Where Are You Now?

Claire Robinson

Claire Robinson

BSc Sport and Exercise Development 2002

Current FA A licence holder, Claire Robinson is a football coach supporting through mentoring other female coaches. She is also a coach educator for FA Level 1.

The Sunderland graduate, from Blyth, is a part-time teacher at Gateshead College and part-time Technical Director at the Sunderland Girls Centre of Excellence.

Claire is also self-employed providing services for the FA as a Sports Scientist/Physical Preparation for the England Women Deaf Squad who won Bronze at the European Championships in Bulgaria 2014 and will participate in the World Championships in Thailand in November 2015.

“I really enjoy my work and have worked so hard to get where I am now. My coaching, mentoring and teaching allow me to develop not only players, coaches and learners to their best but they also become good, valued people and that's very rewarding.”

When it comes to her biggest challenge to date, the 35-year-old explained: “It probably must be attaining my FA A licence qualification. At the time I was the eighteenth female in the country to gain it but my learning doesn’t stop after reaching one of the highest coaching qualifications as I continue to do so in the avenues I choose. ”

Claire is proud to admit that she has worked hard to get where she is now. She started in her previous and current roles working in a volunteering capacity.

She said: “I completed my work placement within my studies at the Sunderland FA Girls Centre of Excellence where I am now Academy Director.”

Claire continued: “My advice is to set targets that you want to achieve and don't worry if you may have to delay one, or if the journey may take another avenue. Each small job or experience will help you learn and develop skills that will be important for the next big job.”

Claire got into coaching at the age of 16. Coming from a town with a passion for football, watching Match of the Day she would learn about the female game starting her playing career at Blyth Spartans Kestrels (now Sunderland AFC Ladies FC).

She then decided to come to the University of Sunderland to complete a BSc (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Development.

“The University was perfect for me as even though I may be ‘classed’ as a local girl from Northumberland it was still close but far enough to experience the University life. I lived in student accommodation and this helped to develop my independence and I gain important lifestyle changes.

“I can remember most tutors from the University and still keep in touch with them, whilst working alongside them in my teaching role at Gateshead College, where I teach on the Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching. I have great admiration for my former lecturers Ian Whyte and John O’Leary and I’m also grateful for their support.”

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