is, I am able to step back at times for other commitments. My dates for the year are given to me well in advance for the upcoming netball season, allowing me to work around it. We have a team manager for Switzerland Netball, whose job is to manage the logistics so everyone can concentrate with the task at hand. The travelling can sometimes take its toll, when your plane lands late on a Sunday night and clients are booked in early on the Monday morning, but like anything you just power through it for the love and success of the job!
The staff at UCLan PaST would like to take this time to thank Sunil on his interview, and congratulate him on his ever growing success in the field of Sports Therapy.
Our advice to our current graduates concerned about their paths following university would be to KEEP GOING! You WILL get there as opportunities WILL arise, and when they do… grab them with both hands. Even if you are unsuccessful at times, the experience of an interview will support you throughout!
Sunil Ram, Kinetic Sports Therapy, Bedford.