Name: Michael Stanley
Course studied: BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport & Science
Above all things, Mike loved
playing rugby, and Oaklands became part of his journey which
now sees him playing for the Samoa International rugby team.
Mike was part of the then newly
formed rugby academy, a partnership between the College and Saracens Rugby Club, and studied the BTEC while playing rugby.
“The course was very flexible
for me as the lifestyle I was living at the time was fairly hectic trying to
balance full-time training with full-time study, so for that reason the course
worked out perfectly for me,” said Mike.
“The thing I liked about the
BTEC was how many different routes you could take from it, so there was a wide
range of options to study after the BTEC course, like physiotherapy, sport
psychology, nutritionist and strength & conditioning.”
On leaving Oaklands, Mike went down many paths but eventually returned to
rugby, moving to New Zealand to follow his dream, playing for a team called Counties
Manukau. The team was coached by New Zealand rugby legend Tana Umaga, and with
his help, Mike improved his knowledge and understanding of the game.
This ultimately led to him being selected to play for the Samoa International rugby team in 2014, being eligible to join due to his grandmother’s Samoan
heritage. He is hoping to play in the World Cup in England in 2015.
“I had a lot of downs in my
life and went through a tough patch where I didn't really know what I wanted to
do, never thinking I would play rugby to a decent level again. I was so
close to given up on my dream. I feel very blessed and very fortunate to
be where I am today,” said Mike.
“My experience at Oaklands was
a memorable one. The staff were very helpful and friendly and as I was living
away from home, I learnt to become independent. I thoroughly enjoyed my years
at Oaklands and I feel I definitely grew as a person.”
Interested in a career in sport? Check out the courses we offer: Sport & Sports Sciences Courses