Newcastle Eagles Andy Thomson has doubled up his day job by joining North East developer Esh Group on a special secondment.
The appointment reinforces the strong connection between Newcastle Eagles and Durham-based Esh Group, which has been a main sponsor of the club for the last five years, having started with the wheelchair squad in 2008.
The basketball star is working as part of the Esh Added Value team, which delivers the Building My Skills and Esh Communities programmes across the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire regions to school students and community groups.
At the same time Andy is developing his own business experience and knowledge.
He said: “I’m really pleased to have joined Esh Group and to be working with the Added Value team.
“The work is expanding my understanding and knowledge of the business world which is sure to be important in my future when my playing career ends.”
Brian Manning, chief executive of Esh Group, said: “We’re delighted to have Andy on board as part of the Added Value Team.
“The partnership between Esh Group and Newcastle Eagles is not just about money, it’s about supporting each other’s staff and our ambitions both on and off the court.”
Andy’s work off the court has included working with the Mersey Tigers’ and Newcastle Eagles’ Hoops for Health programmes since 2009.
In 2013 he also coached youngsters at his then club La Rochelle in France. as part of their own community basketball programme
Andy added: “In the few weeks I’ve been working at Esh Group I’ve worked in Cumbria and the North East and in the New Year will be working in Yorkshire and the Scottish Borders.
“I’m learning lots – and getting experience of a number of business environments working closely both with Esh Group and its business partners that are involved in delivering the Building my Skills programme.
“Even though the role is part time it’s made a big impact on me and is highlighting how much there is to learn, opening my eyes to stuff I’d never thought of before.
“I’m really interested to see where it might lead both myself and for other professional sports players after their sporting retirement.
Andy also plans to complete his Physical Education degree which he started in Catawba College, North Carolina.