And for those enrolled on the Wolves Foundation’s degree in Community Football Coaching and Development, run by the University of South Wales, it’s no different.
Under normal circumstances, their studies consist of lectures via an online platform hosted by the charity twice a week in the Study Centre at Molineux.
With that not possible at the moment, students are instead completing all their studies online at home, with the support of course lecturers at USW and their club mentor at Wolves, Brad Moore.
And Brad is in the perfect position to help them on their way as he graduated from the course himself last June, having first started as 16-year-old apprentice.
“The course would normally include a residential at the start and end of the year, and other practical assignments, but at least the cohorts from Years One, Two and Three are able to continue with their lectures via the online platform,” says Brad.
“For me, as a club mentor, it is about helping them on that journey right from year one to year three and graduation, which includes offering personal and academic support and pastoral care.
Education officer Brad Moore
“That is probably even more important now, so I am making sure I am in regular contact with the students on the telephone and online, even if we can’t stay in touch face-to-face.
“For some, we are currently around the time of their final assessments, so we need to make sure we maximise every opportunity to keep in regular contact, utilising time with their lecturers at university, and seeing what their plans are for the next couple of months.
“It is good that they are able to carry on with the course during these difficult times and communication is key to help them continue to progress.”
After graduating last summer, Brad initially took up a teaching post only to return to Wolves within a few months when the opportunity of overseeing the Foundation’s degree and BTEC courses came up.
“I was planning to go into the sixth form, but as soon as I saw that I could do an apprenticeship with the foundation, that seemed such a great opportunity,” says Brad, who attended Bishop Milner Catholic College in Dudley.
“After those two years, I moved on to the degree, combining studying with real experience and picking up skills which would make me more employable.
“There are so many different modules on the course which helps prepare you for a career in sport, and what I learned during the three years really helped me to progress.
“Whether it was from project management, or the teaching experience or coaching experience, which included travelling to Germany, Belgium and Cyprus, it all came together to make up a degree which taught me so much.
“I have managed to get a full-time job with the foundation and others have gone on to become PE teachers and sports coaches out in the region.
Brad Moore and Ryan Griffiths on their graduation day
“We are looking for people who want to begin their journey and pursue a career in the sport and education industry to apply for the degree.
“There are also other modules including sports science and business in football, and we are pleased that the employability rate from this degree is very high.”
Bobby Briers, course leader at USW, is full of praise for the efforts of Wolves Foundation staff in helping forge such a strong partnership in delivering the degree.
“Wolves have been an exceptional club in the contribution of students on our course. They have been delivering the programme for three years, with a 100 per cent first-time pass rate completion on all students who have enrolled onto the course.
Brad Moore at the International Soccer School, Germany, in August 2019
“They provide a well-structured and accessible education programme which supports students undertaking their foundation degree and, from recruitment to graduation, they have proved they are supportive every step of the way, with some fantastic current student stories and alumni recognition.
“There is clear evidence that the Wolves education department provide development both academically and professionally, preparing students for the very competitive football development and coaching industry.”
For Brad, now 22, this new role is very much a labour of love, given he is a lifelong Wolves fan and he also feels a great sense of pride at playing a part in the overall activities which the foundation offers for the community of Wolverhampton and beyond.
“If someone had said to me when I first arrived as an apprentice at 16 that I would be doing the job I am now just a few years later I would probably have been shocked.
“I am a massive Wolves fan, I have supported them all my life, and it is a pleasure to be around the club. Working for the foundation doesn’t really feel like work – I get out of bed every day and know I am going to enjoy what I am doing.
“To be impacting the community for the club I have always supported and knowing what the badge represents is very rewarding and brings a real sense of pride,” he says.
To find out more about the degree, email Brad via [email protected]