Adam ‘Tory’ Pattinson (26) is a Perthshire native who currently studies Mechanical Engineering at the University of Glasgow, and plays his rugby for Glasgow University. An accomplished sportsman, he has represented Scotland in five different sports, and was the youngest player ever to appear in an international basketball match when he played for the Under-19s against Ireland in 2012. Off the court, Adam is a devoted family man who enjoys spending quality time with his loved ones. As a keen horticulturist, Adam has developed a love for plants and flowers which he displays in his stunning and ever growing organic garden at home. In this interview, we speak to Adam about his sporting career, hobbies and interests, and what he thinks of Brexit.

What does your team, Glasgow Uni, have to say about you?

I’d have to say that they are pretty lucky to have got such a talented sportsman in their ranks. I love playing for them, they’re a brilliant bunch of lads and always have a laugh with the crowd. I’ve been fortunate enough to make some great friends at the uni, and it’s a real shame that not all of them are Scottish!

You’ve played for Scotland on five different sports teams, which one are you most proud of?

It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve been lucky enough to play for the country I love, and while five sports are a dream, it’s a reality that I haven’t managed to play in all five. Still, the national rugby union team has to be my favourite, not just because I play for them, but because my entire family are passionate fans. Playing in front of a raucous crowd at a packed stand is a thrill that I wouldn’t miss for the world.

What position do you play in Rugby Union?

I play as a Number 8; one of the flankers. I’ve been playing for Scotland for eight years now, and in that time I’ve mainly stuck to the same position. I would say that I’m a jack-of-all-trades, but in rugby you often have to specialize in one area, and I think that being versatile is a great asset. If you have the opportunity to play in all positions, that is exceptional, but playing your natural position is usually the best strategy. When you are younger, you have the opportunity to try out different positions and see what suits you.

When and how did you start playing sports?

I started playing sports at school, mostly rugby and cricket. I was fortunate enough to be able to play several sports at school, with the only limit being my arms. Once I made it to university, my focus shifted to basketball and I played for the varsity team for four years. After graduating, I joined the professional ranks and continued to play until I got injured two years ago. I played for the Scotland National Squad in five different sports alongside my club rugby, and I was the youngest player ever to feature in an international fixture; the Under-19s against Ireland in 2012. It was an amazing experience that helped develop my love for the game. There were a lot of great players on the pitch that day, and we really enjoyed playing in front of such a passionate crowd.

Did you play rugby at a professional level before university?

Yes, for two years I played for the Somerset Eagles in the English league. It was an amazing experience, learning to deal with the intensity of the professional game. Still, I’d advise any student to spend at least four years in a university, especially if they want to play professionally. It’s not all about the grades you pick up, but developing life skills and making lifelong friends are two major things that university can offer you.

Why did you decide to go to university?

Going to university wasn’t my first choice, but after getting injured, I wasn’t sure what sort of career I would be able to play in. After doing a bit of research, I decided that even if I couldn’t play professionally, I could still manage a fairly successful sporting life. With a degree, you’ll have access to a whole host of jobs, not just in sport, but in all sorts of sectors. The only downside is that it can be very expensive, costing up to £30,000 a year, and taking up to four years to complete.

What are your hobbies?

Basketball is my biggest hobby. I play for the university team and for a local club. I also work with a group of friends to set up online businesses, such as an investment company that focuses on buying and selling companies in niche sectors, like sports, fashion, and fitness. It’s something different, and I love the challenge of setting up a new business. I think that being able to juggle work and study with a sport that you love is something that can really set you apart from other students.

How important is your education to you?

I’d say that my education is pretty important to me. I wasn’t always passionate about sport, and if I hadn’t made it as a professional, I don’t know where I’d be now. Without a degree, I don’t think that I’d be able to get a good job, or even a job at all. I love learning, and even when I’m not in class, I’ve always got a book in my hand or a pen in my fingers, ready to absorb as much knowledge as possible. There are so many opportunities at university for you to develop new skills, and even if you don’t end up specializing in sport, you’ll still have a degree to fall back on.

What is your dream job?

Although my dream job isn’t quite yet, I’d say it’s to be a football agent, helping players with their contracts and negotiating their fees with teams and sponsors. I’ve been fortunate enough to attract the attention of a few agents, and I’ve spoken to a few of them about the possibility of representing me, but it’s still very early days. I think that getting my own office, with a team of people working for me, will go a long way to helping me to make my dream come true.

What is your advice for students looking to make the most of their sports career?

I’d advise any student to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way. If you’ve been given a sport scholarship, sign up for as many games as possible. It won’t always be possible to play every game that is offered to you, but by doing so, you’ll keep your place in the team and continue to develop your skills. I was lucky enough to play for the university team for four years, and during that time, I played in 37 matches. Still, only playing for the team for two years isn’t enough to make it as a professional; you need to do a bit of research into the various sports management courses that are offered, so that you can decide which one you want to pursue.