Student employability is a key component of the UCLan Sport Studies programme.
Ben McGarry has used this to his advantage to secure a role as a Sports Instructor with UKLC at their centre in Chester. We spoke to Ben to find out more.
"UKLC are a language school which uses sport as a vehicle to improve the English of children from different nationalities. I undertook a short term contract helping prepare and deliver various sporting sessions which would engage children and improve the use of English within them.
"This was an excellent experience, as I was able to improve my communication skills and develop new coaching styles to enhance my ability as a coach. Although sport was my main focus, I was also was involved in the majority of the evening activities for the students. These ranged from ghost hunts to fashion shows, all aimed at getting the children talking English to each other.
"This sometimes took me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to engage with students in a non-sporting context, assisting with any issues they may have. The experience enabled me to develop leadership skills, as I was also asked to lead the evening activities with staff assistance for up to 200 children.
"The job also entailed taking the children on excursions to various destinations around the UK. I was asked to lead these on a number of occasions, which was challenging as I'd never visited some of the places before. This allowed me to further develop my leadership and organisational skills, due to making sure I provided a high duty of care in accounting for students at all times.
"This experience increased my confidence and developed my skills, not just as a coach, but as a person, and has helped me move forward with my ambition to become a teacher. The transferable skills I've acquired will definitely be beneficial in future experiences.
"This job has also opened many other doors, including the opportunity to go and teach abroad due to the contacts I made whilst at the centre. I'd certainly recommend this experience to anyone looking to get into coaching or teaching, and this is just another example of the excellent links you're able to access as a student at UCLan."