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Football: England Women’s physical performance manager Dawn Scott embarks on elite sporting director qualification

Dawn Scott

Dawn Scott, the sport scientist who played a major role in the US’s back-to-back Women’s World Cup wins and was appointed physical performance coach for the senior England women’s team in November last year, has gone back to the classroom part-time to study for Manchester Metropolitan’s Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) qualification.

Scott, who was appointed by the FA to lead the delivery of “game-changing physical performance service” to Phil Neville’s Lionesses, has embarked on the renowned MSD, which she will study as part of a cohort of 25 other sports professionals over the next two years.

England cricket director Ashley Giles was among the first students to graduate from the course in 2017 and has credited his studies at Manchester Metropolitan University with helping to shape the way he carries out his role for the ECB. Mo Bobat, the ECB’s performance director, also graduated from the course this year.

England and Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, who was earlier this year appointed by the FA as an independent non-executive director of women and girls’ football in Manchester, is also an MSD graduate, as is Sheffield Wednesday’s head of sport science and medicine Tony Strudwick, while Manchester City’s sport science head Sam Erith is due to graduate next summer.

Dawn Scott said: “I’m passionate about women’s sport and have been a practitioner in the women’s game for over 20 years now. I am always looking to grow and develop personally and professionally, especially to gain more impact as a leader, and longer term want to transition to a more strategic role.

“The MSD was really appealing as it covers so many topics that I want to learn more about and apply to my current role, as well as use to shape my future career ambitions.”

Mark Batey, who heads the MSD at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “The MSD is now in its seventh year and over that time it has without doubt become recognised as the go-to course for sports industry professionals who want to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge that are needed for the strategic, top-level roles such as sporting director.

“Not only is the MSD transformational in terms of students’ individual careers but its blend of high-performance leadership, governance and commercial management, together with practical insights into harnessing creativity and innovation, are now having a resoundingly positive impact on sports organisations worldwide.”

He added: “Amid the current uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing particularly high levels of interest in the MSD course as sports professionals look to future proof their careers for the years ahead.”

The academically rigorous two-year, part-time MSD is designed to develop the commercial skill sets and personal attributes required to succeed as a top-flight sporting director. The course features masterclasses from world-renowned speakers and engaging sessions that combine expert insight with practical tools. Working alongside fellow sporting directors, students cover leadership, managing high-performing organisations, creativity and innovation, sporting governance and compliance, and finish with a dissertation.