Where Are You Now?

Ben Wilbor

Ben Wilbor

BSc (Hons) Sports Science 2015

Ben followed his dream to become a sport coach after graduating and now works for the Youth Elite Soccer in Chicago, USA.

Ben, from Northallerton, spent the second year of his degree studying Sports Coaching at Nipissing University in Canada thanks to the University’s Study Abroad programme. As a result of this experience he was able to secure a summer job coaching football in the community for Chicago Fire through Youth Elite Soccer.

He said: “If it wasn’t for the University of Sunderland I would have never had an opportunity to spend a year studying a subject I am so passionate about in Canada, which in turn influenced me to look at further options for my career outside of the UK.”

After graduating with a 2:1 in Sports Science in summer 2015 and with a desire to head across the pond again, Ben returned to USA to continue coaching soccer for Chicago Fire. 

His current role involves coaching football to children aged two to 18 years old in the Chicago area.

He said: “My job entails planning and delivering training programs for week-long camps (in the summer) and for more longer term technical team training. 

“There certainly seems to be a greater emphasis on sport for children in the States which is heavily supported by parents in a motivational and positive way, more so than my experiences in the UK.” 

He continued: “The work I have done so far has been such a pleasure that most of the time it hasn’t felt like work at all.” 

The 22-year-old feels especially proud of the progression and development all four of his teams made under his supervision in Chicago in the Autumn of 2015, with one team becoming division champions, another two teams gaining promotion and his final team improving drastically from the start to the end of the season. 

As a result of his experience studying and living abroad, Ben said: “Everything I have done to date has been an exciting choice, my degree, studying abroad and then working abroad, and each one has opened more doors of opportunity or maybe challenges.” 

Not only has Ben benefited from his experience abroad, but also from his experience on-campus. 

 “In the two years I spent at Sunderland I had great tutors who supported me through and beyond my degree and helped to enhance my future career,” he said.

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