Born and raised in Oldham, Peter Boase now works full-time for his boyhood club as part of Oldham Athletic’s Community Trust (OACT). After graduating from UCFB’s BA (Hons) Physical Education programme, he secured his dream role as Community Engagement Lead at the League Two side. Here, the UCFB Etihad Campus graduate shares how he’s helped reignite the tight-knit Oldham community and how his degree has helped him excel in the role…

Tell us about your role as Community Engagement Lead at OACT and what it involves.

My role at OACT can be split into two parts, school and community. It is my responsibility to manage all the community-based projects such as Premier League Kicks, Military Veterans and women’s over-30’s football.

How have you tried to re-engage the community with the easing of COVID restrictions?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the population of Oldham. With restrictions now eased, I am trying to bring the community back together – aiming to provide something for anyone and everyone. For example, we have just launched an over-65’s coffee morning, giving those that were the loneliest throughout the pandemic an opportunity to get back out.

What have you taken into the role from your BA (Hons) Physical Education degree?

I learnt a lot throughout my degree and each module was massively beneficial. I apply a lot of theory within my role at OACT, such as behaviour management techniques and the importance of physical activity; the degree also allowed me to learn in the classroom but then apply it in practical sessions.

I learnt about how to teach and manage others, but also a lot about myself. Studying Physical Education at UCFB gave me the confidence to push myself to be the best I can be. Whilst in my current role I do not deliver sessions as much, I feel confident enough to speak to our community coaches and give them advice on the best practice.

During your time at UCFB you were an Activity Leader at Lancashire Cricket Club on their Wicketz programme. How important do you think this experience was in securing your current role at Oldham?

Personally, I think it had a huge impact. I helped to provide free cricket sessions to disadvantaged children at a school in Manchester, and my current role with OACT centres around providing opportunities to children in similar positions. Whilst working for Lancashire Cricket, I was able to work with primary and secondary school aged children – using my practices learnt in the classroom and applying them to the different age groups. The experience quickly allowed me to understand the difference of approach that is required when coaching children across a variety of ages.

Due to Oldham being a borough with high levels of deprivation, the experience I gained before my role here at OACT, especially at Lancashire Cricket working with deprived children, was massively beneficial.

You are also a Global Ambassador for UCFB. Tell us about this role and some of the highlights.

I was selected to be a UCFB Global Ambassador in November 2019 and then attended the Global Sports Summit event in Melbourne in January 2020. I was there to represent UCFB and be the bridge between UCFB staff and students throughout our time in Melbourne and Sydney. My tasks ranged from meeting and greeting guest speakers to putting on extra activities outside of the Global Sports Summit. There were many highlights during my time in Australia, aside from the incredible guest speakers, a few key moments for me were watching Big Bash cricket matches in the MCG and SCG, visiting the Australian Open, and finally celebrating Australia Day on Bondi Beach with other students with a couple of beers in the sunshine.

What were your favourite parts of being a student in Manchester?

As I’m from Manchester, I am fully aware of the sporting landscape and nightlife – two key aspects that draw any potential student to Manchester. For me, it was the facilities and venues I attended throughout my degree. I played for the UCFB Etihad Campus Futsal team, and we trained in the velodrome, home of British Cycling. Being a massive cycling fan, to see some of my favourite cyclists training on the track on a regular basis was incredible. I have been lucky in my life to visit other amazing cities such as New York, Madrid, London and Sydney, and Manchester is still my favourite city in the world.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to study at UCFB?

If you want to work in sport, there is no place better to study than UCFB. You can easily go to a different institution and study a sport related degree, but you will be surrounded by students studying a whole range of other subjects. My time at UCFB was a constant networking session, and even though I studied Physical Education I made contacts on a range of other courses. I do not know what my future looks like, but I know that the contacts I made whilst at UCFB will be utilised throughout my career. The staff are extremely talented, the facilities are insane, the opportunities are elite and I am extremely proud to be a UCFB graduate.