"I work at UDA as the Head of Player Support. It has many strands by focuses on taking care of the boys and ensuring they have any support that is needed whilst they are in the UK — this can be in respect of personal, emotional, financial, academic and health issues, to name just a few. The student athletes are able to contact me at any time with issues or questions they have.
I also have an on-site presence at training sessions and accompany them to the majority of their games. When I am on the campus, I run one-on-one sessions where players can drop in for a chat. I also send out invitations for meetings with any of the boys who I feel need support. I do my best to keep them on track and address anything of concern if I become aware of any lack of engagement. The parents also have my contact details and they are able to contact me to discuss any issues or concerns.
My favorite part of the job is being part of such a fantastic team. The staff at UDA show constant professionalism and work together to provide the boys with the best possible training and experience they can whilst in the UK. The UDA boys are such a great group to work with, the boys are always polite, respectful, and a joy to be around. I enjoy watching the boys develop and grow during their experience at UDA and being part of that journey and helping them to navigate through is very rewarding.
I was lucky enough to be asked to become involved with UDA as I have worked with Joel Roberts for 13 years whilst at the College. Joel asked me initially whether I would help to set up the UDA program in the UK and assist with the safeguarding and welfare of the boys. If I'm being honest, I thought that this was a role that I would do for 12 months and then pass onto someone else. However, I feel in love working on the program, being around the boys and liaising with the families. The team in the UK are also a joy to work with so I have stayed and I hope to do so for the foreseeable future!