Alumnus of the Month
Simon Amzaleg is our Westminster City School Alumnus of the Month for July 2021. Simon left Westminster City School in 2007. He is now a strength and conditioning coach.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and how did you get to this role?
I am a strength and conditioning coach and currently consult to a college football academy programme, as well as private clientele. Like many young boys, I grew up wanting to play professional football and I almost achieved this. But once I knew my opportunity to do so had passed, I turned my attentions to alternative careers in sport. I first began working as a personal trainer within the fitness industry but always knew sport performance was where my passion lay. This led me to completing my BSc Sport Science, followed by my MSc in Strength and Conditioning and, along the way, I gained experience via internships at elite football clubs. It was whilst completing my Masters, that my current consultant role was advertised through the university.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Westminster City School?
My proudest achievement, to date, would have to be obtaining a distinction for my MSc course and having my dissertation research project recommended for publishing.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
Firstly, for anyone who aspires to work in elite or sub-elite sport, it is an extremely competitive industry that is likely to get even more competitive. Be mindful that the sport and performance industries encompass many disciplines across multiple sectors – find a specific area that you are passionate about and inform yourself of the qualifications and pathways necessary to set you apart and achieve the role you want.
Secondly, jobs in elite sport are heavily dependent on experience. Universities tend to have relationships with local professional organisations and offer internships – snap these opportunities up, work hard and you will probably be offered a junior role.
How have your experiences at Westminster City School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
I come from a sporting family who have always encouraged me to balance my passion for sport with academia. It was for this reason that my parents chose Westminster City School.
Westminster City School were always supportive of the sporting pathways I was following outside of school, but I was never afforded any short cuts. This engrained a modesty and work ethic in me that predicates everything I do to this day.
Can you describe one of your fondest memories from your time at Westminster City School?
Two memories stand out. Our School football tour to Belgium in 2002 was fantastic! Not only did we win the tournament, but the opportunity opened my eyes to the possibility of pursuing a professional football career abroad – something I did a few years later.
Although, I think this was topped by the PE Department organising for the FIFA World Cup trophy to be displayed in our School assembly!
I really enjoy coaching strength and conditioning in the secondary school and college setting. I am an advocate that it should be more prominent in the school syllabus, as it is an overlooked physical, mental and social developmental tool for students, which has never been more pertinent than in current COVID-19 times. I hope to keep driving this and, in doing so, grow my consultancy. I am also in the review process for having my research published and hope to have this finalised soon. It is very likely that this will lead onto a PhD, which is both daunting and exciting!
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Westminster City School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Palace Street. If you’re an alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.