Matt Dennington talks about his journey from county cricket to motorsport.

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This week the Professional Cricketers’ Association are focusing on career transition with the PCA raising awareness on how players can make a second career a success.

PCA’s Transition Week aims to educate players on how the PCA can support individuals through a career transition as well as sharing positive stories on players who have made a successful switch.

Former professional cricketer Matt Dennington’s story was taken from the 2018/19 winter edition of Beyond the Boundaries – the 23rd issue of the PCA member magazine – and details his journey from county cricket to motorsport.

“Whilst playing for Kent I made the most of my down time by studying for a degree in Marketing, Economics & Business Management. In doing that, I also spent valuable time accessing the support of the PCA’s PDM network, in my case Heidi Coleman and Charlie Mulraine.

“We were able to work out what inspired me professionally and what career options there might be based on that. It was part of a process of developing self-awareness.

“Following a season troubled by injury I was released from my playing contract and spent a winter abroad. Upon returning I was given an opportunity to trial at Nottinghamshire. It was at this point, when standing at mid-off on a cold April day, that I realised I wanted something different from life.

“I started to engage more proactively with my contacts network, working on the premise that people generally want to help others. Charlie Mulraine was also incredibly proactive on my behalf, securing me some work experience with a sponsorship agency.”

“Following this – and in the not-too-distant future – I secured a role with Red Bull, managing their sponsored athletes and sports partnerships. When there, I was managed and mentored by someone who recognised the transferable skills from professional sport, but also pushed me in areas I wasn’t so comfortable.

“From Red Bull I moved to a sport & fashion start-up. Although this move was challenging – the business didn’t survive beyond 18 months – it was an experience that allowed me to learn and grow.

“Following a short stint freelancing, I got a job at Just Marketing International (JMI), later bought out by Chime Sports Marketing (CSM). I enjoyed an incredible six years with them, a time that included three promotions, to become Head of Client and Business Development.

“There were stages within that stint that I thought of taking up new challenges, but successful career management means not always jumping out of something and into something else, certainly not until you’ve gained the necessary skillsets and experience to get that next role.

“My current job is as Group Partnerships Director at the McLaren Technology Group. Through my time at JMI and CSM I worked closely with the company. I align partner expectations with those of McLaren, seeing the company retain a prestigious group of partners that will support the growth ambitions of our business.

“In summing up, I feel incredibly grateful for the experiences and opportunities I have had in my career to date. Both in cricket and in business. I have never once regretted my decision to walk away from the game.

“I enjoyed some great times, developed great relationships and will always remember the lessons professional sport taught me. Those being – be competitive, be ambitious, be humble and don’t stand still.

“Finally, remember that everyone has a choice. If you don’t like something – as I realised on that cold April day – change it.”

For more information on the Personal Development and Welfare Programme click here