Following my graduation from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Sport & Exercise Science, I was fortunate to secure a job with British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) as a Higher Education Tennis Administrator. Now, two months into the role, I have had a chance to reflect on my two-year post as a Sport Champion with NTU Sport, which has highlighted the extremely positive impact of the experience on my personal and professional development.
The transferable skills and wide and varied experiences I had the opportunity to develop as a Sport Champion were instrumental in the application process for this new opportunity and will continue to support me through my time within it. This is especially evident given the similarities between the two roles, where, at NTU Sport I helped to oversee and promote the Play For Fun programme and aimed to increase student participation in sport and, now at BUCS, my main objectives are to increase the profile of and participation in tennis in higher education, whilst looking after the BUCS tennis competitions.
The administrative skills I developed as a Sport Champion have been extremely useful in every thing I do on a day-to-day basis at BUCS. It allowed me to become more familiar with Microsoft Office – particularly Excel – which is central to all that I do at BUCS. I also valued experiencing bi-annual meetings with UoN Sport and Sport Nottinghamshire, where I experienced minute taking and chairing meetings.
As a Sport Champion I felt my social skills developed dramatically with being in constant contact with a range of populations, from University students and staff both within and outside NTU to, on occasion, other individuals external to the University. Communication skills are essential to my new role when dealing with a range of populations, from students, University staff and external businesses. These skills are also essential for almost all other walks of life!!
A large part of the Sport Champion role is promoting sport participation at NTU, channelled through the Play For Fun programme. Marketing skills are essential to all employers, especially with the ever-increasing use of social media as well as other marketing methods, and will be essential as I aim to increase the profile of University tennis in my role. These skills were developed through my time at NTU Sport.
I gained invaluable experience with event planning and management by being a part of events like Trent Girls Can, pop-up promotions, and the Great British Tennis Weekend to name a few. Within this and the regular Play For Fun programme I also developed people management skills, with session leaders and volunteers for events, which are essential in all careers. Both of these skills will help me in my new role as I am due to lead on a number of large events in University tennis, a part of which I will look to make the most of available volunteer support.
The NTU Sport Sport Champion role has been an invaluable experience of mine and was a big part of my time at University. I would highly recommend the opportunity to any student at the University looking to expand their experiences and enhance their career development prospects, especially those in sport and sport participation and development. This job really has shaped my career immediately after University and I strongly believe it will continue to have a huge impact on all that I do in whatever my future roles may entail.
Harrison Fernandez Lewis