Skip to content

Students help deliver sports championships for 700 school pupils

Forty University of Gloucestershire students have helped to deliver annual sports championships for 700 secondary school pupils in Gloucestershire in collaboration with schools, teachers and sports organisations.

Students working towards degrees in Physical Education and Sport and Physical Education and Coaching volunteered for a range of key roles – supported by University academic experts – at the 2023 Gloucester and Cheltenham Schools Cross-Country District Championships.

Joining forces with the Gloucester Schools Sport Network, students were responsible for marshalling participants in the Gloucester Championships at Plock Court, to ensure they followed the correct course, provide encouragement and monitor their physical welfare.

Simon de Waal, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise at the University, who supported the students at Plock Court, said: “This has been a fantastic way for the students to see elements of the course come to life.

“It’s only recently that we have been analysing youth physiological responses to prolonged exercise, and this opportunity provided that real-world link that adds value to the course – something we look to emulate across our sport degrees.”

Students who volunteered to support organisers at the championships in Cheltenham gained new skills and experiences while managing the finish, collating the race results and keeping watch on the physical welfare of the participants.

Student Ryan McGill said: “Volunteering for the championships has been a great opportunity to connect with local schools and teachers and see how a large-scale competitive event like this is organised and structured. It’s certainly an experience I will use as an example when applying for teacher training next year.”

Jordan Wintle (pictured below), Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise at the University, said: “It was amazing to see so many local pupils enjoying being physically active with a bit of competitive spirit too, and even better that our students play a pivotal role in that.

Jordan smiling while alongside other people

“These events show the students how their knowledge and skills are applied in a real-life setting. It is also inspiring for them to see several of our graduates in the staff teams of many local schools, showing them the importance of work-related learning and development of wider employability skills that feature heavily at the University.”

Matthew Haynes, Head of Physical Education at Winchombe School and event organiser in Cheltenham, said: “The university have been supporting this event for a number of years, and we really couldn’t run it without them. It’s testament to the quality of the students and staff at the university that we always come back to work them each year.”

Main image: Some of the students who volunteered for roles at the 2023 Gloucester and Cheltenham Schools Cross-Country District Championships