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Badminton ace smashes degree success

OU graduate Adam Hall pictured in a graduation gown and holding a degree scroll.

Scotland international badminton star Adam Hall has served up success off the court – graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Sport, Fitness and Coaching degree from The Open University (OU).

The 26-year-old men’s and mixed doubles player has won several international and Scottish titles and recently represented his country at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Over six years, he successfully juggled a tough physical training regime and the pressures of the international badminton circuit alongside OU assignments and study deadlines. 

He admits that he thrived on this pressure: “We athletes love working towards a goal and having that end result of a degree really motivated me to keep going, even when I was rushing to meet a deadline or just knackered from travelling or training!”

OU graduate and international badminton player Adam Hall pictured mid-game on a badminton court.Adam fitted his studies around the 22 hours of weekly training required for Scottish National Team, sometimes in exotic locations around the world:

“I found I could juggle the studies with my badminton career quite well. I was lucky enough to spend my high school years at the Glasgow School of Sport, so I was already quite well versed in juggling studies and sport.

“My study map has taken me to Denmark, France, Germany, Holland and possibly a few others.

“My favourite place that I studied was on a balcony looking out to the beach at a holiday resort in Huelva, Spain, where we happened to be playing World Championships that year.” 

Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, said:

“Adam’s success is so inspiring to many young people who think the door to higher education may be closed to them. Many sports men and women choose the OU for study because we are so flexible. 

“Our distance learning model means you can complete your studies in a way that works for your career or lifestyle, and at every stage we provide support and advice to help students achieve their ambitions.” 

Paisley-based Adam reflects that the OU degree helped provide him with balance and perspective, especially with the pressures placed on young sportspeople.

He says: “There was one end of year assignment in particular that was about depression in elite athletes that really gave me a different perspective on my own struggles with mental health during my sporting career.

“I started studying because I wanted to have something else to do rather than just have all of my focus in my life being on my badminton. I chose to study with the OU because I knew it would give me the flexibility to continue playing badminton full time.

“Sport, Fitness and Coaching has lots of crossover with my ‘day job’ and I felt I could possibly use some of the things I learned doing the degree to make me a better athlete.”

Adam’s sporting sights are now fixed on qualifying for April’s European Games in Krakow, as well as success in qualifying tournaments for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Looking to the future, he says: “I've always had an interest in coaching so having this degree may lead to me becoming a coach after I stop playing but hopefully it will be a while before I need to think about that!”

Adam took part in a national Winning Students sports scholarship programme and was also supported by funding from the Part-Time Fee Grant.

He achieved a Certificate of Higher Education in Sport, Fitness and Management with the OU in the first two years of his study and then transferred those credits towards his degree. 

Graduation photo by Mick McGurk

2 November 2022


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