On the back of the recent election of Dave Heads as the new AU officer, Nottingham University sport has begun planning for next year’s assault on the British Universities and Colleges Sports Championships. Away from University representative competition, however, there are other ways to get involved in sport at Uni through structures like Intra-Mural Sport and also volunteering as well.
URN sports presenter Ed Tarlton has demonstrated this by formulating a new student led project known as ‘The Student Sports Coaching Initiative‘, which offers Uni students the chance to be involved in sports coaching or volunteering in the local community. He developed the idea having experienced at first hand the problems of becoming a volunteer and looking at how the system could be improved. Now with his concept having been officially accredited by the Student Volunteers Centre, the real activity for the project will begin at the start of the next academic year, accompanying the new influx of freshers. It’s not too early to join, however, as opportunities for involvement are already available. “It’s moved very quickly, in the space of about two months we have forged connections with Nottingham County Council and are now able to offer a host of schemes that students can get involved with” he said.
The aims of the ‘SSCI’ as it’s called is to look for opportunities for students to coach sport or contribute to sporting activities in the local area and deliver the necessary details to those who want to get involved. Ed, a Uni footballer and coach of the Women’s football squad suggests that part of the problem is that a lot of information gets lost in transit - “Nottingham County Council has never had this kind of link with the University before, whilst a number of the opportunities that are available fall flat as there's no structure within the University dedicated to making them work. What we offer is a scenario whereby we will continue to look for new opportunities and will regularly update students on our database regarding what we have available. Similarly, if there is a particular coaching qualification that a few students are interested in attaining, we will try to get the National Governing Body to put it on at the University, or if that is not viable, look to direct them towards getting it through the County. In other words, we as an organization do the leg work on behalf of those registered with us, thus taking the pressure off the individual.”
The project has received backing from current AU president Alexandria Hingley whilst the Student Volunteers Service is also excited about the scheme. “They’ve mentioned it in passing to a couple of local schools who are keen for students to come in and work with the children”.
It doesn’t however, end with the local community as Ed says an American company is interested in becoming involved, “it’s a firm that offers students the chance to spend the summer coaching football in the USA, I contacted them and told them what we were trying to achieve and they expressed an interest in being linked with us as well”.
The first project of it’s kind, there are high hopes that it can open new doors to students of the University.
To find out more you can visit the Student Volunteers Centre in the Portland Building, click on the facebook group ‘Student Sports Coaching Initiative Nottingham’ or follow them on Twitter: SSCI Nottingham
by Tom Ryan