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It was a cause for double celebrations in the Meek household this week as father and daughter duo graduated from Ulster University with Master's degrees.

During the University’s first in person graduation celebration ceremonies since 2019, Gavin Meek (50) from Newtownabbey graduated with a Master's in Sports Coaching and Performance from the School of Sport. Later in the week his 24-year-old daughter Taylor, graduated with a Master's in Marketing from the Ulster Business School.

Gavin Meek commented:

I’m so proud of Taylor, it was an extra special way to celebrate with both of our graduation ceremonies taking place in the same place. I first graduated in 1993 from Ulster University and being back again pursuing my life’s passion and watching my child pursue hers has been an incredible experience.”

Former senior structural technician Gavin finished his Master's degree in 2020 and after completing a dissertation reviewing the role of the Coach’s well-being, has started a PhD to further develop a pathway for athlete and  coach care and mental health support for athletes and coaches. Working with expert supervisors in the School of Sport and the Institute of Mental Health Sciences, Gavin will complete his PhD in September 2023 and dreams of lecturing in the future.

Gavin continued:

“I worked in engineering for over twenty years, but my heart has always been in sport and that’s why I’ve decided to follow my passion and complete a PhD. What I love most about the experience is being surrounded by people who are passionate about all things sport, every day I meet people with a spring in their step and a love for what they are doing. The learning curve has been steep, but I haven’t looked back since I started the PhD and would encourage anyone who has a dream to do something similar, make the jump, pursue your passions because life is too short to spend all of your working years following a career path you don’t love.”