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Cricketers Enrol for Sporting Director Qualification that 'Shaped' Ashely Giles England Role

Manchester Metropolitan University’s pioneering sporting director course has welcomed the latest cohort of students to begin their studies, with a host of cricket professionals among the group of sports and business people studying for one of the most important and respected roles in the industry.

One of the highest-profile alumni of the two-year, part-time Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) is England men’s cricket managing director Ashley Giles, who graduated from the course in 2017 and has credited his studies at Manchester Met with moulding the way he carries out his role for the ECB.

“The MSD enabled me to develop as a person as well as in my role as a sporting director, and has probably shaped the way I carry out my role now,” said Giles.

The 2019 line-up for the MSD course includes Lancashire County Cricket captain Dane Vilas; Sussex county cricketers, wicketkeeper and former England under-19s international Ben Brown, and all-rounder Luke Wright; and former South African international Robin Peterson. Ireland’s North West Union general manager Peter McCartney has also enrolled.

The acclaimed course is now in its sixth year and MSD graduates and current students also include former England international Vikram Solanki, England selector Mo Bobat and Lancashire performance director Mark Chilton. A total of 14 cricket professionals have enrolled since the 2014 launch.

A record number of students from overseas sporting organisations have embarked on the MSD this year, with FC Copenhagen, Australian football club Ballarat City, and sports academies in the UAE and Abu Dhabi among the overseas sports clubs represented by the class of 2019.

Mark Batey, head of the MSD course, said: The MSD has transformed the careers of many of our students and graduates and has made a resoundingly positive impact on the organisations they work for, in cricket, football and beyond.

The unique combination of high-performance leadership, governance and commercial management that students learn on the course, along with practical insights for harnessing creativity and innovation, are increasingly essential to successful sports organisations worldwide.”

He added: “The reputation of Manchester Met’s unique MSD as the go-to qualification for the sporting director role is gaining international traction and it is great to see such a globally diverse range of organisations coming on board this year.

“Applications for the course are growing year on year and we already have a waiting list of applicants for next year’s MSD.”

The academically rigorous two-year, part-time MSD is designed to develop the commercial skill sets and personal attributes required to succeed as a top flight sporting director. The course features masterclasses from world-renowned speakers and engaging sessions that blend expert insight with practical tools. Working alongside fellow sporting directors, students cover leadership, managing high-performing organisations, creativity and innovation, sporting governance and compliance, and finish with a dissertation.

For more information on the Masters of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University visit www.mmu.ac.uk/master-of-sport-directorship/

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