Sir Trevor Brooking hosted one of a number of special guest lectures to inspire Bournemouth University students.
The guest lecture was part of a wider series of lectures organised by Business Studies students that also included talks from England rugby team vice-captain Sarah Hunter and Mayor of Bournemouth Chris Mayne.
Brooking, who played football for West Ham United and England before moving into a career in broadcasting, gave the lecture after being invited by Business Studies first year student Grant Hilborne.
During the lecture, Trevor spoke about his career as a footballer, his business, the future of football and the current and future success of the England national football team.
He gave students advice on the mental strength and political astuteness required to succeed in business and gave examples from his long career about how to continue adapting to succeed.
The advice given was not just drawn from his football career, but also the binding business he owned whilst playing – where Brooking was an accountant – and his future roles within the FA and as a broadcaster.
Brooking scored the only goal to claim an FA Cup winner’s medal in 1980 and was most recently Director of Football Development for the FA, looking at improving youth football throughout the country.
Speaking after the lecture, Trevor Brooking said, “I knew Grant because his dad was working in my business a number of years ago and took it on afterwards. Grant invited me down and, with the England under 20s playing in Bournemouth I said I’d come a little earlier and come here too.
“I tried to link the talk to my life, playing, working at the sports council, broadcasting and then with the FA.”
Giving advice to current students who are studying at BU, Brooking said, “As much as you prepare yourself during your studies here, you have to be ready to take every opportunity when it comes up. Don’t just look at university as a social opportunity, you’ve got to work hard and learn. What you really want when you come out from the course that you are on is to feel confident in your abilities and have the mental strength and mental toughness to deal with whatever challenges you face.”
Grant Hilborne organised the guest lecture as a part of his Business Studies course and said, “My Dad used to work for Brooking so I asked him and luckily he was down for the England game so he replied and we are lucky to have him. He was really good, he really answered the questions well and was very impressive!”
England rugby union player, Sarah Hunter was another of the sports stars to inspire BU’s students. Hunter spoke about her sporting career, from first picking up a rugby ball aged nine to being vice-captain of England’s winning team in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The Lichfield RFC player described her World Cup experience as ‘surreal’ and ‘very special’ and went on to say that the ‘team first’ ethos was a major factor in carrying the team through to victory.
In her talk she emphasised the transferrable skills learned through overcoming defeat and injury in sport and how they are essential in business and management too. She highlighted skills such as leadership, preparation, discipline and goal setting which can be applied in any walk of life but said most important was to build the right team culture as a foundation then everything else follows.
When not playing or training Hunter works as a University Development Officer for the Rugby Football Union (RFU), supporting university rugby teams across the South West, including BU’s men’s and women’s varsity teams. This broad ranging role includes working closely with universities by helping with arrange coaches and referees, advising team committees and encouraging participation in the sport at all levels.
Hunter described student involvement in sports as ‘hugely important’ at university from both a health point of view and from a social perspective. She commented on sportBU’s varsity set up and links to community teams saying, “I think it’s important that to have appropriate levels of activity for different people because everyone has different needs and sportBU are definitely offering that, which is really important and really key.”