Graduating with a merit, 31-year-old Eddie Owen hasn’t let a turbulent 18 months after being diagnosed with epilepsy deter him from helping other young people succeed.
“It’s been an extremely unsettling time for me and my family,” said Eddie from Stockport. “I had a whole host of changes to my life, including losing my driving licence and not being able to play the sport I love. The MSc in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health course provided me with a brand-new start and a career I have always dreamed of doing.”
Working with young people in Trafford is what spurs Eddie on to help others, in his role at Sharks Community Trust – the official charity of Sale Sharks Rugby Union club.
He helps young people who aren’t currently in education or employment to get training, work or opportunities to study and gain life-skill qualifications.
“It’s a brilliant job as it allows me to see these young people grow in confidence and, with a little help, find something that they’re interested in.
“Sometimes they just need someone to open the door and show them what’s out there!”
Eddie got involved with Tackling the Blues – a sport, physical activity and education-based mental health awareness programme jointly run by Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University – through his course tutors and mental-health advocates Professor Andy Smith and Jon Jones. He later wrote his thesis around the programme and the importance of mentors who deliver the programme in schools.
“I knew straight away that this was a brilliant opportunity to work with and learn from one of the leading community charities in the country; Everton in the Community is a brilliant organisation and I enjoyed every minute, working with our partner schools around the North West.”
Eddie has a degree in Design and previously worked as a personal trainer, but he never knew returning to Edge Hill to take his Masters would change his career forever.
“It’s truly an incredible feeling to be graduating. It’s been a really challenging year but, without doubt, applying for the course has been the best decision I have ever made.”
If you, like Eddie, have a passion for helping others through sport, explore the courses we have to offer at edgehill.ac.uk/sport.