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Terry Cooper celebrates 30 years of service with Sussexsport

Terry (centre) celebrates 30 years of service with some of his current and former Sussexsport colleagues.

Sussexsport honoured their much-loved colleague Terry Cooper on Thursday (5 July) with a celebration to mark his 30 years of employment for the University’s sports service.

Terry joined the University as a Junior Sport Centre Assistant in 1988, shortly after his sixteenth birthday. He’s seen a lot of changes over the past 30 years, including the Sport Centre café bar conversion into a gym, installation of artificial turf and 3G pitches at the Falmer Sports Complex and the growth of the fitness rooms, which started with a single treadmill run by tokens.

Mentored by the late Brian Barnett, who was Operations Manager at Sussexsport for many years, Terry went on to become a Duty Manager and then a Senior Duty Manager before progressing to Health and Fitness Development Officer. At the end of 2016, Terry was promoted to Deputy Head of Operations, Fitness and Performance.

In addition to his day-job, Terry was a popular coach for the University’s student football club from 2006-2011.

And Terry’s love of mentoring has extended to the local community; he began coaching runner Stephen Ferroni after he heard that the talented Moulsecoomb youngster didn’t have access to expensive training sessions but needed some guidance.

Terry has also been inspiring talented student athletes at the University, sharing his extensive knowledge of fitness and his passion for physical and mental health with Sussex’s Sport Scholars, who compete at the highest level.

He’s been responsible for helping to get many Sussex staff active too, his popularity across campus making Sussexsport’s Commit to Get Fit staff programme and social running group a continued success.

Colleagues, friends and students share some of their favourite memories of working with Terry over the years:

Simon Tunley, Head of Sport:

“Without sounding corny, Terry has literally gone from boy to man while working for Sussexsport. It’s been a privilege and pleasure to have worked with him for 23 years of his 30 at Sussex, and in that time he has proven to be a great contributor to the service and the University.

“One consistent theme that resonates across his career is that he is always prepared to go the extra mile to get something done or to help people. I would like to thank Terry for his dedication to both the University and Sussexsport, and we sincerely hope we will continue to benefit from his enthusiasm, motivation and commitment for years to come.”

Nate Shaw, Powerlifter, Sport Scholar and research student - MPS:

"Terry has supported me so well through the Scholarship Scheme over the years. He’s truly made a difference in my sporting journey – thank you!"

Kevin Betts, Head of Undergraduate Student Recruitment:

“Terry is a brilliant person. He’s supported me on so many of my mad challenges and has always been there for advice. I don’t know anyone who knows more about health and fitness.

“One particular thing epitomises how brilliant he is. In 2012 I ran from Paris to London and Terry said he would support me by providing bike support. On the second day we were due to run 100km. Terry hadn’t run for months and had done no training at all. But on that day he thought running looked like fun and he ran every step of the way with us. With no training! He was a mess by the end of it, but what an amazing feat!”

Georgie Chesman, International Partnerships Officer:

"I first met Terry a few years ago as part of Commit to Get Fit. He agreed to start a run at lunch or ‘runch’ group for several of us, which I’m sure he regrets as almost every week since he has had to diligently accompany me on a plod around Stanmer Park! 

"Terry’s a great guy, always so supportive and encouraging. For him, it’s more than how you’re getting on with any training or exercise you’re doing - it’s about how you are really getting on. He always makes the time to have a quick chat and check in, which is such a genuine quality of his. A big congrats to him on 30 years at Sussexsport!"

Jennifer Mankin, former Sport Scholar and Teaching Fellow – Psychology:

“Terry is a great coach and a brilliant teacher, always ready with an in-depth, expert answer to any fitness or sports psychology question and a seemingly infinite amount of patience! Whenever I see Terry on campus (or drop in to bother him in his office), I always know I’ll come away smiling, more knowledgeable, and more motivated than I was before.

“One of my favourite memories with Terry was the Sport Scholar session when I reached my goal of deadlifting 100kg. He had taught me to deadlift from scratch, coached and encouraged me every step of the way, and celebrated with me when I achieved that goal. That moment represented months of dedication and support from him, and it’s still an accomplishment I’m proud of that I never would have even considered without him.”


Posted on behalf of: Sussexsport
Last updated: Friday, 6 July 2018