Rugby League Player, Washington DC Slayers (USA)
Leeds Trinity Graduate to tackle America and teach Rugby League the Titan way.
Leeds Trinity University alumnus Phil Dawes is about to embark on an exciting journey to play for American Rugby League team Washington D.C. Slayers in the USARL - the Premier Division in the US National League. Phil sets off on the 27 April 2015 with the season starting at the end of May 2015. Phil graduated from Leeds Trinity University in summer 2014, studying History. His brother Andrew is also a Leeds Trinity graduate.
Phil arrived at Leeds Trinity in summer 2011 after being enthused by a campus visit:
The warm community feel and not being an anonymous student at a larger university made it an easy decision for me.
Phil has very fond memories of his time at Leeds Trinity.
My highlights include making lifelong friends with flat mates, being part of title winning Titans team in the 2011-12 season and being the only ever present Titan player in my three years at university.
Rugby League has been in Phil's blood since he was young, playing for Wetherby Under 8's team. As a junior player he was then selected for the North Yorkshire County team for three years in succession. Whilst a student Phil trialled for Scotland students and was selected for the Scotland Student Exiles team of 2013. He was put on standby as a reserve for Scotland's 2013 Student World Cup Team and was also invited to tour the Ukraine for Scotland Students team but regrettably the tour was cancelled by the organisers.
Alumni Relations Officer, Brett Arnall, caught up with Phil in February as the Titans were taking on Durham at home in a BUCS League Fixture. Phil was present in his capacity as Assistant Coach for the Titans, retaining his strong links and support for the club after graduating:
I loved my time as a Titan and this was an opportunity to give something back to the Titans and Trinity. I decide to take a year out, train to become Personal Trainer and a Sports Conditioner. I also obtained a Rugby League Coaching qualification and wanted to gain some practical experience.
As well as making his mark with his Rugby, Phil is looking forward to making new friends and contacts within the United States. "I'm hoping to gain some experience of living in another country as well as developing my career as a personal trainer. I have also told the club I'm willing to volunteer to coach and introduce youngsters to the game of Rugby League utilising the experience I gained with the Titans and my Rugby League qualification."
Brett Arnall said, "It was great to see one of our alumni supporting the Titans in such a way, it says everything about Phil's character and the experience he had as a student that he gives so much back. It was also a real pleasure meeting Phil's father Rod, who still attends Titan home and away matches, takes photographs and supports the club in many other ways."