Golden goals for a lushly turfed lab

November 24, 2006

Name : Ged Roddy.

Age : 43.

Job : Director of sport, Bath University.

Background : I was an undergraduate at Birmingham University and postgraduate at Manchester University - I was and remain a student of physical education.

Working hours and conditions : Our facilities are open seven days a week from 6am to 10pm. Thankfully, we have an outstanding team that delivers a great service to our students, staff and the local community. As a result, I can work flexible hours and still have time for my children.

Number of students you teach/staff you manage : We have about 600 sports students on campus. During term-time, we have some 5,000 students taking part in representative sport for the university on a weekly basis, and last year we had half a million visits by members of the local community. The Sports Training Village at Bath represents a £38 million investment.

Biggest challenge this year : Gearing up to meet the challenge of the 2012 Olympics in London. We anticipate that more than 85 per cent of the British team will either be a graduate or a student in higher education. We have a large number of students at Bath who aspire to be part of the British team.

Worst moment in university life : The gradual realisation that I am getting slower while the students get quicker year on year is a tough one to take.

What your office is like : My lab is 100 yards long by 70 wide and is swathed in lush green turf.

Who are the most difficult people you deal with? I think that elite sports coaches and research-focused professors have a lot in common. They tend to be driven, passionate and sharply focused and do not suffer fools. My strategy is to try not to be the fool too often.

Best excuses for bad behaviour : "I just got my retaliation in first" - a Bath rugby player explaining a difference of opinion with an opponent.

Do you interact much with other departments? Sport at Bath has academic programmes running across three faculties, and there are some great projects developing, from sports engineering and sports science to coach education and sports medicine. We have more than 100 students on sports scholarships, so interaction with other departments is a must. The admissions department is probably our most important ally.

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