JON Daniels, the director and general manager of Llanelli-based Scarlets, and Newport-based Dragons’ head of physio and medical services Ben Stirling, are among a host of rugby management professionals and sports stars due to graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University’s Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) course next month. The group are the latest cohort of professional sports people to qualify for the prestigious masters degree.

Manchester Metropolitan University’s Master of Sport Directorship course. Picture by Paul Heyes, Thursday September 08, 2016.

Also among this year’s high-profile rugby industry graduates will be Phil Winstanley, rugby director of Premiership Rugby, and St Helens RFC chief executive Mike Rush

Football stars including Bradford City manager and former Blackpool and Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer; England and Manchester City Women goalkeeper Karen Bardsley; Michael Johnson, the former Derby captain, now head coach of the Guyana national team; and former Bolton striker and Southport manager Kevin Davies are also among the sports people set to collecting an MSD next month.

Manchester Metropolitan University’s Master of Sport Directorship course. Picture by Paul Heyes, Thursday September 08, 2016.

The highly acclaimed course prepares sports professionals for the role of sporting director and other senior management positions within sports organisations. Alumni from the post-graduate course include England director of cricket Ashley Giles, former Aston Villa director of football Steve Round, Hull City’s head of recruitment Lee Darnbrough, and West Bromwich Albion coach Michael Appleton.

Taking place in Manchester on 19 July, the MSD degree ceremony will see the sports stars line up in gowns and mortar boards with hundreds of other new Manchester Metropolitan University graduates to receive their degree certificates from vice chancellor, Malcolm Press.

Mark Batey, head of the MSD course said: “The sporting director role has become integral to the success of rugby clubs, as well as for a huge range of other sports organisations. Manchester Met’s unique MSD is the go-to qualification in the field and has transformed many of our students’ careers.”

He added: “It’s awesome to see another group of professional sports people graduate, ready to guide their organisations through times of great opportunity and change. They will bring the skills of high-performance leadership, governance and commercial management, along with practical insights for harnessing creativity and innovation that are so essential to successful sports organisations.”

The academically rigorous two-year, part-time masters course is designed to develop the commercial skill sets and personal attributes required to succeed as a top flight sporting director. The course features masterclasses from world-renowned speakers and engaging sessions that blend expert insight with practical tools. Working alongside fellow sporting directors, students cover leadership, managing high-performing organisations, creativity and innovation, sporting governance and compliance, and finish with a dissertation.

For more information on the Masters of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University visitwww.mmu.ac.uk/master-of-sport-directorship/

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