Cap And Gown For Fitzpatrick
Wolves' player welfare manager Karl Fitzpatrick graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University this year with a 2:1 in Sports Performance. (right)
In his playing days the former scrum half and full back played for Widnes Vikings and Swinton Lions before signing for Super League side Salford City Reds in 2003. He also represented Ireland on the International scene and was named in their squad for 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
Following his retirement from the game in 2010, Karl joined the backroom coaching staff at Warrington and has since developed into his role advising the players on life after Rugby League. (pitcured above second from left as part of Wolves' team)
Karl completed the full time degree alongside his job at the Wolves as a means of securing some academic qualifications to build into his role.
Karl said: "It gives me a bit more substance, so to speak, and the fact I now have a qualification enhances my CV adding to the experience I already have. The degree was quite unique as it allowed us to choose modules that interested and suited the individual. Originally I looked into the strength and conditioning route but when my career at Warrington unfolded it was more the managerial and admin aspect of sport, therefore I looked into contemporary issues and economics within sport."
On his current role at the Wolves he added: "I am loving it. It's a fantastic job. The variety is brilliant. We are always striving to increase the professionalism of the club which I think we're doing. It's a great working environment and also offering welfare to the players is rewarding as this is something I was never offered as a player. We cover a broad range of topics from organising the players coaching badges to helping players suffering from anxiety and being nervous about their future away from the game, and how I can help find them a career path through the right educational or vocational course at colleges or universities."
Karl is not the only member of the performance team to be looking beyond the rugby field there are also several players who are pursuing vocational courses ranging from personal training to plumbing.
He said: "Not every player will want to go into coaching, some players may want to do something outside of the game upon retirement. It's up to us to provide opportunities both in and outside the game."
Head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith added: "On behalf of the club I would like to congratulate Karl on this great achievement. By completing this degree he will have gained more knowledge of the game which he can feed into his role here at the Wolves and we look forward to seeing the fruits of his hard work. The club would like to commend Karl for his dedication and commitment to his position within the performance team as he has completed the degree course alongside his daily job here at Warrington."
12, Oct, 2012