There has been five Sport Champions at NTU this year – Patrick (me), Jake, Fay, Harrison and Danielle. You’ve probably seen us around campus in our kit. However, you may not know what we were here for!
The Sport Champions’ role is to get as many students playing social sport as possible. We want all students here at NTU to benefit from the wide range of sports that are on offer, and have a ton of fun whilst playing! We understand that not everyone wants to play sport competitively, that’s why it is so important to provide opportunities for people to have fun and stay active in a relaxed environment.
Work for us began before the start of term 1, as we helped to organise a development day for the sport committee members at NTU. But after that we were straight into promoting our ‘Play for Fun’ programme during fresher’s week. That week we worked tirelessly to promote and engage as many freshers with our programme. It is definitely one of the perks of our job that we get to chat to our fellow students on a day to day basis to spread our passion for social and beginner sport. It’s also great fun getting people involved who may not have done otherwise. For example, some of you may have seen us set up table tennis or a small tennis court on campus. We like to call these our ‘pop up’ events and you can be sure that you’ll see more of these events next year! Not only do we promote social sport sessions, we get to take part as well. When we go to social sport sessions we try to make sure that it is as inclusive as possible and that everyone is involved and having fun.
However, this job isn’t all fun and games. We also have some important jobs which can be a little more tiresome. Every week we have to update the social sport register which tells us how many of you are coming to our play for fun sessions. Even though it’s not the most exciting work, it is highly rewarding! When we see how many of you are coming along every week it motivates us to keep going out on campus to use sport as a tool to improve your university experience.
Also, we are lucky to be in a position where NTU sport provided us with the opportunity to enhance our qualifications in sport. For example Fay was able to complete a netball coaching course, and I was able to complete my level 2 rugby coaching badge. Also, Harrison and I were given a great opportunity to attend a development conference hosted by BUCS which gave us some great ideas. The conference was at Leeds Beckett University and there were a several different seminars throughout the day. We had talks about inclusivity in sport, how to engage students in sport, and creative ways to advertise on social media to name just a few. It was a fantastic day that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to work in sport development.
As my time as a Sport Champion comes to a close I’ve been able to reflect on what I’ve gained. I think this job has been great for me because I have gained valuable experience in the sport sector. I have improved my social skills, my ability to analyse and interpret data, and my organisational skills. All of which are crucial if I am to be get a job in the world of sport. Also, this job is a fantastic way to have fun whilst earning a bit of money. It has never felt like ‘going to work’, it has always been a pleasure! The skills and knowledge I have gained from being a Sport Champion have led me to being accepted to study for an MSc in Sport Policy, Business and Management at the University of Birmingham, which I am extremely excited to start.
Last of all, I’d just like to say good luck to those new students who have been selected to be Sport Champions next year. Good luck and enjoy it!
Patrick Culligan (3rd year Education Studies and Sport Education)