As Head of International Programmes at British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), Neil Rogers works with some of the UK’s most promising student athletes. He is responsible for the Great Britain team that competes at the World University Games, the second biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympics. Some of the former student athletes have gone on to great success and include Olympic medallists Jessica Ennis, Michael Jamieson and Gemma Gibbons.
For Neil, sport is a lifelong passion and something he was able to enjoy while he was at Goldsmiths, as he held the role of Sports Sabbatical Officer for the Students’ Union. “My time at Goldsmiths was certainly very formative. I enrolled as a mature student in 1997, but did a great deal of growing and learning during this time. As well as my degree, I met some fantastic people at the College, some subsequent life-long friends, and it gave me an opportunity and environment in which I could flourish. My time as a Sabbatical Officer was absolutely fundamental to my career.”
After completing his degree, he carried on working in the field of university sport and qualified as a Performance Athlete Lifestyle Mentor, delivering lifestyle support and advice to dozens of national programme athletes – including Goldsmiths’ own Ken Parr, a Commonwealth Games shooter.
“Sport is a genuinely exciting sector to work in, as so many people have discovered this last summer at the Olympics” says Neil. “For someone who spends a lot of leisure time watching sport, the opportunity to work in an area I love is very rewarding. One of the best aspects is the opportunity to travel as part of my job, and in the last few years I have visited China, Hong Kong, Russia, Taiwan, Jamaica, Macau, South Africa, and many more countries in Europe – all for sports tournaments.”
Neil sums up what he loves most about his job: “The most rewarding aspect is knowing that a good number of athletes in my teams will go on to huge success in their sports in later years - and that you have, in a small way, been a part of that pathway. It’s certainly too late for me to compete at that level, but I take a great deal of satisfaction from knowing I can help others on their journey!”