University of Leicester internationally recognised for supporting student sport

Posted by ew205 at Nov 29, 2017 11:40 AM |
Accolade for work Leicester students do in using sport to inspire and raise aspirations of primary school children

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Innovation and demonstration of best practice has helped the University of Leicester win a European Award for supporting student sport.

The University’s Leicester Academy picked up the top prize at the European Network of Academic Sports Services event, where Leicester had been shortlisted along with two other Universities, Masstricht University and University of Turku.

The Leicester Academy is the central hub for sport related coaching, officiating and volunteering opportunities at the University. Students who take part in the programme are given the chance to gain subsidised coaching/officiating qualifications in a sport of their choice. Students are then able to exhibit their new found skills by delivering sport sessions in local schools, demonstrating their ability to function in a real working environment to potential employers.

Through working with the Widening Participation Team at the University, Sport and Active Life have been able to deliver a project which looks to enhance the skills of WP students through sports coaching and provide them with the experience of working with local primary schools. The University students volunteer their time to work with children whose schools are also within WP areas. The students become positive role models for the children promoting a more physically active life and encouraging the children’s aspirations for higher education.

Matthew Weir, Head of Sport and Active Life at the University, said: “The European Network of Academic Sports Services (ENAS) is a fantastic opportunity for us to share the work we do and also learn from others and the award gives us the encouragement to strive to deliver a really impactful project which benefits both our students and the wider community.

“The recognition that our peers have given us throughout Europe has been fantastic to see. I am really pleased for everyone that has been involved in establishing Leicester Academy.”

The University only became a member of ENAS last year and won the award for a project that is innovative and displays best practice in supporting Student Sport. The ENAS conference theme also looked at the impact sport has on wider social issues.

Leicester Academy won the award along with 2500 EUROS (1500 Cash and 1000 Kukri Kit Contribution).

Winning the award has allowed the team to gain international recognition for some of the good practice taking place at the University and has seen the start of conversations with International universities to explore ways of collaborative work in similar areas.

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