Dwayne Small

BSc Sports Science & Personal Training (2013), MSc Clinical Exercise Physiology (2015)

Dwayne Small

What inspired you to take the course that you did?

I spent time working with the Barbados Paralympic team where some of the athletes won Gold medals in their respected disciplines at the 2015 Las Vegas Paralympic Games.

I was so Inspired and excited by their results in the games and the complexity of the body, that battles and copes with a chronic condition, that I decided to pursue my MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology, to have a better understanding of how the body works in different clinical conditions. My focus centred around helping to maintain, prevent, or alleviate those conditions using exercise as a means of medicine.

Why did you choose UoB to study at?

During my BSC year I chose the University of Bedfordshire because they offered me an academic scholarship to study. I had such a great experience in the city and at the university that when it was time to embark on my MSc it was a simple decision.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you have been doing since graduating?

I am born and raised on the little island of Barbados and started at the university in 2010-2013. I returned home for 1 year to work as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of The West Indies where myself and Head of Strength and Conditioning, Mr. David Ross helped to improve the standard of sports science application and practice amongst the students.

After graduating I spent my time interning with two of the best Strength and Conditioning Coaches (Duncan Ogilvie and Julie Gooderick) who taught me a lot about the industry and still mentor me to this day. The years have been a rough road but with the support of those two, I earned a chance to work as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Barking Abbey Basketball Academy, England Basketball, Masters GB Athletics, Diabetes UK, and the Croydon Harriers Track Club.

What is your current role and how has your career developed?

Currently I work as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the City of London Basketball Academy. It has truly been a blessing to work with them.

Alongside this job I also work as a consultant for athletes who battle with mental conditions which include depression, OCD, autism, etc.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

To the athletes I work with, it is winning at whatever their discipline, but the most rewarding aspect for me  is seeing the joy when anyone I work with has a new found hope that anything is possible through hard work. There is nothing better and there is nothing sweeter.

What is your most memorable achievement to date?

I actually have two. Helping one athlete to place 2nd at the 2014 National Track Meet, making her the second best discus thrower in the country, and helping a V55 Great Britain Masters athletes place 4th in the 5k and 19th in the half marathon at the 2017 Masters Euro Championship.

They both had a rough year with setbacks in training and injuries it really seemed like they weren’t going to reach the goals they had set. However, by taking it one day at a time and consistently putting in that hard work day in and day out, it paid off. It was an amazing feeling to experience and witness their joy, passion and hope to do better the following year. This is the greatest feeling you can have as a coach. I’m buzzing just thinking about it.

How did your time at UoB help?
As an entrepreneur and as a specialist in my field, most of everything I do stems from my time at UOB. This ranged from how you present yourself to potential customers, researching conditions people battle with, exercise application or seminars you present at to grammar and etiquette in written and verbal speech. Each minute spent at the school has been incredibly invaluable and shows itself to date.

What are your best memories of UoB?

The friendships I have built with my colleagues and staff members and members of the community, but more importantly meeting my wife.

What are you aspirations for the future?

My future aspirations are to be a world renowned speaker in coaching athletes who battle with depression or other mental challenges. To be part of the coaching staff of a major event for the Barbados national team. To create a brand that can sponsor talented athletic children to help with their sports career and to own my own high performance facility that works in partnership with a major sports brand.

What advice would you like to share with current students or recent graduates?

You have to be prepared to work hard and read to achieve your degree. Its that simple and if you put in the work it will definitely show.

What 5 people would you invite to a dinner party- they can be living or dead ?

Kobe Bryant, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Gregg Popovich, my Wife and Son (sorry they count as one), and Gary Vaynerchuck.

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