He’s been a footballer, a sports coach, a personal trainer and even served in the Royal Navy, but after developing a keen interest in exercise and nutrition at Edge Hill University, Andy Fairbrother recently launched his own sports nutrition brand.

”Sport has always been a big part of my life. My uncle was a professional footballer who now manages a football team in Michigan, USA, and I followed in his footsteps, coaching football from the age of 15 and playing for Port Vale FC’s youth team before spending three years in the Navy. I’d never thought about sport as something I could make a living from, but I completed an HND after I left the Navy and this gave me the idea to take my studies further and think about sport as a career.

“I never wanted a normal 9-5 job, I like things that are a bit out of the ordinary but I could never see myself working outside of the sport or health industry. After graduating, I travelled to America and spent time as a soccer coach with Birmingham United in Michigan, then returned to the UK to set up my own Personal Training company. This gave me the business skills and confidence to move into the world of sports nutrition and I worked with some of the biggest sports nutrition brands in Europe for multi-national organisations including GlaxoSmithKline, Nestle and Glanbia.

“Having my degree enabled me to effectively climb the ladder within the commercial business world and I progressed from a sales position up to business development and manufacturing. In 2017, I decided to set up my own consultancy, offering business advice to small brands, new to the sports nutrition market, using the knowledge and contacts I’d built up over the previous years.

“I recently set up www.organicathletelifestyle.com, the first online store specialising in healthier natural, organic and vegan sports nutrition supplements. The business is still very much in its infancy with a lot to learn and much to work towards, but there has been a lot of interest so far. When you start your own business you need to have passion and know how to sell yourself – no one will buy into an idea if you’re not passionate about it. I love educating people about diet and nutrition and I think that comes across when people speak to me.

“I will always look back at my time at Edge Hill with great fondness as, without my sports science background, I would never have been able to achieve what I have within my professional career or do what I do now.”

Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise here.