Newman University welcomes former Premier League football executive Raj Athwal to campus

08/12/2021 by Zakariye Abdillahi

Earlier this semester Newman University welcomed former Premier league football executive Raj Athwal to campus to speak to Sport students about his extensive career working across professional football.

Newman University regularly arranges guest talks for its Sport students, with a wide range of professionals from the Sports industry coming along to speak to and inspire students.

Raj was invited to give a talk entitled ‘How to make it in the professional football industry’ and recited his journey from humble beings to the presidency at Odisha FC.

Earlier this year Coventry born Raj joined Indian Super League club Odisha FC as their new president, the first British Indian to do so. Prior to this Raj has worked at Rangers FC and has more than 20 years’ experience working across all four divisions in England for clubs including Watford FC and Coventry City FC. Raj appeared on Sky Sports News earlier this year to talk about his new role.

Speaking about his visit to Newman University, Raj comments “I am delighted to share my experiences with Newman students. I like to think it’s my way of giving back to the community. Newman offers a really fantastic curriculum for its students and their staff are highly skilled.”

Stefan Lawrence, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Health, and programme leader for BA (Hons) Sport Development with Coaching, and the new BA (Hons) Sport Management degree, comments on Raj’s visit “we are very lucky to have someone of Raj’s calibre speak to our students and we’re humbled he does this on a charitable basis. We are committed to offering a fantastic student experience to our students that not only equips them with the academic skills but also the opportunity to hear from leading figures from the pro sports industry. This is just one example of our commitment to excellence”.

Newman University offers a range of undergraduate Sport degrees including, Sport and Exercise Science, Physical Education and Sport, Sport Coaching and Performance, and Sport Development with Coaching – with top-up degrees also available in all 4 routes for students who wish to top-up their foundation degrees to a full University Honours degree. The University will also be launching a new degree in Sport Management in September 2022 (subject to successful validation).

For more information about the Sport subject area at Newman please visit