Antony James – BSc (Hons) Psychology graduate

Current employer: AquaElite; Sports for Schools

Current job title: Co-Founder & Co-Director of AquaElite; Athlete Motivator for Sports for Schools

Current location: Plymouth

“If you have a passion for something and wish to pursue it, I can’t think of a better place to study. The staff are helpful, the facilities are world class, and the opportunities are endless.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I have started up a business based around swimming, aiming to increase participation both at grass roots and competitive level by inspiring and educating the next generation of swimming superstars. Alongside this, I am in full-time training aiming to compete at the Rio Olympics.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

The biggest challenge in my career has actually been the period after achieving my dream of competing at an Olympics. Ever since I was young, I dreamed of one day competing at the Olympics, and it was the driving force that saw me train relentlessly during every session throughout my entire career. Then at the age of 22, I qualified and competed at the London Olympics. Suddenly, my childhood dream was fulfilled. After that, I was lost and constantly asking myself, ‘where do I go from here!?’ I found that I had to majorly readjust my thinking and set myself new goals and dreams to drive me forwards for the rest of my career. 

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career? 

Competing at the London Olympics: every day was incredible. You wake up every morning knowing that you will have an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. In particular, the closing ceremony stands out in my memory, as I recall running down the steps into the middle of the stadium with the crowd cheering while giving us high fives. Then, once we were in the middle, fireworks went off, music was playing, lights were flashing, and the crowd was standing - it was a blur of emotion. A moment I will never forget.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work? 

Some advice which I go by in everything that I do is to make sure I am happy. If you enjoy your work, then it’s not really work at all. I apply this golden rule to all areas of my life, whether its work, studies, or training.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Studying at Plymouth University has helped me to develop both as a person and as a sporting professional; having a degree from a well renowned university, with so many connections, opens up a vast amount of amazing opportunities. Alongside this, working with various staff has helped me to improve my communication and organisational skills.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

I would recommend undertaking a course at Plymouth University because there are a massive variety of courses available, so you’ll definitely find one which suits you. If you have a passion for something and wish to pursue it, I can’t think of a better place to study. The staff are helpful, the facilities are world class, and the opportunities are endless.

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