Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Michelle Goes Ape in the Lakes

UCLan Sports Studies graduate Michelle Ferry has used her degree to secure a role as in Instructor with Go Ape in the Lake District.

We spoke to Michelle to find out more: "UCLan helped me further my understanding of teaching sports in schools, and the theories behind sport, as well as learning many teaching styles that I hope to put into practice.

"I'm hoping my role at Go Ape will enable me to gain further experience in outdoor education, as I'm now living in the Lake District so I can also improve in outdoor pursuits such as mountain biking, kayaking, walking, road biking and climbing.

"In September I hope to begin a primary PGCE in Carlisle to follow my dream of becoming a teacher. Whilst living in the Lake District I've made contact with schools and have subsequently received an offer from one who is happy to take me for my PGCE placement. This school has a strong focus on outdoor pursuits and physical education, so it's an extremely exciting prospect.

"Thank you to my lecturers at UCLan for their enthusiasm and encouragement throughout my time there, allowing me to progress and achieve."

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Gentleman Jim bids to join pro ranks

Our courses provide a platform to many varied careers within sport. Jim Ratcliffe graduated this summer with a 2:1 in Sports Studies and now intends to pursue a career in professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) before progressing into coaching the sport.

Jim says the course surpassed his expectations, helping him make many positive changes to his future plans: "You're encouraged to adopt a critical yet valuable approach to the study of sport, and this positively altered my previous perceptions and knowledge of sport and sociology.

"As someone pursuing a career as an athlete I've gained a much greater understanding of my position in the world of sport, the challenges that face me and the contemporary sociological issues that occupy my chosen sport. I believe all of this will greatly aid me in my pursuit of success.

"The course staff also had a massively positive influence on my time at UCLan, with help and support always being readily available, particularly during the production of my dissertation, with all lecturers pushing students to reach their potential in an original and creative manner."

Jim spent almost two years out of the sport injured, but has bounced back in style. Having successfully completed his degree, he's hoping to turn professional within 12 months.

Course Leader Nick Passenger commented: "Jim was one of our many excellent students to graduate this year. He's a focused young man who embraced all the various elements in the course, notably the Personal Training and Physical Education strands.

"The course team have followed his progress in MMA, as have many of his peer group. Fighting out of SBG Mainline as a Middleweight, Jim's achieved some remarkable results and the future looks very bright for him.

"As his fight name states, Jim has been a gentleman throughout his time with us and has worked well with everyone on the course. He's very organised and has developed into an independent learner as well as finding a focus of where his future lies. Jim proves the course accommodates a variety of students and we're excited to follow his progress."

To see one of Jim's recent contests please click here.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

UCLan Sport for Development Project 2014

Sports Studies undergraduates have successfully completed the UCLan Sport for Development Project 2014.

Working in partnership with Sport in Action, Senior Lecturer Cliff Olsson created the project six years ago to provide students with an opportunity to study the global value and contribution sport can make towards supporting the Millennium Development Goals.

The scheme aims to actively support Sport for Development projects being delivered in some of the poorest parts of the world by agencies such as Sport in Action and Zambia-based Edusport.

The projects rely upon the goodwill of voluntary sports leaders from the compounds who work with some of the most vulnerable children in the world with only the most basic of resources, delivering key life skill messages through activities and games.

Along with Sports Coaching & Development students and colleagues from UCLan's Journalism and Media programme, our students worked at a variety of Zambian schools with children aged 3-16.

Cliff commented: "The project provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates to develop their knowledge and understanding of Sport for Development, by working with Development Agencies in Africa with some of the most challenging communities in the world.

"The project is led by final year undergraduates who develop leadership, management and problem solving skills over a six week period in Zambia. I think it's a unique opportunity that reinforces UCLan's commitment to providing real life experiences for our students."

After returning from Zambia, student Joseph McQuade was invited to BBC Radio Lancashire to talk about the trip on John Gillmore's show.

He said: "This was a truly unforgettable trip for me, as it opened up my eyes to how the Zambian people lived. They had next to nothing but still greeted me every day with smiles and songs. I was surprised to see how happy they were.

"The trip wasn't only working with hundreds of children a day, as we also got to see Zambia's Victoria Falls, as well as taking a trip over to Botswana to see what their safari had to offer. This trip was a truly amazing experience and I'd recommend it to everybody."

To view more images from the trip please click here.