Student Sporting Insight #07 – Reïna Kotto-Ekambi

After completing her high school education at Lycée Dominique Savio in Douala, Cameroon, Reïna Kotto-Ekambi moved to the U.K. in 2018 to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management at Loughborough University.

Upon graduating with First Class honors in her BSc Sport Management degree in 2022, Reïna decided to stay in the UK and continue her university studies at Loughborough, where she has spent the past year working towards an MSc in Sport Management.

Alongside pursuing both her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, Reïna was also part of Loughborough’s basketball teams, competing against other university teams every week.

Student Profile

Name: Reïna Kotto-Ekambi

Nationality: French

Institution: Loughborough University

Degree(s): BSc Sport Management and MSc Sport Management, Politics and International Development

In our latest insight, we find out what motivated Reïna to study and remain in the UK, as well as find out her experiences and insights gained from studying Sports Management at Loughborough University.

What first attracted you to pursuing your university degree in the UK?

Although I grew up in Douala (Cameroon), I’ve always been in a French educational system.

Growing up, I had a strong interest in English-speaking countries. My father and my brother did their university studies in the United States and really enjoyed it. I knew that after getting my High School Diploma, I wanted to see something different and explore a new culture that I was not familiar with. Before moving to England, I had only visited twice however, I have always known that the sporting culture in the UK and in British universities in general was amazing.

For those who are not aware, what could you expect to learn when studying a sport management degree?

A Sport Management degree (at Bsc Level) is quite broad. You can expect to learn a lot on different subjects. For example, I had modules such as Sport Marketing, Financial Accounting for Sport, Sport Law, Sport Governance and Policy, Research Skills, Managing Sport Organisations and Events, Sociology of Sport, and the list goes on.

Overall, the content was quite rich as different subjects were covered. However, to clearly assess which topics interest you a little bit more, if you have the opportunity, I would advise you to take a placement year. This will enable you to gain experience and see which area of sport management you have the more interest in.

Having recently graduated, what would you describe at the highlight of your time Sport Management Degree?

It is quite hard to point out just one highlight as my past 4 years have been truly amazing.

However, if I had to pick, I would say that my final year overall was my best. Although challenging, it is the one that I enjoyed the most. I was part of a basketball team, Covid restrictions started easing and campus life started getting back to normal.

I also really enjoyed the process of undertaking my dissertation. It was on a subject that I truly cared for, and I had the chance to take interviews and meet people to get their story on it.

Do you think that U.K. is a good destination for a student that wishes to pursue a sport related degree? If so, please explain why?

The UK is definitely a good destination for a student that wishes to pursue a sport-related degree.

Overall, the UK is a great sporting nation. This is visible through the medals received at past Olympic and Paralympic Games, and through their sports teams that are always well-ranked during international competitions. Sport is really part of the agenda in the UK and there are real investments made in it whether it is at grassroots or competitive levels.

In general, the environment is great. A student studying in such an atmosphere should be fulfilled.

Alongside studying, have you also been able to experience playing sport whilst at university? If so, how has playing sport impacted your university experience?

I have been able to play sports during my BSc. One great thing about Loughborough is that sport is accessible to everyone. Whether you want to do it competitively (BUCS) or recreationally, there is a place for everyone.

Getting involved in sports definitely impacted my university experience for the better. It was a nice way to socialize and meet people outside of my course.

I have made great friends that I met while taking part in sports. University life can sometimes be overwhelming and doing sport or being part of a team is a great way to have fun/relax in a good atmosphere.

You returned to Loughborough after completing your Bachelor’s last year, what were the motivating factors for why you decided to pursue a master’s degree?

One major factor in my decision to stay at Loughborough University is the fact that I’m playing basketball and wanted to continue playing one more year. Also, with COVID, unfortunately, my second year was cut short, so I felt like my Loughborough journey was quite not over yet.

Another factor obviously is that to study sport, Loughborough is a top university.

I did look at other masters (around International Development through sport and Politics) that covered the same subject both in the UK and in one university in Germany, but Loughborough (because of the course itself, but also the sporting/social life on the side) seemed like the best option for me.

Is there anything else you feel may be relevant to a future U.K. university applicant who is considering studying a sport-related degree at university or any further comment you wish to provide?

The UK is an amazing place to study sport! There are so many sport-related courses offered by UK universities. I would suggest carefully looking at the content of each course to make sure that the modules are of interest to you. I would also advise you to see if taking a placement year is an option or not on the degree that you end up choosing.

Whichever course you decide to choose, make sure you enjoy every moment of it because time does fly.

Even though it can be a bit scary at first, do not be afraid to go out and meet people, network, and take part in sports!

Follow in Reina’s footsteps!

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