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Why Matt see's Loughborough University as the perfect choice

20 December, 2011
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Matt Cross has been playing cricket since he was ten years old. Now part of the Loughborough MCCU Cricket Club, Matt has had the opportunity to pursue a career in a sport he loves, as well as study for a degree he finds equally important.

Currently in his second year studying for a BEng in Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University was always a first choice for Matt when deciding where to go study:

“I wanted to do cricket and my course is quite important as well. Loughborough is the best place for my course so it was my first choice. My mum also came to Loughborough. She knew it was quite good and she did well here so it was a pretty easy choice in the end.”

A family affair, both Matt’s parents studied Chemical Engineering and encouraged his cricketing interest from an early age along with his school:

“I’ve been playing cricket since I was about 10 years old. It started at my school in Aberdeen. One of my teachers in primary school was really keen on it and encouraged us to play. In the afternoon we’d go play it in the gym and that’s how I first got into. It then developed into club cricket, and kept going from there.”

Being at Loughborough University, Matt has found the University and cricket facilities to be extremely supportive:

“At Loughborough almost everyone plays some sort of sport and quite seriously as well. So the University really understands what it means to play sport here and study for a degree.”

“It’s a proper professional cricket environment here at Loughborough and really the next step towards a professional cricket career. So the support services are great and the facilities here are some of the best in the country. We have the National Cricket Centre whenever it’s free and Powerbase and other sports halls for when it’s not.”

“The coaches have been really supportive. Graham Dilley last year was really helpful and his coaching style did a lot for me and my performance.”

Between his demanding course and intense training sessions, Matt often finds the support of his department really important to his success:

“A lot of training is in the mornings before lectures or in the evenings after. My course has a lot of contact hours a week and it’s difficult to play sport that seriously when you have so much work. So I’ve got it pretty tough in terms of I have a lot of lectures and a lot of sport, which means I have to work hard.”

“Most of the time it’s fine. If we’ve got issues with work we can always ask and they’ll let us catch up and if we’re ever struggling we just let someone in the department know and they’ll help us out.”

“My personal tutor, Dr Andrew Stapley, has been very good and supportive. I had to go on a tour last year which meant I would miss a week of lectures. Andrew and the Department helped me out with all the lecture notes and made sure I didn’t miss too much.”

Reaching the halfway point of his degree with a year and a half to go, Matt has begun to think about the future and what he hopes to do:

“I’d like to do cricket first If I have the chance because obviously, I can only do cricket for so long before I get too old. I’m doing a three year course and I’m hoping to get a 2:1 in my course, which will leave me two options then when I leave University. I definitely want to do cricket first but if it doesn’t go well or something happens then it’s important that I’ve got my course to fall back on.”