Dozens of final-year UCFB and GIS students travelled to St George’s Park, the home of England’s national football teams, for the 2024 UCFB and GIS Future Leaders Conference.

The event, which is designed to inspire the next generation of sports industry professionals, offered a day filled with invaluable networking opportunities, insightful sessions and immersive experiences.

The day commenced with a behind-the-scenes tour of the amazing facilities at St George’s Park, which consisted of outdoor pitches, a full-size indoor 3G pitch, changing rooms, the gym and a rehabilitation suite.

Throughout the day, students engaged in a series of sessions from leaders within the football and wider sports industry.

These sessions provided the students with invaluable insights into the operations and marketing departments at St George’s Park and an insight into the role of a game insights analyst at The FA.


Additionally, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) panel offered students an opportunity to gain understanding of the decision-making processes in football.

The students then had the opportunity to make their own decisions, through immersing themselves in the PGMOL’s VAR Experience.

The day concluded with an exclusive keynote speaker session from Liverpool and England legend John Barnes, who captivated the audiencwith his insights, anecdotes and advice to the eager students in the room.

He finished his speech with a rendition of the iconic ‘World in motion’ rap, leaving the audience on their feet!

Reflecting on the event, Angela Bent, UCFB’s senior employability and career planning advisor, said: 

“What better way to celebrate the students completing their time at UCFB than spending the day at St George's Park - the home to all 23 England teams.  

“It was fantastic to see students from both campuses networking amongst themselves, guest speakers, and staff.   

“We’ve had talks on career opportunities within the business, practice and media side of the game, to further inspire students considering their next steps.  

“I particularly enjoyed the exclusive tour of St George's Park and the PGMOL panel, which made me think about decisions from a different perspective.” 

To find out more about the opportunities and trips available to UCFB students thanks to our Employability and Career Planning Team, click here. 

You can also kick off your career in the sports industry by clicking here to view a UCFB prospectus.