In February, three ex-Bradon Forest students came back to the school for a Q&A session in a Year 11 assembly, answering questions on dream jobs and how to follow your dreams.
Billy Bodin and Will Evans, who left in 2008, have signed professional contracts with Swindon Town F.C. to play for the first team. Kate Cady who left Bradon Forest in 1994 is the Head of Sports Therapy at the club, the first female to be appointed the role in professional football in the UK.
BFS: Have you worked with any other sports teams? Which do you prefer?
Kate: I’ve had experience working with many different sports teams, including amateur rugby and over 11 years in ice hockey. They all have their different merits and challenges and so I’ve learnt a lot from all of them. I grew up watching football though so I guess that’s my first sport.
BFS: I want to be a sports therapist, is there anything I can be doing now to help me achieve that goal?
Kate: Firstly, you need to study hard to get good grades in your GCSE’s. That gives you a good start for college and then university. You also really need to enjoy sport and have a passion for what you want to do as this will help with any work experience you can get. Try and get involved with your local teams to get pitch-side as much as you can. It will take up all of your weekends so you need to want to do it!
BFS: Did you still study hard for your GCSE’s, even though you knew you wanted to be pro footballers?
Will: Uh… yes. Of course!
Billy: You still need to have a back up plan.
BFS: How did your lives change when you signed the professional contract?
Will: It was a really big deal – especially coming from school, but we’d been playing in the excellence centre so the transition was smooth.
Billy: It meant training every day and at a higher intensity, but that’s important to our improvement as players.
Miss Moore: Billy, when’s Danny going to play you up front?
Billy: Hopefully tonight! We’ll have to wait and see.
BFS: Are you going to beat Exeter tonight?
BFS: Kate, who’s your favourite player?
Kate: They’re all my favourite! As a fan who works for the club you support them all.
BFS: What’s it like having a girl on the team?
Billy: It’s different. We’re used to having a male physio. Kate’s amazing at her job though and totally professional. She’s one of the team.
BFS: What’s it like being a female in a male dominated sport Kate?
Kate: I’ve been working in male dominated sports for 11 years so nothing embarrasses me. I’m sometimes in the dressing room with them as it’s my job to make sure everyone is fit to play. It’s important to remain professional so it doesn’t matter whether I’m a male or female. I patch them up and get them back on the pitch.
BFS: How did you stay focussed to achieve your dream-job goal?
Kate: I studied hard. After school and college I studied a three year degree followed by a two year Masters degree. I’ve also got my post-graduate teaching certificate and I’m still studying now. I have over 700 hours pitch-side experience. Yes, I have studied for quite a few years… but it’s fun! I enjoy what I’m doing and have a passion for the job. That’s helped me to stay focussed throughout all my training. I strive to be the best and so constantly challenge myself to reach high standards. It keeps me on my toes and helps me to stay focussed.
Billy: I knew I wanted to be a professional footballer from a young age and so it’s been quite easy to stay focussed on that goal. You need to get involved with local teams as soon as you can and practice, practice!
Will: Yes, you need to train as much as you can. Play for your school, play for your local teams and kick around with your mates.