Professional Development course enhances Paul Wood’s leadership skills

Former Super League player Paul Wood at UCEN Manchester.
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Former Super League player Paul Wood is now studying a Level 5 Leadership and Management course at UCEN Manchester.

Paul Wood spent seventeen years playing on the front row for the Warrington Wolves, winning two Challenge Cups and a League Leaders Shield. 

Since hanging up his boots, the former prop has been working to help the next generation of rugby players as a Health and Wellbeing Project Manager for the charity Rugby League Cares. 

Recently, Paul has started a Professional Development course at UCEN Manchester to strengthen his understanding of what it means to be a leader.

Watch our video above to learn more about why Paul has returned to higher education, what Rugby League Cares does and what studying Professional Development at UCEN Manchester involves.

You can learn more about the Professional Development courses available at UCEN Manchester and apply now.


My name is Paul Wood. I’m doing the Level 5 Leadership and Management course. 

Why have you chosen to study at UCEN Manchester?
I played professional Rugby League for Warrington Wolves for 17 years. Since coming out of rugby, I've been working for the charity Rugby League Cares. 

Working in the charity sector, there's quite a lot of leadership that comes into it. UCEN Manchester has kindly offered to put us through a course on leadership and it's been fascinating so far.

The level of courses offered at UCEN Manchester appeals massively to a lot of the staff members, not just at Rugby League Cares but also within the Rugby League community.

What does Rugby League Cares do?
Rugby League Cares is a charity. It's there to support Rugby League from the international game down to the Super League level, championship level, the women's game and the disability game. We are there to support anybody within the sport.

There's a whole different aspect to things that we support people with. It can be psychological, career transition, looking at new careers, and financial wellbeing. There are loads of different aspects that Cares look at.

What are you hoping to learn from your course?
I'm hoping to write new projects and enhance what work we're already doing in the wellbeing sector. It's going to put us in a better stead with not only the community projects but hopefully within the professional Rugby League sector where we're also looking at enhancing leadership and delivering education to coaches and players.

How have you found your course so far?
I've found the course challenging so far, but it's been really good. I've learned quite a lot. You come into the programme thinking you know quite a bit about leadership, but even in a short amount of time, I've used what I've learned in the course in my working life. 

It's got me self-reflecting a lot. It's got me to try and better understand the staff members I'm in charge of. 

When you're doing the course, you think, ‘that's something I can potentially use at work tomorrow’, whether it's how we create change, getting people to buy in or getting followers. It's definitely going to enhance my working career.