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Ice hockey stars begin studies

Thursday 6 October 2016

Three international ice hockey stars are have begun their studies as part of scholarship programme being run by University of Salford.

Mark Heatley, Paul Phillips and Mario Trabucco are playing for Manchester Storm this season while also completing scholarships on the University of Salford Business School MBA programme.

The new season is about a month old, with the Storm in mid-table as they aim to improve on their inaugural season last year and make the end-of-season play-offs.

Canadian Mark Heatley joins the Storm after playing 8 seasons in the German DEL2 league. The 6’3 forward has an eye for a goal scoring 53 goals and 69 assists in 155 games over the last 4 seasons.

Mark said: “This chance to combine postgraduate education with professional athletics is extremely rare so it was an easy decision to come to Manchester. In addition to its AMBA accreditation, the Salford MBA is attractive due to its real-world focus. Through its relationship with local industry in the Manchester area, it offers the chance to gain practical skills and experience that can be applied immediately after graduating.”

American defenceman, Paul Phillips, joins the Storm for another year following a break out first season, where he became a firm fan favourite and grabbed 53 points (15 goals & 38 assists) in 61 games.

Paul said: “As soon as the opportunity arose to attend the University of Salford, I knew it was a great decision. Having the chance to receive my MBA, especially at such a prestigious University, has always been very high on my priority list. I am looking forward to going back to school to further my education. I am looking forward to interacting at a University outside of the United States. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I cannot wait to get started.”

Mario Trabucco, from Canada, joins after spending previous seasons in Italy, Germany and Sweden. He said: “When Manchester Storm approached me with the unique opportunity to get an MBA at the University of Salford, there was no hesitation. The idea of playing the sport that I love while simultaneously completing my Master’s degree was an offer I could not refuse. Playing professional hockey does not last forever. This MBA will vastly enhance my transition into the post hockey world.”

The three will be completing MBAs in Sports Business and all are planning for careers in sports management when they hang up their skates.

Professor David Spicer, Dean of the University of Salford Business School, said: “Salford has a growing reputation in the sports business world and this move builds on that.

“Our Centre for Sports Business is home to experts in the sector and can teach the type of skills that are in demand to prepare people for life as an executive. Hopefully Mark, Paul and Mario can contribute both on the rink and in the classroom.”    

Neil Russell, General Manager of Manchester Storm, is delighted with the partnership. He said: “This is such a fantastic opportunity for 3 of our fully professional ice hockey players to further their education, but to do it at such a well-respected and professional University like Salford is simply superb. The Storm already have strong links with former University of Salford students who are now leading our Sports Rehab and Strength and Conditioning programmes for all the players on a day to day basis. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship between Storm and Salford for many years to come!”

Find out more

Sam Wood

0161 295 5361