David Sharkey is the Head of English at Shiplake College in Henley-on-Thames and is moving to Hampton School to teach English in September. He is a volunteer for the initiative ‘Shout’, which offers in the moment mental health support for people who need it immediately. He is currently a rugby coach for the HAC (Honourable Artillery Company) and works in the Developing Player Programme for WASPS rugby club.
David uses his experience in teaching and sports coaching to help redefine masculinity. By having conversations consistently about emotional well-being and mental health, he wants to foster an attitude of sympathy and empathy amongst groups of young men.
David spent the past year exploring how ‘Themes’ in storytelling can be used in rugby and to enhance Cross Curricular Development, learning about how effective this can be for forging team bonds. His aim is to be able to contribute to a group of players/students whilst connecting with them in a common purpose.
Damian Hughes is a Professor of Organisational Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University, and is an Author of seven best-selling books, including ‘The Five Steps to a Winning Mindset’. He is also a Sports Psychology consultant for professional teams including Rugby Union’s Sale Sharks, League’s Warrington Wolves and the Premiership’s West Bromwich Albion. On top of that, he co-hosts the ‘High Performance Podcast’ with Jake Humphrey.
He combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisation and psychology to work as a trusted adviser to business, education and sporting elite, specialising in the creation of high-performance cultures. Sporting icons like Jonny Wilkinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Tiger Woods and Sir Ian McGeechan have praised Hughes’s methods of boosting confidence and performance by going back to basics.
He spoke to Al about how culture can be a competitive advantage, the importance of being kind, and much more.
Neil Rollings was a Director of Sport in four of the leading independent schools in Britain for 21 years. He now works to provide training, recruitment and advisory services for modern sports programmes, often working with Headmasters to appoint Directors of Sport. In this episode he emphasises the personal, social and behavioural benefits sports can bring to students.
What is the purpose of coaching the Director of sport at school and how does it impact the students’ learning experience? Neil covers this all in the latest episode of Golden Nuggets.
Amy Price is a Women’s National Coach Developer at The FA in England, and is a UEFA A Licence holder. She was formerly Programme Director for Physical and Sport Education BA (Hons) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. They discuss what coaches and teachers can learn from studying video game design and how you could apply that to a classroom.
Aaron Walsh is an experienced Sports Performance Coach. He is trained in mental skills and player development. He is currently working for Chiefs super rugby team, and previously for major sports teams such as San Francisco Giants, NY Mets, NZ Hockey, Football and Auckland Aces. He also works in corporate leadership coaching, creating high performance working environments. They spoke about Aarons career, fostering a healthy competitive environment, and the importance of managing wellbeing for optimal performance.
Dr Daniel Fujiwara is the founding director of Simetrica-Jacobs, who research wellbeing research and econometrics. An economist specialising in policy evaluation and social impact measurement, he also has a PHD in Wellbeing, and over 15 years of experience working in government and in international organisations. They discussed how wellbeing can increase productivity in the workplace and in the education system, creating better students, teachers and employees.
Al hosted a live remote podcast for Barnes Film Festival in June with the founder of Vue Cinemas, Tim Richards. They discussed his previous career as a Wall Street Lawyer, the qualities of a successful entrepreneur and the importance of cinema in the digital age.
This week Al chats to rugby coach Warren Abrahams. Originally from South Africa, Warren began a rugby career before focusing on coaching in the UK. Since then he has coached for London Irish, Harlequins and England Sevens to name a few. They spoke about Warrens childhood, growing up during the apartheid in South Africa, and how personal experiences had major influences on his coaching technique.
Al spoke to Parenting Coach & Baptist Church Minister Richard Shorter. Richard is the founder of Non-Perfect Dad, where he pulls on 20+ years of working with families to provide quality coaching for parents. He has previously provided coaching for sports teams such as Manchester United, Saracens, Bath & England Rugby to name a few, as well as independent schools and local authorities. Being a parent of 3, Richard discussed how techniques such as setting clear boundaries, constant evaluation and 2-way communication have helped him navigate parenthood.
Earlier in the year, Al spoke to Mary McBain, who wrote and starred in the BAFTA-nominated short film, Spaghetti, which sheds light on the importance of consent. Shot by an all-female crew in 2019, the piece cleverly uses dark comedy and food as an analogy to explore the sensitive topic. Mary and Al discussed the current state of sex education in schools, dating in a digital age and the importance of communication and consent.
Back in February, Al sat down with performance coach educator and The Magic Academy founder, Russell Earnshaw. Having studied at Cambridge University, played Premiership rugby with Bath, and winning the European Cup, he turned his attention to coaching, for both Commonwealth Games and World Cups. He founded The Magic Academy in 2018 to provide sports coaches with mentoring, coaching leadership and supporting team development. They spoke about helping younger generations build crucial life skills, such as creativity, awareness, decision-making and more.
This week, Al had a call with Lee Parkinson, AKA Mr P - Teacher, & co-host of 2Ps in a Pod - the most popular education podcast in the UK, with 300k followers. Lee has been teaching at Davyhulme Primary in Manchester for 12 years. Alongside his teaching, he became an Apple Distinguished Educator, using technology to transform learning. He puts pedagogy at the heart of everything he does & aims to get more schools working ‘smarter, not harder.’ They discussed the growing role of technology in education & how it can be used effectively in education.