A Sale Sharks star graduated from the University this week after completing his final-year studies at the same time as playing and training with the Premiership rugby union team. Charlie Amesbury transferred to Manchester after signing a professional contract with the club and followed the advice of his tutors and trainers when deciding to spread his final-year studies over two years. This decision allowed him to cope with both his education and a gruelling training schedule. The winger’s dedication paid off when he was awarded a 2:1 (Upper Second) classification in his BSc Biology degree:
“I’m very pleased with my result – the grade reflects the support offered by the University and their sensitivity to individual needs while delivering first-class teaching. Combining a professional sports career with a time-intensive degree would’ve been impossible without this support. Modern lecture theatres and teaching techniques such as podcasting allowed me to keep up with fellow students even when lectures clashed with training.”
Charlie’s final-year research project involved studying the body clocks of professional rugby players and comparing them with non-rugby playing men of the same age. He aimed to discover if the biological clocks of the professionals were well synchronised and able to be more active earlier in the day than the non-rugby players. His supervisor, biological clock expert and Sale Sharks fan Professor Andrew Loudon, spoke about working with Charlie:
“Charlie’s incredibly organised. To hold down a competitive place playing on the wing in a Premiership rugby club and perform academically as he did takes some doing. The team at Sale Sharks were very supportive and we thank them for their cooperation.”
Charlie benefited from the University’s Sports Scholarship Scheme, which provides a range of support for students such as funding for free gym access, physiotherapy sessions, lifestyle support, and strength and conditioning coaching.
Professor Matthew Cobb, Associate Dean for Social Responsibility, said:
“We recognise that university life is not only about academic achievement, and that some students have to cope with major challenges in life and work. Charlie is a great example of a student who has met all his challenges and achieved excellence in all fields.”