Profile picture of Laura Purcell.

Inclusion Sport Development Officer at Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure

In my role as the Head Coach for the England Lifesaving team I got to go to the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships in South Africa in 2017.

Why I chose Leeds Trinity

I chose to come to Leeds Trinity as being from Horsforth, it was right on my doorstep and I really liked the idea of going to a smaller university. The course on offer suited me perfectly as I was torn between finding a course of either teaching or sport.

My best student memories

I absolutely loved the atmosphere on campus and the personal relationships that were so easy to grow with my fellow students and lecturers. The social side of being a student at Leeds Trinity was something special as well.

In my first year I’ve got to undertake a placement at Ashville school in Harrogate. This gave very valuable experience and I also got part-time work after the placement finished. I also volunteered with the school during my second year, to build up even more experience.

I was also able to go to Fiji in my final year as a volunteer to deliver sports project to 20 children. My role was that of a teacher and this really backed up my ambition to teach in sport. I actually missed my graduation to go. It was certainly an eye-opening experience to see how others live and at the same time to be cut off from social media and the rest of the world.

Laura Purcell laughing in gym.

My career since graduating

After graduating, in 2018, I was the Community Coordinator for Bradford Council. This involved working as part of the Youth Sports Trust to deliver the Breaking Boundaries project within Bradford. This project promoted community cohesion through the power of sport and physical activity utilising young people within the community to drive change.  

I then went on, in January 2020, to be the inclusion Sports Development Officer for Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure. I have a hugely rewarding role in changing the get out, get active (GOGA) inclusion sports project across Bradford which offers sport and activity opportunities for the socially isolated and disability populations within the area.

My Head Coach role for England Lifesaving

I have been involved with lifesaving since 2010, as a volunteer at Leeds Phoenix Lifesaving Club. I undertook training to be a coach and in May 2017 I was appointed as England coach by the Royal Lifesaving Society. In my role as the Head Coach for the England Lifesaving team I got to go to the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships in South Africa in 2017, all of our swimmers came back with medals.

I have a professional but relaxed approach to being a coach and have learned that I get a better response from having good relationships with who I coach. 

Laura Purcell smiling in gym.

My advice to others

I would definitely say experience everything you possibly can whilst at university, I got to go to Fiji and felt I made a real difference through the projects I delivered, which was a life changing experience.