Exit Menu

Sports alumnus awarded MBE for services to education and community sport

Richard Cheetham MBE .

The experience of the staff and reputation primarily led me to choose Brunel

Richard Cheetham MBE, Alumni

Senior Fellow in Sports Coaching, University of Winchester

Sport Sciences MSc - 1999

From UK

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

Since graduating in 1999 with an MSc in Sport Sciences I then taught and coached in New Zealand. Upon my return I worked with the England U19s and Saxons teams alongside a full time role at the University of Winchester where I am now Senior Fellow in Sports Coaching.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

Alongside my lecturing and research (physical literacy and play) I am involved with sport governing bodies as a coach educator and developer. One of my additional roles is with the UCI - the world governing body of cycling based in Switzerland - where I support their coach education and sport director programme.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Being awarded an MBE for services to education and community sport, and the 2018 UK Coach Developer of the year award. Primarily it has been to find a job in which I really thrive and gives me variety, practical skills and the opportunity to work in sports coaching at all levels.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

As well as meeting some great friends it provided me with a qualification that enabled me to teach within higher education and also to work within high performance sport. In addition, it was a crucial element in my application to teach and work abroad where I spent 3 years in New Zealand.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

Experience of staff and reputation primarily led me to choose Brunel. I studied part time once a week and this really fitted in around my full time job. I was also aware of the support they gave postgraduate students and the relevance of the MSc to my future.

What is your best memory of studying here?

My first two modules were biomechanics and statistics, so it was a real challenge for me, especially as I was juggling studies with a full time job. After we finished our assessments and got our results my best memory was then celebrating by eating pizza after a row on the Thames with James Cracknell after we both passed this and our first year! (Please note - I just sat in the boat and he did all the work!).

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

My main piece of advice would be to seek out as much experience as you can that is relevant to the career you wish to pursue. Take opportunities and leave a positive and lasting impression on those you work with. Utilise the skills and expertise of those who teach you.

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Read pages 126 to 128 of "The Art of Being a Brilliant Teenager" by Andy Cope et al. Even if you aren’t a teenager it all still applies. "Do what gives you the edge". If you want to work in a particular area in a specific role then try to get some experience, even if it’s voluntary. You will learn and get an idea if that is what you really wish to do.