Alumni of the SU - Alasdair Gardner

For our latest Alumni of the SU, we introduce you to Alasdair Gardner, former Sports Union Secretary and EURFC Secretary, now Islands Director of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets.

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Picture of Alasdair Gardner Alasdair Gardner

For our latest Alumni of the SU, we introduce you to Alasdair Gardner, former Sports Union Secretary and EURFC Secretary, now Islands Director of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets.

“I played various sports as a kid – I had three older brothers and it was just something we did. As I got older Rugby became my main sport, and when I went to University I joined the Rugby Club and was selected Captain of the Freshers’ 1st XV.

The Rugby Club was like one big family really, there were ten different teams but there was a real sense of camaraderie across the club. Some of my favourite University sporting memories include the inter-University games on Wednesday afternoons, winning a tournament in Paris in 1st year, and launching the ladies’ section of the club.

When I graduated, I joined the bank as a graduate trainee, and the work I did as Secretary definitely helped get this role. Before Peffermill, the rugby club had its own clubhouse as well as an allocation of 1500 tickets to Murrayfield to manage, both big responsibilities. In the Sports Union there were lots of different clubs who all had different needs, and we worked to be as inclusive as possible. As my career developed, there was a lot of strategic work and I took on leadership roles, and the real benefits of my involvement with sport came through. My exposure at university to how committees operate and governance were really tangible experiences that helped my career.

In sport, my role models are those who lead and manage in an inclusive environment. I admire Alex Ferguson, who embedded a culture in Manchester United that lasted three generations of players, it is fascinating to read about how he operated. I have been lucky to engage with Martin Johnson, another experienced leader. His simplicity of message and clear strategy comes through, a real leader by example. I have been fortunate to meet Olympians from a number of different sports, and I found the rowers really powerful to listen to, their sole focus was to make the whole team go faster and they had to work together to achieve that, one slip of an oar and it was all over.

The experience you gain and the friendships you make in sport are so important in life. Even now some of my closest friends are through the Sports Union. There are important lessons learnt by taking part in sport; how to win, how to lose, and I would encourage students to get as involved with it as you can.”

In our #AlumnioftheSU we seek to discover what sporting memories stood out for former students of our Sports Union, as well as learning how sport has helped them reach positive destinations in life after Edinburgh.
Do you have an interesting story to tell? Nominate yourself by filling out our nomination form here. To find out more about everything alumni, head over to our alumni page.


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