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UEL Sports Therapy graduate wins contract with BT Sport

Sport

A prestigious first client for a young entrepreneur

By Lee Pinkerton

A graduate from UEL’s Sports Therapy degree has won a contract with one of the country’s leading telecommunications companies.
Darren Morson will provide sports massage therapy and general wellness advice to workers at BT Sport, based in the Olympic Park in east London.
Darren was an elite athlete and represented Monserrat in the long jump at the last Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast earlier this year.  
The natural progression after graduating with a degree in Sports Therapy is to go and work for a sports team. But the 24 year old Darren said he wanted to explore other markets. 
After graduating in 2017, he gained experience delivering on-campus, soft-tissue therapy to UEL’s own sports scholars, as well as providing fitness coaching to aspiring tennis players at the WIMX Tennis Academy in Chingford.
But Darren was still looking for an opportunity to create his own brand service.
The idea came to him when he was volunteering at last year’s World Athletics Championships at the London Stadium. He was one of a number of UEL students and graduates working in a multi-disciplinary team, headed by UEL’s physiotherapy programme lead Liz Nicholls, providing a sports massage service to the international press and broadcast teams. 
It was a chance conversation with a technical producer from BT Sport, Jack Payne, that Darren spotted a gap in the market.
With mentoring from a senior lecturer, Michael Cole, Darren’s was able to pitch his business proposition successfully to BT Sport.  
Darren said, “It was a very long process with lots or meetings, and going into their offices and delivering taster sessions.  But throughout the whole process Jack was really supportive.  I have sessions pre-booked for the next few months.
“It’s great to be working with a company of BT Sport’s stature, right at the start of my entrepreneurial career.”
Darren will also be bringing in current UEL students to get some hands-on experience in a corporate environment.
He said, “Even though I’m now a graduate, I would like to continue my relationship with UEL Sports by creating further opportunities for other students.” 
Mr Cole is also delighted with Darren’s success.
“As Darren's former programme leader, it was a pleasure to support and mentor him, as a graduate, and now also a colleague and friend, in this business venture,” he said. “Darren's exciting collaboration with BT Sport is just reward for his exemplary studies and his incredible efforts, both as a graduate and an entrepreneur. It's also great to see a company like BT Sport trust in one of our UEL graduates, and including our students too. This project is a great example of what UEL graduates can do for organisations based in and around London.”