Friday, 23 October 2015

Dr Adams attends opening of major gaming exhibition

Dr Iain Adams attended the opening of the National Football Museum's latest exhibition – Pitch to Pixel: The World of Football Gaming.

The exhibition is sponsored by EA Sports who publish the hugely successful FIFA 16 game series, and Sports Interactive, creators of Football Manager – the world's most popular management game.

Pitch to Pixel features lots of interactive opportunities and insights into how games have evolved and are created.

Dr Adams is pictured talking to Kevin Moore, the museum director, and Miles Jacobson the studio director of Football Manager.

For more information about the exhibition please click here.

Friday, 9 October 2015

UCLan Sports Studies update

New Associate Lecturer Andrew Sprake (left) is set for a busy few months after taking over management of the UCLanSport Floodlit Cup.

Division Leader Nick Passenger has handed over the running of this year's competition to Andrew, which helps forge links with schools and provides volunteering opportunities to students across a variety of sports programmes.

Preston Grasshoppers have hosted four games so far, with Birkdale High School, St Ambrose, ArnoldKEQMS and Stockport Grammar School all progressing to the quarter-final stage.

The PGDE deadline is fast approaching and it's always nice to receive feedback from our Alumni about their development. Ben McGarry and Matthew Dixon are undertaking their PGDE's at Loughborough University and are doing well in their two initial placements at Ivanhoe College and Trent College (Independent School) respectively.

We also have two graduates on the School Direct scheme, with Megan Greaves excelling at Millfield School near Blackpool and Jonathan Barber progressing well at Lakes College in Cumbria.

Away from teaching, Tom Downward has started his internship at the Isle of Man National Sports Centre, while Jessica Horne has confirmed she's off to Dubai to work for Ethiad Airways.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Football experts remain in big demand

Researchers from our International Football Institute (IFI) have been busy over the past few weeks, working on a variety of high-profile projects.

Dr Iain Adams' studies into football during World War One resulted in him being invited to deliver a public lecture at the National Archives in Surrey. The presentation, entitled 'Over the Top - A foul, a blurry foul: the first football charge of The Great War' will be released via podcast in the coming weeks.

Professor John Hughson has been one of the editors of a new book entitled 'New Directions in Sport History'. Co-edited by Duncan Stone and Rob Ellis from the University of Huddersfield, the book contains chapters by Professor Hughson and Dr Adams.

PhD student Graham Deakin recently presented a very well-received paper - 'Up Close & Personal: The Changing Media Image of the 1960's Football Hero' - at the British Society of Sports History's annual conference at Swansea University.

To find out more about IFI please click here.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Life-changing trips inspire graduate's career choice

Grace Thind enjoyed her time at UCLan so much she decided to use her degree to secure a full-time role in higher education.

The Sports Studies graduate has joined the University of Salford as a Sports Assistant - a varied role which includes reception and lifeguard duties.

Grace joined our programme after completing a BTEC college course and said the huge range of opportunities to study different aspects of the sporting industry was the reason she chose UCLan.

She commented: "The course completely lived up to my expectations as every student has the opportunity to tailor it towards their desired career path, whether that be teaching, coaching or personal training - there is no limit.

"When I joined UCLan I'd no idea what I wanted to do as a job. I just knew I loved sport and wanted to make a career out of it. I found my calling in my second year on a module called 'Sport for International Development' which showed how to use sport as a tool to address issues other than ones that were sport-related."

Grace travelled to Zambia to work with vulnerable children, delivering key life skill messages through activities and games. The trip was a life-changing experience, opening her eyes to the power of sport and massively improving her confidence.

In her final year Grace took advantage of another international opportunity, visiting North Carolina State University and interacting with the sports students and staff there. This inspired her to pursue a career in education.

"I love being in the university environment and I loved my time at NC State, so I'd like to continue to work within institutions nationally or internationally and take on roles with the opportunity to develop and progress within the sporting sector," said Grace. "I'd also like to have some involvement in international sport for development.

"All of this wouldn't have been possible without the help, support and opportunities made available to me by the staff at UCLan, particularly Nick Passenger who leads the course.

"Nick went above and beyond his job expectations to ensure we were all on track and had the assistance and help we needed. He also offered countless amazing work opportunities, experiences and placements, both nationally and internationally.

"I wouldn't be the person I am today without UCLan and I can't thank them enough for everything they've provided me with. I'd 100% recommend this course. I've made lifelong friends and it's an experience I'll forever cherish and be grateful for."

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Matty kickstarts his career with Link4Life

UCLan Sports Studies graduate Matty Howells is celebrating after joining Link4Life as a Sports Community Coach. Matty will work across the Rochdale area, teaching Physical Education to primary school children.

Link4Life lead and manage the delivery of high quality, enjoyable, affordable, accessible cultural provision in Rochdale Borough that gives residents and visitors the opportunity to lead the active, creative and healthy lifestyle of their choice.

Matty commented: "I enjoyed three amazing years at UCLan due to the enthusiastic, knowledgeable and supportive lecturers who helped create a dynamic and fun environment in all lectures and seminars.

"The students on my course all got along really well which helped us enjoy the degree to the max. I've become a much more organised and confident person in my ability to coach sports to children and with the added bonus of being able to cook!

"The Sports Studies programme gave me the opportunity to attend placements through which I gained invaluable experience, whilst the university's careers service helped me structure my CV and gave me tips on how to prepare for job interviews.

"The highlight of my time on the course was having the chance to represent UCLan on a trip to North Carolina State University which was an amazing experience. Thanks to all the staff and Sports Studies 2012-2015 crew for everything."

Monday, 13 July 2015

Leah opts for a life on the ocean waves

The UCLan Sports Studies course provides graduates with a wide range of skills to enhance their future employability.

Careers in sport and teaching are the most popular choices for those who successfully complete the programme, but its diverse nature can also lead students into other areas such as tourism or the outdoors.

Leah Bradbury is a great example of this, securing a role as a Retail Assistant on board the Cunard cruise liner MS Queen Victoria.

She said: "I picked the Sports Studies degree to learn about a wide range of topics surrounding the subject, such as history and politics as well as enterprise.

"The course has given me the platform to gain experience in different career paths in order to make an informed decision about my future.

"My time at UCLan has been a mix of emotions. I've met friends for life but also had to know when to knuckle down. I know that both my experience and my degree played a huge part in me gaining my new job."

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Graduates start new company

UCLan Sports Studies duo Carlton Evans and Luke Daniels are using the knowledge and experience gained on our programme to set up their own business.

Supported by Challenger Sports, Carlton and Luke will launch TinyTykes Preston in March 2016.

The scheme, created by childcare specialists, introduces children aged 18 months - 5 years to the basic skills of soccer.

Luke (far left) said the diverse nature of the Sports Studies course had been a big help in mapping out the path they wanted to choose.

"The course is very well run, with all the tutors and staff extremely helpful across the whole three years," he said.

"The modules are set out in a way that give you many different routes in sport, which sets you up for third year when you eventually have to choose one. I accumulated over 250 hours of coaching experience over my final two years, which has provided a perfect platform to start this business."

Luke and Carlton also enjoyed international experiences during their time on the course, working as Team Leaders on this year's UCLanSport for Development Project in Zambia.

They led two groups of second year students to an area with a high poverty rate in an attempt to deliver life lessons about HIV/AIDS and gender equality through the medium of sport.

The pair, who graduate later this month, will keep close ties to UCLan by offering coaching opportunities to undergraduates and utilising the expertise available at the university.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Triple election joy for sporting expert

Professor John Horne has been elected to positions of responsibility within three major international and national scholarly associations.

Professor Horne has joined the Nominations Committee of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS), become Vice Chair of the British Sociological Association (BSA) and from January 2016 will take up the role of Vice President and Treasurer of the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA).

The AcSS is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences.

The Academy is made up of around 1000 individual Fellows, 43 Learned Societies and a number of affiliate members, together representing nearly 90,000 social scientists.

Founded in 1951, the BSA is the national subject association for sociologists in the UK and its primary objective is to promote sociology. Members of the Association are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and include researchers, teachers, students and practitioners in a variety of fields.

The Association represents UK sociology on key bodies both nationally and internationally, working closely with allied organizations to influence policies affecting sociology within the wider social sciences remit.

Through its publications, research groups and busy calendar of events, the BSA provides a network of communication to enable the promotion and use of sociology and sociological research.

The ISSA is a research committee of the International Sociological Association (ISA) where it is officially recognized as RC27 (Sociology of Sport) and also an official committee of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE).

ISSA holds annual conferences, including congresses in conjunction with the World Congress of Sociology and the Pre-Olympic Scientific Congress, and publishes the International Review for the Sociology of Sport (IRSS).

Professor Horne's expertise has been in much demand throughout 2015, joining panel discussions at Leeds Beckett and Bournemouth Universities, and following up his recent research into sports mega-events by co-editing a collection of articles with Professor Richard Gruneau from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.

Entitled 'Mega-Events and Globalization: Capital and Spectacle in a Changing World Order', the collection will be published by Routledge later this year.

He has also received an invitation to take part at an international workshop, 'More than just a game: mobilities, infrastructures & imaginaries of global sports events', to be hosted by the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in October 2015.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sports Studies duo chase teaching careers

Our graduates often use the UCLan Sports Studies degree to progress into teaching.

Having successfully completed the course, Megan Greaves (left) and Rachel Loveday (below) have now secured roles which they hope will lead into careers as Physical Education teachers.

Megan has accepted a position at LSA Technology and Performing Arts College in Lytham St Annes, and said the support she received whilst on the course was invaluable to her future prospects.

"I fully enjoyed all three years at UCLan," said Megan. "A lot of help and support was given along the way from lecturers, whether it be guidance with assignments or plans for the future.

"Teaching has always been a passion of mine and I've always known it was the career choice for me. There was a lot of support off staff, in particular Nick (Passenger), especially when it came to applying and interviews for the PGCE year.

"Help was given with applications, lesson plans and also the opportunity to put these into practice before the final interview date.

"The School Direct programme seems very worthwhile and I'm very excited to start at LSA in September. I'm looking forward to pursuing a career as a secondary school PE teacher."

Rachel has secured a role at Worsley Mesnes Community Primary School in Wigan as a Physical Education Coach and Sports Leader.

She will deliver the national PE curriculum children aged 3-11 and will also be responsible for extra-curricular activities, including organising and running competitions for the school and others in the local community.

Rachel commented: "I feel the course has set me up well for a career in teaching, as well as giving me other options along the way.

"It allows you to take different routes depending on the career you wish to pursue and gives lots of hands on experience, so it's suitable for those who don't know what they want to do when they go to university."

Monday, 22 June 2015

Thomas secures exciting Manx marketing role

The UCLan Sports Studies programme provides a platform to many varied careers in the world of sport.

Thomas Downward graduates this summer and has already secured an incredible opportunity to undertake a Sports Marketing internship with the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association (IoMCGA).

He also plans to study for a postgraduate degree in Sports Marketing to further enhance his future career prospects.

Thomas commented: "The internship is a great opportunity to put into practice the theoretical knowledge I've acquired throughout many of my course modules, and hopefully make the Isle of Man proud of my contribution to the development of Manx sport on the island.

"The Master's degree will enable me to further develop my knowledge and application on the marketing of sport, and will tie in perfectly with my internship."

Thomas will carry out a variety of duties, including developing the presence of the Commonwealth Games on the Isle of Man by forging links with sport governing bodies and their members, business and education centres, and also promoting the IoMCGA brand in the wider Manx community by building the CGA's online and social media presence.

He said his undergraduate studies have proved invaluable as he looks to progress his career in the sports industry.

"Prior to beginning my degree I wasn't exactly sure on the specific career in sport I wanted to pursue," said Thomas. "The Sports Studies course enabled me to explore various disciplines in the sports industry, and the second year sports marketing module really opened my eyes about what I wanted to do.

"I recently completed a placement at South Ribble School Sports Partnership as a Social Media and Marketing Intern, where I further developed my knowledge and application of marketing communications, considerably enhancing my personal and transferable skills and interest in sports marketing.

"I'd like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of my module tutors and course leaders, who offered excellent ongoing support and dedication throughout my three years at UCLan."

Monday, 1 June 2015

UCLan researcher presents at major football exhibition

Dr Iain Adams recently delivered the penultimate public lecture of 'The Greater Game: Football and the First World War' exhibition at the National Football Museum.

Entitled 'Football behind the Lines: 1914-1918', Dr Adams' talk was part of a series which told the forgotten stories of players and fans during World War One.

This major exhibition has explored the role football played during the war years, and investigated the myths and realities of famous stories from the conflict.

Ex-UCLan research student Dr Alex Jackson, the National Football Museum Collections Officer, will deliver the concluding talk in the series on 17th June.

For more information about the exhibition please click here.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

International call-up for UCLan student

UCLan's Joe Gilpin has been chosen to represent England at the upcoming Student Four Nations tournament.

The Sports Studies student progressed through a series of tough training camps to make the final 20-man squad which travels to Dublin in June to face Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

England are preparing for the Four Nations with RFL Association Cups games against the Great Britain teams for the Police, Teachers and Armed Forces.

Joe, who was on the scoresheet as England won 72-8 against the Police, commented: "I'm eager and excited to represent my country and compete at an international level.

"I'd like to thank my UCLan Coach, Andy Procter, who has helped me develop and improve as a player. I'm also grateful to my university lecturers and the sports department for their support throughout this process."

The Student Four Nations takes place from 14-19 June.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

NC State visit cements new partnership

UCLan Sports Studies undergraduates crossed the Atlantic to experience life at one of the USA's top research institutions.

Accompanied by colleagues from the university's Sports Business Management and Sports Marketing programme, the group spent a week at North Carolina State University to formalise a new partnership agreement between UCLan and NC State.

The trip, supported by the UCLan Travel Bursary scheme, gave students the opportunity to take part in a series of lectures delivered by staff from both universities, teach in local schools, deliver coaching sessions and visit a variety of world-class facilities.

UCLan's Nick Passenger and Dr Ingrid Griffiths led the visit which featured a tour around NC State's sports facilities including Carter-Finley Football Stadium, the PNC Stadium, Weisiger-Brown Athletic Facility and the Willis R Casey Aquatic Centre.

NC State has invested a huge amount of money into its sporting programme, with the 'Wolfpack' brand one of the most recognisable names in American intercollegiate varsity competition.

Students also toured the Carolina Panthers' NFL stadium and enjoyed an evening watching a Durham Bulls baseball game.

Dr Griffiths said the visit enhanced our students' learning experience: "This was an important trip for our Division. As well as being invited to a fantastic university, it was a pleasure to take our excellent students and establish long term relationships in a number of areas.

"The hospitality and welcome we received was excellent throughout, and the opportunity to work with world-leading staff was of great to benefit to us all. Thanks must be given to Dr Sue Minten from UCLan and NC State’s Dr Mike Edwards for their superb organisation."

The highlight of the week for Dr Griffiths came as the hosts presented her with tickets to see The Who and meet Roger Daltrey at a special charity concert in aid of Teen Cancer America.

In addition to forging the relationship with NC State, a new collaborative partnership with Meredith College was also agreed, with UCLan students now having research opportunities available to them at the all-female Physical Education institution.

Nick Passenger commented: “The experience our students had on this trip was exceptional and is a key reason why our courses have been designed as they have.

"Our students were a real credit to UCLan. Their performance in lectures and the maturity they showed whilst teaching and coaching local children showed what an excellent job our staff have done in helping their development.

"NC State were magnificent hosts and special thanks must be given to Mike, Jason and Gareth for all their time and efforts. It was a lovely touch for them to invite us to a function with The Who, and also introduce us to Joey Butler and his Durham Bulls team. Unfortunately for the Bulls I think they have 17 lifelong Twitter followers from across the Atlantic now!

"We look forward to hosting NC State and Meredith College in 2016 and developing research and lecture materials online in the meantime. I can only see this partnership getting stronger - Go Pack."

To view a selection of images from the trip please click here.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Student chases teaching dream

Our programme is designed to provide students with a variety of opportunities for their future careers.

Jonathan Barber, who is set to graduate this summer, has been accepted onto a PGCE course at Lakes College, West Cumbria, which he plans to use a route into a teaching role.

He said: "The course has been perfect for me. UCLan Sports Studies has various modules which focus on various aspects of sport.

"When teaching at FE level this is valuable as BTEC courses look at a variety of different aspects such as history and sociology, but also the practical side in coaching and PE.

"The lectures at university have been excellent. Over the three years I've found Danny Nuttall has always made himself available whenever I've needed some advice. Nick Passenger and David Grecic have also been brilliant - they've given me the knowledge I've needed to successfully gain a place on my PGCE course by making me feel confident for my interview.

"In the future I'm hoping to teach in FE to inspire students to reach their potential, either in employment or at university."

The UCLan Sports Studies team would like to congratulate Jonathan on his success.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Academic efforts rewarded with showpiece event invite

Two first year UCLan Sports Studies undergraduates were rewarded for their academic excellence with an evening at the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Annual Tribute Dinner.

April Waring and Daniel Osmond's efforts in their module, Sport in Society, where they analysed the socialisation of disadvantaged groups into sport, resulted in an invite to the event headlined by ex-West Bromwich Albion & England star Cyrille Regis.

Their assignment linked with the theme of the charity dinner, which was held in the Invincibles Suite at Deepdale in aid of the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre.

The community project continues the legacy of Sir Tom by providing football coaching, education and competitive football opportunities for people regardless of age, ability, disability, sex, social or racial background, who would not normally have an opportunity to play football.

April said he was delighted to have the opportunity to go to the event: "I was really surprised at being invited to attend the Dinner, but it was an opportunity I really appreciated as the topic of the night is something I'm really interested in. I had a great time and it was great to hear from Cyrille Regis and others from the sports industry."

Daniel added: "The evening was a great insight in to the charity work being done in the area to get people, who wouldn't normally have the chance, involved in football. It was also wonderful to see Tom Finney's legacy being preserved by so many people."

Thursday, 16 April 2015

UCLan teams up with NC State

UCLan Sports Studies students and staff are set to visit one of the USA's leading research institutions.

In conjunction with colleagues from the university's Sports Business Management and Marketing programme, the group will spend a week at North Carolina State University as part of a new partnership agreement between UCLan and NC State.

Organised by Dr Sue Minten from UCLan and NC State's Assistant Professor Mike Edwards, the trip will provide students with the opportunity to broaden their horizons in an international learning environment.

The visit includes a series of lectures by staff from both universities, including Dr Jonathan Casper and Dr David Conner from NC State, and UCLan's Dr Ingrid Griffiths.

Students will also have the opportunity to volunteer at Bugg Elementary School, providing a useful grounding for those progressing onto PGDE courses next year.

A variety of activities have been planned during the trip, including a tour of the Carolina Panthers NFL stadium, a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and experiencing a live baseball game between Durham Bells and Charlotte Knights.

NC State is one of the USA's most respected universities and can boast a rich sporting tradition. Former students include PGA golfer Tim Clark and ex-Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher. Jim Valvano (above) is perhaps their most iconic sporting figure, after leading NC State Wolfpack to the NCAA Basketball title in 1983.

Valvano went to work as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC Sports, before famously delivering an inspirational speech at the ESPY Awards in 1993, just eight weeks before he died of metastatic cancer.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Students engage in real world learning

UCLan Sports Studies undergraduates recently organised a Sports Day for local primary school children.

Second year students welcomed over 60 nine and ten year olds to UCLan Sports Arena as part of the 'Healthy Schools are Sporty Schools' initiative.

The pupils from St Augustine's, Preston, braved the elements to take part in a variety of activities including football, hockey, tag rugby and netball.

The students planned the sessions and coached the children, delivering a fantastic day of healthy sporting activity. The event was designed to help the group gain valuable work experience in a 'real world' environment.

Student Harry Chandler commented: "The day went really well once we eventually started. The weather was something we couldn't do much about and we made the best of it. The event ran smoothly and everyone had a fun time."

The Sports Day was coordinated by Lecturer Chris Gunn. He said: "I'm truly proud of our students, especially their knowledge, manner and professionalism they demonstrated on the day.

"Paul McGrath, one of the teachers from the school, has asked if he can bring another group and said all the children had thoroughly enjoyed their day at the Arena."

To view a selection of images from the event please click here.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Graduate secures supervisory role

UCLan Sports Studies graduate Sophie Pilkington loved her time at the University so much she decided to stay on and work here.

After spending time as a Student Liaison Officer and a Student Engagement Assistant, Sophie has recently been appointed as a Duty Supervisor at Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre (STFSC).

Sophie's time as a student allowed her to gain a vast knowledge of sport and the sporting industry, both theoretical and practical. She said: "The course gave me the opportunity to discover and learn about the different areas of sport through the varied modules, allowing me to explore the career path I wish to take.

"I was given the opportunity to volunteer in Zambia, which was an amazing experience, and I also gained a lot from the support of the tutors throughout the three years.

"I've always been passionate about sport and being a student at UCLan has confirmed my desire to work in Higher Education, with a particular interest in the provisions of sport available to students. My new role is a wonderful opportunity and will allow me to explore my passion, develop my career within sport and let my skills flourish."

Whilst studying at UCLan, Sophie volunteered as Chairperson of our Netball Club. STFSC Manager Martin Baines said he had always been impressed with her organisation and enthusiasm.

"We need the right person to join the STFSC team, particularly front of house," said Martin. "Sophie has the ideal personality and welcoming smile to work here.

"She's had extensive experience with student life since graduating, and really impressed at interview with her professional demeanour, her keenness to be involved with projects and the day-to-day running of STFSC. I'm sure Sophie will be a great asset to us."

Sports Studies Course Leader Danny Nuttall added: "The team are delighted about Sophie's appointment. Not only is she putting to good use the knowledge and skills she developed over the course of her degree programme, but it's always a positive when such a hard-working, likeable and talented student returns to UCLan in some capacity.

"We're confident she'll be a resounding success and wish to congratulate her on her new role."

Monday, 16 February 2015

WW1 sport expert attends Serbian book launch

Dr Iain Adams recently visited Belgrade for the launch of a new book which looks at the British impact on the development of sport in Serbia during World War One.

'Sport Remembers' by Dejan Zec, Filip Baljkas and Milos Paunovic, investigates the interactions between British and Serbian forces during the conflict and the experiences of Serbian refugees in Britain.

Dr Adams gave a contextual presentation on football and the British Army during WW1.

The British Embassy, who sponsored the book, arranged for Dr Adams to be interviewed by Branko Rosic for a feature story in Nedelini (a Serbian weekly magazine). Rosic is a highly regarded journalist and questioned Dr Adams about the perceptions of global sport, sport and art, sport and music, as well as WW1.

Dr Adams went on to provide the British Ambassador, His Excellency Denis Keefe, and his wife, Mrs Kate Keefe, with an academic review of the book, before attending the launch which was filmed for upcoming TV sports programmes.

A Serbian TV company also interviewed Dr Adams for a documentary they are putting together, looking at British and Serbian relations in sport, as well as football in the British Army and how this affected Britain's allies.

On his return to the UK, Dr Adams gave a guest lecture at the Great War History Conference held at St Albans School. For more information please click here.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Student claims Taekwando gold

UCLan Sport Studies student Stefan Orlando has targeted success on the world stage after winning gold at the recent GTI Taekwondo English Open.

Since taking up the sport just over ten years ago, Stefan has risen up the ranks to become one of the top players in his class in Great Britain.

The Carlisle athlete competes at Lightweight under International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) rules. This is widely recognised as the original and authentic version of the sport.

Stefan commented: "I'm delighted to have won the English Open. I've been competing in internationals since I was 15 and have always had a natural flair for Taekwando.

"I took up the sport aged eight, won my black belt at 14 and became a 3rd Dan by the time I was 19 – this was quite an achievement for someone so young."

Whilst World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) competition has come to prominence through its inclusion as an Olympic sport, Stefan says ITF is a much higher level.

"WTF tends to be a little bit more commercialised – perhaps more of a skills exhibition rather than the real thing," he said. "There are people competing in ITF who would 'school' some of the top names in the WTF.

"My ultimate aim is to compete and win gold at the ITF World Championships, but I wouldn't have got to the level I have without the support of my parents. They constantly support me financially when it comes to entering competitions, so like many other sports people I'd welcome any offers of sponsorship!"

In addition to his sporting ambitions, Stefan is hoping his undergraduate studies will enable him to pursue a career in teaching or coaching.

"My main reason for joining the UCLan Sports Studies programme was to develop my knowledge so I could pass my skills onto others," said Stefan. "This course sets me up perfectly for that – whether I go into PE teaching or not, it gives you the option to do that so I'm really glad I chose UCLan."

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Graduate changes lives through Education

Our programme offers students many opportunities to boost their future career prospects.

Mohammed Seedat took advantage of this during his time at UCLan and has subsequently progressed into a teaching role at UCFB Burnley.

In addition to leading the UCLan Islamic Society for two years, Mohammed also worked as a Junior University Ambassador at our Burnley campus.

He provided advice for students interested in moving into Higher Education and even met the Queen during the course of his work.

Mohammed also undertook a placement at Newman College, where he organised and delivered a number of practical lessons including classroom based work.

He commented: "As an Ambassador I conducted campus tours, worked at Open Days and delivered presentations to prospective students and parents. I gained numerous skills which helped improve my confidence and boosted my communication skills. My Newman placement made me more enthusiastic about learning and teaching others."

After graduating from UCLan, Mohammed was offered an internship with the United Nations Association International Service in Palestine and Israel. He assisted youth empowerment through awareness via workshops, developing PR materials and surveys, and supporting anti-drugs and anti-smoking campaigns.

He also delivered a number of sport and coaching sessions and participated in a youth work programme, helping young people develop their educational and leadership skills. On his return to the UK Mohammed enrolled onto a PGCE course, undertaking a two year placement at UCLan. He taught a range of Sports Studies modules and also contributed to a variety of University committees.

During the course of his placement Mohammed also worked part-time at Accrington and Rossendale College, teaching 'A' Level Sports and Physical Education and acting as a personal tutor for several students on the course. Mohammed used these experiences to secure his role at UCFB Burnley.

"My time at UCLan helped me develop my knowledge, initiative and passion for inspiring and motivating young learners in Higher Education," said Mohammed. "I'm now lecturing at UCFB on a number of sports business and marketing modules, plus I'm studying for my Master's in Education.

"Besides teaching, I enjoy volunteering and photography. In 2013 I spent some time monitoring and evaluating projects on the Turkey/Syria border. I went to capture the smiles of Syrian children in education - it was a life-changing experience.

"On my return I had a vision to educate the Syrian children. We called out to the people of Preston, who contributed towards setting up a brand new school. We were able to provide opportunities for 300 children and teachers to return to education.

"Tauheedul Relief Charity with Syria Relief provided each child with a uniform, books and materials, and also teacher training. I'm currently putting together a teacher training programme for Syrian teachers to be delivered via Skype on a monthly basis.

"I really enjoyed my time at UCLan and without all the opportunities I wouldn't be where I am today. I'd like to thank my lecturers and peers for inspiring me to always aim high in life and contribute something back into society."

To keep up-to-date with Mohammed's journey please check out his blog.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Dr Adams presents at aviation event

Dr Iain Adams took time out from his sports history research to discuss another long-standing passion at an event in the USA.

Dr Adams gave a talk to the Experimental Aviation Association's (EAA) Chapter 1345 at Bend, Oregon, on 'Non-line shooters I have known, and other heroes of late 20th Century Aviation'.

He spoke about his varied experiences flying everything from Concorde to the Goodyear blimp and the people he has met in aviation through the years.

For more information about the event please click here.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Dr Adams in big demand for WW1 commemorations

Dr Iain Adams recently visited Germany to help the British Army recreate the World War One Christmas Truce football match.

Dr Adams travelled to the Adventurous Training HQ at Sennelager to deliver a briefing on the Truce to British Officers and the Westfalen Garrison.

Soldiers from the 20th Army Brigade of the British Army and the 21st Panzer Brigade at Paderborn then faced each other on the football field, with the British team going on to claim a 4-0 victory.

The event was covered by Radio Hochstift, who interviewed Dr Adams about the Christmas Truce during half-time. Dr Adams returned to the UK to deliver a very well received presentation at The National Archives at Kew on 'A Game for Christmas: Football on the Western Front, December 1914' - to listen to the podcast please click here.

He also attended the opening of the National Football Museum's exhibition 'The Greater Game - Football & The First World War', and watched the performance of his play 'A Game for Christmas' by pupils from Cheetham Primary School.

Dr Adams met with sculptor Andy Edwards (creator of the Stanley Matthews sculptures at Stoke's Britannia Stadium) and Chris Butler (CEO of Castle Fine Arts Foundry) to discuss the progress of the 'All Together Now' Christmas Truce commemorative work and he also had a chapter included in a book published to coincide with the opening of the exhibition.

Numerous UK media outlets covered the story including the Telegraph and the BBC. Internationally it was used in Pakistan, The Gulf Times, Poland, Germany, Canada and the USA.