A football fan is enjoying his dream job with a Premier League club as part of the university programme he is studying.
James Allan is currently sharing his sporting skills with players at Southampton FC.
The 24-year-old Newcastle United fan is in the middle of a Sports and Exercise Sciences course at Sunderland University.
Now, the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) Undergraduate Endorsement Scheme (BUES) has endorsed both the Sport and Exercise Sciences programme and the Sports Coaching programme at the University.
It’s a major achievement for Sunderland, with the Sports Coaching programme only one of three across the country to achieve this.
It means students, and potential students, are provided with "outstanding teaching" played out in innovative facilities needed for training sports and exercise scientists and coaches of the future.
James said: “I got in touch with the University of Sunderland but really didn’t think I would have the qualifications to get onto a Sports Science degree course.
“I hadn’t taken the traditional A Level route and didn’t hold out much hope.”
But James was delighted to hear his BTec and engineering HNC provided him with enough UCAS points to get onto the course.
James, from South Tyneside, saw off competition from more than 150 others to land the role with Southampton, which sees him providing strength and conditioning training to some of the country’s most promising young footballers.
The former Jarrow School pupil has already worked with players at Durham County Cricket Club at the Emirates Riverside in Chester-le-Street, provided strength and conditioning support for the university men’s rugby team and coached five to eight-year-olds at All-Stars Cricket at Ashbrooke Sports Club in Sunderland.
Dr Eddie Bradley, senior lecturer in Biomechanics at Sunderland University, said: “Attaining BASES BUES provides confidence that our Sport & Exercise Sciences and Sports Coaching courses are at an excellent standard that match against national criteria and comparable to other courses across the country.
“Students can be assured that the teaching and practical training they will experience on our courses are high quality and this will allow them to professionally develop during their study at the University.”
Eddie is also a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist, meaning his skills have helped land the University the prestigious endorsement.