Last week, a select group of high-achieving UCFB Burnley and Wembley students took the Netherlands by storm at the prestigious International Management Games in Groningen, with UCFB students contributing to first, second and third place in the team event against more than 400 fellow undergraduates from across Europe.

The International Management Games is a form of simulation activity that places students in different sport and event management scenarios and challenges. Over the course of the week, teams were randomly formed in order to mix students from different institutions, with the teams having to undertake a range of tasks that tested and improved their writing, reporting, creative and organisational skills; all within an international setting.

UCFB students clearly flourished in Groningen, forming part of each of the winning teams and with the majority of students finishing in the International Management Games’ top 50%.


The event presented our students with an excellent opportunity to network, apply and develop a variety of professional skills that to date are already proving beneficial for their academic and career progression. UCFB Sport Management Lecturer Desislava Goranova, who organised the trip, commented on the impressive performance of the UCFB delegation:

“Our students, without exception performed and acted amazingly well. They were a credit to UCFB and deserve plaudits for their teamwork, their collaboration between the Wembley and Burnley cohorts, and their mature approach to the Games. Engagement has been 100% from start to finish and myself and other academic staff at UCFB are extremely proud of them.”


We also caught up with some of the students that were carefully selected to attend the International Management Games in Groningen

BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student, Joe Enright commented on his experience:

“It was fantastic to take what we have learnt throughout the year and put it into real-life practise at the International Management Games. It was a pleasure to experience the diversity of the games. Learning to work together with different nationalities has really opened my eyes to what we will experience in the real world. The International Management Games is a true example of the additional experiences that only UCFB can offer.

BA (Hons) Football Business & Media student, Matthew Annis gave his opinion:

“A massive thank you to UCFB for giving me the opportunity to go out to the fantastic country of the Netherlands and the city of Groningen and represent UCFB Burnley. The work will be a massive step in the right direction for my future career in the industry and I hope to take more opportunities like this going forward. I would 100% recommend any UCFB student to get involved.”

BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student, Hayley Reed said:

“It was very challenging. The games tested our ability to work as a team and get things done under pressure. I have learnt so much about time management and how to utilise the strengths of others.”

BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student, Dominic Dysart commented:

“The International Management Games have helped develop my understanding of different cultures and that being open to new and different cultures is vital to success in the business world. The language barrier proved difficult at times, however my team and I overcame this with a clear understanding of who would interpret what was being said at all times. The experience has helped to improve my overall business acumen, as well as my knowledge and understanding of the football industry.”


BA (Hons) International Football Business student, Sharon Hoyos-Martinez commented:

“It was a pleasure to be selected to represent UCFB Wembley at the 2015 International Management Games in Groningen. Not only do I feel I learnt a lot from my colleagues but I feel I contributed and utilized a lot of knowledge that UCFB has supplied me in the past year and a half through lectures and seminars, as well as Neil Doncaster’s Management Games. I felt the experience was very relevant to my degree and so it was a perfect platform to showcase what we have learnt so far, whilst being challenged and picking up new skills at the same time.”

Find out more about UCFB’s own Management Games, a unique programme of real-life scenarios that students are placed in within the business of sport, led by Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the Scottish Professional Football League.