Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lauren inspired to make a difference

We encourage our students to gain as much work experience as possible during the course of their studies.

Lauren Shrewsbury took this advice on board and, in conjunction with a volunteering role, is now in the process of developing the provision of a brand new sport at UCLan.

A second year module - Sociological Issues in Disability Sport - inspired Lauren to secure a voluntary position with British Wheelchair Basketball.

She said: "I took on the job at the start of my final year and I've already met so many amazing individuals.

"My role is to develop a Wheelchair Basketball club at the University and make people aware of what an amazing and inclusive sport it is.

"I hope throughout the year I can make a difference and successfully develop one of the only disability sports clubs at UCLan."

Lauren also undertook a placement at a primary school during her second year – something she hopes will help her into a career as a Teacher.

"This was challenging and exciting for me as I'd never had to teach such a young age group before," said Lauren. "However, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the placement helped me realise I wanted to seek a career in Primary Education.

"I've gained a wealth of knowledge and experience during my time at UCLan. I have completed such a varied amount of modules and topics that my understanding of sport in a social and global context has grown from strength to strength.

"I've had such an amazing time over the past few years – meeting some amazing people and making lifelong friends. My lecturers have always provided exceptional knowledge, guidance and advice and have been the most supportive individuals throughout my University experience.

"My ethos throughout my time at UCLan has always been to get involved in everything and make the most of the resources and facilities this University has to offer."

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sports Studies quartet to lead Zambia trip

Carlton, Rebecca, Jessica & Luke
A group of UCLan students have been rewarded for their efforts on a charity project by being chosen to lead an upcoming trip to Africa.

Final year undergraduates Jessica Martin, Rebecca Neill, Luke Daniels and Carlton Evans have been appointed Team Leaders for the UCLan Sport for Development Project 2015.

They will coordinate next year's visit to Zambia, where students from different study routes will team up to make a difference to children's lives.

Working in partnership with agencies such as Sport in Action and Zambia-based Edusport, Senior Lecturer Cliff Olsson created the project to provide students with an opportunity to study the global value and contribution sport can make in one of the poorest areas of the world.

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.

Course Leader, Danny Nuttall commented: "The Sports Studies team are very proud of the achievements of our current third years. The staff who took students to Zambia last year were waxing lyrical about the efforts of Rebecca, Jess, Carlton and Luke, among others, upon their return.

"The fact that all of the Team Leader positions have been filled by students from our course this year is testimony to the great potential many of our third years are demonstrating at present.

"That, coupled with sheer hard work and determination, has made these four students the stand out candidates to lead their peers in Zambia again this year. Congratulations to all of them; this is recognition they all thoroughly deserve."

Jessica said: "The impact the project has on the communities, and the satisfaction we got from the experience last year, is what made us apply for the team leader positions. We're excited to be a part of the project this year and see it from a different perspective as team leaders.

"We hope to be confident and competent to be able to guide and influence the students involved with the project. It will help supplement our leadership skills, which will work to our advantage in future careers as well as opening up new opportunities and options within sport for development."

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sports passion leads to teaching career

Stoke City Ladies FC star Hannah Bailey has used her passion for sport to take the first steps into what she hopes will be a successful career in teaching.

After graduating from the UCLan Sports Studies programme, Hannah qualified as a Teacher before securing her first role at Xaverian Sixth Form College in Manchester.

Hannah said her time at UCLan was fantastic: "I loved everything about the campus - location, facilities and most importantly the friends I made along the way. I had a solid group of friends studying alongside me which made learning a lot more enjoyable.

"We worked hard together and did as much extra enrichment as possible through the various sports coaching qualifications that were made available to us. The lecturers made such a difference; always on hand to help, with excellent subject knowledge and enjoyable and interactive lectures.

"My career path was always teaching and as a result I opted for the teaching modules to enhance my understanding. Work placements at a local sports development office enabled me to get first-hand experience of teaching in primary schools.

"Once university finished I decided to take some time out to develop my skills working in various settings from educational establishments, care homes and sports teams.

"I made the decision to complete my teaching training in further education. Knowing I had a real strong passion for sport sociology and confidence to speak in front of groups, teaching was my vocation.

"I'm currently employed as a teacher of PE and Uniform Public Services at Xaverian College. In the future I hope to complete my Master's and eventually lecture on a sports course at university.

"I love sports, but football has and will always be my passion. I play for Stoke City Ladies in the FA Women's Premier League and I'm currently top goalscorer in the league - not such a bad accomplishment!"

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Bloomsbury Collections book series

The Bloomsbury Collections book series is an essential resource for our students.

Professor John Horne from our International Research Institute for Sport Studies edits 'Globalizing Sport Studies' (GSS), which is just one of a number of useful titles in the series.

The books are published with Creative Commons licenses, meaning they are all available to read (if not download) for free. One example on Japanese women and sport can be found here.

Other books in the series are listed on the right hand side of the page and discuss cricket, boxing, the media, and sport for development. Another on sport and social movements will be on the website shortly.

There are many other books in Bloomsbury Collections that may be of interest - for example the one listed at the bottom of the right hand side (The Trojan Horse) is co-authored by Garry Whannel and features a chapter on sport and sponsorship.

A range of books from the series can also be found in the UCLan Library.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Stephen uses placements as springboard to new career

UCLan Sports Studies offers a variety of global opportunities to its students to help enhance their future career prospects.

Stephen Prosser took advantage of a number of these during his time at UCLan and has now secured a management role with Europe's largest provider of 5 & 6 a-side football leagues. Stephen has kindly shared his story with us:

"I spent a lot of time at a school in Tanzania teaching PE and coaching a number of sports teams. We held a number of tournaments at the school, most notably sports weekend where five other schools from around the country came to compete in eight different sports over one weekend.

"The school's Athletic Director noticed my work during these tournaments and entrusted me to organise two of my own tournaments towards the end of my stay. The first one was a primary school football tournament which was probably the biggest the country has ever had.

"The other was an annual soccer 7s tournament which was an honour to take control of. It was highly rewarding when a local orphanage won the boys' tournament.

"I also assisted with outdoor pursuit trips where I was a chaperone for trips up Mount Kilimanjaro or some of the other mountains in the region.

"I've also spent the last four summers working as a camp counsellor at Camp Wright in America. In my second year I took over as Sports Director which meant I had much more responsibility.

"In my final two years I was appointed Camp Wright's male section head, which meant I was in charge of over 40 staff members over each summer and had to follow ACA guidelines in order to make the camp run safely and successfully.

"I now work for Leisure Leagues in Warwickshire, controlling 25 five & six a-side leagues around the country. My time abroad during my course really benefited me, as it gave me the confidence to go on and start my career in sports and will hopefully help me achieve my dreams in later life."