Gymnastics coach Brett Ince, graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a Postgraduate Diploma in Elite Coaching Practice, after winning a scholarship.
He was recommended the programme by course coach mentor John Trower, through his involvement with British Gymnastics, the official national governing body for the sport.
During his time at UCLan, the 29-year-old was set to accompany junior gymnasts to the Rio Olympics Games in Summer 2016 but had to pull out after he was injured in a car accident. This also meant he had to finish his degree a year later than scheduled.
Brett, who now runs the Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club in Telford, coaches five junior gymnasts including 16-year-old Alice Kinsella, one of the four athletes who qualified to represent Great Britain at the World Championships this year.
He said: “Graduation was a special day for me, and really brought home what I’d achieved through the course. It felt great to reach that point after the setback, especially as I’d never pictured myself going to university. At times it was a challenge juggling my role as a high-performance coach with studies but the tutors were really flexible, which was a great help. It was disappointing not travelling to Rio but after my accident everyone was so supportive and I got through it.
“The course appealed to me as it was different to anything I’d done before, and because it wasn’t gymnastics specific I met coaches from other sports.”