Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Coaching graduate enjoys success in MLS

Our programme can lead graduates into a variety of roles within the sports industry.

After leaving UCLan, Ashley Wallace landed a role in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a Performance Analyst with Sporting Kansas City.

The club were impressed with his work during a placement year at Preston North End and offered him the opportunity to design and implement a full analysis system for them.

Ashley's goal whilst studying at UCLan was to become an Analyst or Elite Coach, and the placement provided the perfect platform for him to secure the position.

During his time with Sporting KC they advanced to the MLS Cup 2013 as the second-placed team in the Eastern Conference, going on to beat Real Salt Lake in the final.

Following the victory Ashley and his colleagues were invited to the White House (pictured back row, third from left).

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Students visit Gold medallist's boxing club

The Larches and Savick Boxing Club were thrust into the limelight this summer, with their boxer Scott Fitzgerald winning gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

As part of UCLan's commitment to provide students with a world-class learning experience, the Division are forging new mutually-beneficial links with the club.

Course Leader Clint Godfrey recently took a group of students to Larches and Savick to see how it had developed over the last 12 years. The club, which was initially housed in a scout hut, is now based in a purpose built facility and is run by a team of highly skilled senior coaches.

Scott's Dad, Dave, along with two other coaches, talked to the students about the club and also taught them some basic boxing skills. Dave is highly respected in boxing circles and is the current Great Britain Performance Coach for the U15/16s.

For more information about the Larches and Savick Club please click here.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Student aims high with Warriors

Our undergraduates are encouraged to gain as much work experience as possible during the course of their studies.

Chris Wharton embraced this idea while studying his degree, taking opportunities to perform volunteer work with Olympic athletes and an international rugby team. He has now progressed into a full-time role with one of the UK's top sports clubs whilst also undertaking his Master's.

Chis commented: "I worked as Head Performance Analyst for Ireland when they were based in Preston for the Rugby League World Cup 2013. I also coached and analysed athletes from a number of Oceanic countries during London 2012.

"My work came to the attention of Wigan Warriors' First Team Analyst, who was looking to expand his team. I impressed them with my driven attitude at my interview and they offered me an internship role."

Chris continued to make an impression and he was recently offered a full-time contract by the Super League giants.

"The opportunity has really helped me with my courses, because much of the content is based towards applying learning activities to a real-life situation and with this I can apply them to a high professional level," said Chris. "It's also given me the chance to test all my new skills and base my assignments on improving these skills."

Warriors' recent run to the Super League Grand Final saw Chris thrown in at the deep end, providing analysis support to help the coaches prepare for their upcoming opponents. Chris was tasked with monitoring key opposition players, with a view to identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

He added: "In the normal season we would prepare two weeks in advance, but during the play-offs not knowing who we were going to play provided me with many problems. There were many late nights and extra hours done to get information ready for the coaches.

"I also sat with the head coaches on match day and provided stats and data relevant to the match to help them out with team talks, as it gives them a statistical insight into how we're playing.

"I'm really enjoying the job in practice, so becoming head of Wigan Warriors analysis is one of my goals. As rugby league is the national sport of Australia my ultimate aim would be to become a success over there and allow my career to have the highest potential possible.

"Without the help from the lecturers and the opportunities originally offered to me on the course this opportunity would never have come about. Having the willingness to put in an extra evening of work has paid off in the long run."

Friday, 7 November 2014

Sarah selected for top leadership event

UCLan Sports Coaching undergraduate Sarah Nickless has been chosen to attend the prestigious BUCS Deloitte Leadership Academy.

The exclusive two day event, for 100 students across the UK, is designed to offer aspiring leaders involved in university sport a practical insight into skills that will positively shape their development and greatly improve employability prospects.

Several leadership experts from sport, business and the military will be in attendance to help participants develop a range of transferable leadership skills, understand performance and the importance of networking, negotiating and influencing.

Sarah was chosen to attend the event as a result of wide range of volunteering activities, including work as a Football Activator at UCLan.

She said: "The BUCS Deloitte Leadership Academy 2014 offers me the opportunity to learn and question my current skills and leadership qualities with a view to developing them.

"The Academy is not just about developing people for their university leadership roles, but for all walks of life. I'm excited to be working with other like-minded people during what promises to be a fantastic two days."

The event takes place in Herefordshire from 20-21 November.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

International Opportunities Day

If you're interested in enhancing your CV through volunteering, please check out our International Opportunities Day.

The event begins on Friday, 14 November, 1-2.00pm in Harrington Lecture Theatre.

This is followed by a series of follow up meetings from 2.15-3.00pm where you can find out about a range of international opportunities:

  • Volunteer in Sport for Development with the International Citizens Service - Vernon 80
  • Coach in the USA & Canada with Challenger Sports - Harrington 138
  • Sport for Development Zambia Project 2016 - Harrington 338A

Monday, 3 November 2014

Stuart joins Tigers' coaching staff

UCLan Coaching Lecturer Stuart Wilkinson has joined the backroom staff at Super League club Castleford Tigers.

Stuart has been appointed as Tigers' Academy Assistant Coach and will link up with the club ahead of the 2015 season. He will also continue in his role at the University.

Stuart brings a wealth of experience to the Tigers, having previously worked with the likes of Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors.

He commented: "I'm really excited about joining such a talented, honest and hard-working Castleford coaching team.

"I had no hesitation accepting Pete Riding's offer (Castleford's Head of Youth Performance) as I've worked with a number of his staff over the years.

"Teaming up with Daryl Powell and Ryan Sheridan, who I worked with at Leeds Rhinos, and Danny Orr from my time at Wigan Warriors, will add to my experience. Pete has a massive amount of experience which he's consistently proved over the years.

"The area has a tradition of producing some of the best players in the game and being part of their system provides an exciting challenge to me.

"This wouldn't be possible without the support and cooperation from Leona Trimble and the rest of the staff at UCLan's School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors. I cannot thank them enough as this provides my Professional Doctorate in Elite Performance a rich source of information in a high performance environment."

Pete Riding added: "Stuart has developed his trade under some very good coaches at some very successful clubs and we're looking forward to what he will bring to the Tigers.

"He's very well thought of within the game and has got a lot of experience as a coach, so the input he'll have into the culture here will be invaluable.

"I've known him for a while now and he has never lost his enthusiasm for rugby league. He's a great person to have around the squad and he'll have a big part to play in what we are trying to achieve."

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ex-Rugby pro hits academic heights

After spending a number of years playing professional and semi-professional rugby league, Andy Grundy reached a crossroads in his working career.

With no higher education qualifications or other trade to fall back on, Andy decided to undertake a UCLan Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching at associate college, Wigan & Leigh.

Realising the importance of choosing a subject he was passionate about, Andy's ultimate aim was to pursue a career as a Sports Lecturer or Physical Education Teacher.

He commented: "I wanted to follow my passion and work in sport. My drive to become a lecturer was to give students direction, and to reinforce the endless possibilities of what can be achieved and gained, not only through sport, but also through the undertaking of academic learning and achievement.

"The route of study I chose offered me the flexibility to still continue to work, which was important as a mature student. I completed two years at Wigan and Leigh, learning the fundamental building blocks to take me onto my final top-up year at UCLan."

Andy admits his early days at UCLan were daunting, but he was intent on embracing the University culture, and utilising every resource to help him achieve what he'd set out to do.

"I took every opportunity to pursue, learn, develop, and progress that was placed at my disposal by exceptional members of staff, who would go the extra mile to help and challenge you to do better," said Andy.

"I completed my top-up year with a First Class Honours Degree, which was fantastic, and more than made up for the lost hours of sleep, and time, which I'd devoted to ensure everything I submitted was the best I could give.

"On top of all this, and more importantly for me, I'd learned so much. It had infused my appetite to continue to study, and pursue a career within the field of sports delivery, particularly in an academic teaching role."

Andy continued his personal development by undertaking a UCLan PGCE at Wigan & Leigh and securing part-time employment in a local high school. Whilst working at the school he began a UCLan Master's Degree in Physical Education and School Sport.

He added: "The Master's is diverse with regards to the module contents, for example covering pedagogical aspects of secondary teaching and delivery. It also enabled me to continue to work closely within the sports coaching remit as the modules crossed over somewhat into both categories.

"Just over a year into my studies I became a full-time Sports Lecturer at UCLan's associate college, Myerscough in Preston. Whilst studying at ULCan I've married, had two children, moved house, secured the part-time job and now this full-time role.

"I wouldn't have been able to have undertaken all these experiences and challenges without the support mechanisms that are in place at UCLan which, in my opinion, are second to none; with excellent lecturers, facilities and flexibility, which provides the more mature student the best opportunity to gain the most from the courses on offer.

"I'm due to graduate with my Master's in December, and I'm looking forward to having my daughter in the graduation picture, alongside my son and wife who've been by my side at the last two graduation ceremonies.

"I undertook the Master's for many reasons; to learn, challenge and to achieve are amongst many, but also to gauge my level of academic ability, keeping in mind my family and work commitments.

"I've been able to really push and stretch my own personal ability, and I've realised I'm capable of managing a higher level of study. This has now led me to begin the early stages of discussing the possibilities of commencing onto PHD study over the next 12 months, and I am fully looking forward to this challenge.

"I cannot think of anywhere else I would like to undertake the study than at UCLan, and I really cannot thank the members of staff enough for all their help and support."

Friday, 24 October 2014

Lancashire Wolverines: coaching opportunites

Lancashire Wolverines are on the lookout for new coaches for both their junior and youth teams.

The Juniors (age 16-19) are one of the most successful in the UK, having repeatedly made the National Championship final in recent years, producing lots of talented individuals along the way.

In order to keep that growth and development going the juniors are looking to recruit a number of positional coaches to aid the current coordinators. This is an ideal starting point for prospective coaches and an excellent place to learn the art of coaching.

The new Youth team (age 14-16) is looking to recruit offensive and defensive coordinators to aid Head Coach Sean Wilcock. These roles will also be responsible for helping to recruit players and could be an excellent place for a junior player to continue to learn the art of American Football and begin to learn the art of coaching.

Knowledge of the sport is desirable though not necessary, as candidates will be working under the guidance of some of the finest and most reputable coaches in the UK and will receive coaching themselves.

Please email Lancashire Wolverines for further details.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Coaching opportunities

We recommend our students gain as much practical coaching experience as possible during the course of their studies.

A number of local organisations are currently seeking coaches for their programmes.

The Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre and Football Club are looking for students to support the running of their weekly soccer centre, football teams and disability teams.

There are seven junior football teams (ages 6-12) who train at UCLan Sports Arena on a Wednesday nights.

They all have managers but need coaches to help them along their way. As part of this you will also be mentored in how to coach by experienced level 2 and UEFA B coaches who are always on hand and happy to answer any questions or give guidance.

There is also disability team training on a Friday night at Play Football in Preston from 6-7pm. They have 30+ players and also compete in disabled tournaments which are organised on Sundays (not every).

The Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre runs on Saturday mornings 11.30am-12.30pm at UCLan Sports Arena. This offers football for players aged 4-13 and is a pay-as-you-play centre, with currently over 70 children attending.

Myerscough JFDC are looking for coaches to support their junior female football sides. Assistance is needed on a Tuesday evening for training sessions which are held at Myerscough College between 7-8pm. The opportunity is there, not only to support sessions, but to plan and deliver your own ideas and take a hands-on role at the club.

If you would like to get involved in any of the above please email Sarah Nickless.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Students given 'real world learning'

Undergraduates on our programme benefit from industry engagement throughout their time at UCLan.

Guest speakers are a regular feature of the Division's teaching, whilst students also enjoy numerous visits to areas of interest away from the University.

These have included a trip to Sportesse Performance Training Centre, who welcomed final year students for a tour of their excellent facilities in Chorley.

Visits like this support the learning experience, enabling our students to witness coaching in a real world environment.

Top names from the coaching world are regularly on campus to share their expertise. Dave Elliott, England National Academy Coach for the Rugby Football League (RFL), recently spent a morning on discussing his progression from playing the game to operating as an Elite level coach, with a particular focus on the technique of 'player profiling'.

In early 2015, top female coach Amanda Wilkinson will discuss her experiences of coach/athlete relationships. Amanda was the UK's first female level 3 coach and is the current England Students' Head Coach for the RFL.

Other upcoming events for include guest lectures by Sean Brown (British U23 Champion Olympic Weightlifter), Craig Richards (Coaching Systems Lead for GB Taekwondo) and a visit to Reebok CrossFit Spectrum in Preston.

Second year students also further their learning through guest speakers and industry visits. These include a trip to Preston North End FC to meet staff from the Football in the Community programme, plus guest talks by Derek Egan, County Development Manager for the Lancashire Football Association, and Dave Rotheram, Head of Talent and Player Development at the RFL.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Students to lead life-changing trip

Carlton, Rebecca, Jessica & Luke
A group of UCLan students have been rewarded for their efforts on a charity project by being chosen to lead an upcoming trip to Africa.

Final year undergraduates Jessica Martin, Rebecca Neill, Luke Daniels and Carlton Evans have been appointed Team Leaders for the UCLan Sport for Development Project 2015.

They will coordinate next year's visit to Zambia, where students from different study routes will team up to make a difference to children's lives.

Working in partnership with agencies such as Sport in Action and Zambia-based Edusport, Senior Lecturer Cliff Olsson created the project to provide students with an opportunity to study the global value and contribution sport can make in one of the poorest areas of the world.

The projects rely upon the goodwill of voluntary sports leaders from the compounds who work with some of the most vulnerable children in the world with only the most basic of resources, delivering key life skill messages through activities and games.

Jessica said: "The impact the project has on the communities, and the satisfaction we got from the experience last year, is what made us apply for the team leader positions. We're excited to be a part of the project this year and see it from a different perspective as team leaders.

"We hope to be confident and competent to be able to guide and influence the students involved with the project. It will help supplement our leadership skills, which will work to our advantage in future careers as well as opening up new opportunities and options within sport for development."

Cliff commented: "The Team Leaders were selected on the basis of making an outstanding contribution to the project last May/June and have been appointed on the basis of demonstrating excellent leadership. It's a great opportunity for them to make an impact in real world environment, whilst giving them the chance to enhance their CV's."

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Coaching opportunity

Penwortham Town are looking to recruit one or two coaches to work with their Under 7 Blue team.

This is a great opportunity to develop your coaching experience and enhance your CV. The team train indoors on Tuesdays, 7-8pm, at All Hallow's Secondary School, Penwortham. Games take place on Saturday mornings at Penwortham Holmes.

For further information please email Lesley Parkinson or Tel: 07722 232975.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

UCLan supports rising Skiing star

Sports Psychologist Amy Whitehead has been helping promising skier Bethany Widdup ahead of the upcoming winter season.

Amy (left) has used her expertise to support Bethany as she bids to represent Great Britain at the World Junior Championships in Norway.

Bethany teamed up with Amy last year after the Colne youngster was awarded a grant and support from UCLan as part of the Lancashire Rising Star Fund scheme.

The project, in association with Lancashire Sport Partnership, Lancashire County Council and UCLan, awards the grants to individuals to cover costs such as travel, training, accommodation, competition fees, and equipment.

In addition, each recipient receives a package of support from UCLan which includes strength and conditioning services, nutritional advice and support and access to UCLan sports and training facilities.

Bethany said: "I'd never received this kind of structural support before and I can really see the benefits now. Amy has been helping me stay focused in preparation for the new season. My main aim is to qualify and then be selected for the Would Juniors in Norway."

Bethany has attended training camps in Italy and Chile during the summer, before returning to the UK to work with Amy along with undertaking some intensive fitness sessions. She will complete her preparations with a 10 day glacier camp in Austria.

Amy commented: "Bethany has done extremely well over the last year. She has worked incredibly hard both on and off the slopes and it has really shown in her results.

"We have had several meetings over the last three weeks to get Bethany's mind ready to step up to the next level and be ready to qualify for the World Juniors, and I have no doubt she will achieve the goals we have set."

Monday, 13 October 2014

Cricket star aims to join Elite coaching ranks

As an international cricketer, Atiq-uz-Zaman's wicketkeeping career amounted to one Test and three ODIs for Pakistan in 2000.

Atiq took five catches in his one Test against Sri Lanka, and was recognised as one of the best keepers in his country, but found his path blocked by Moin Khan and Rashid Latif. Between 1991 and 2003, if one of them wasn't keeping, the other was and few others got a chance.

He played for a number of first-class sides in Pakistan in addition to playing club cricket for St Annes CC. With retirement from playing the game looming, Atiq decided to pursue his ambition to be a top level coach – someone who could make a difference. "I initially went to UCLan's partner Myerscough College to study a Foundation Degree in Sports and Exercise Science," said Atiq.

"When I completed the course my tutor put me in touch with Bryan Jones at UCLan who recommended a Master's in Sports Coaching. It was the best decision I've ever made – the teachers were fantastic and the learning environment was great. I've successfully completed my studies and really feel my coaching has improved.

"My ambition now is to work at an Elite level. I've been appointed as Head Coach of Sui Southern Gas Company cricket team in Pakistan and hopefully this will set me on my way to coaching at international level - either in England or elsewhere in the world."

Course Leader Craig Wright said Atiq's experience of playing international cricket was a useful addition to the learning environment for other students. He commented: "An important aspect of the MA Sports Coaching programme is shared learning and reflecting on each other experiences, strengths, weakness, values and beliefs.

"Having played and coached at professional level in the UK and Pakistan, Atiq was able to share interesting insights into the complexities of high performance sports while working with challenging individuals and situations.

"Despite being a vastly experienced coach Atiq benefited from engaging with formal assessments, workshop and professional decisions, as they encouraging him to explore important pedagogical issues underpinning coaching which he was not previously aware of. This in turn further developed his coaching ability."

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Voluntary Football Coaching opportunity

Preston's College/AFC Fylde Academy Development Team are looking for a voluntary assistant football coach.

Training takes place at the College on Tuesday's 3-4pm, with games on Wednesday's, 12.30-4pm.

For more information please email Adam Sherratt or Tel: 01772 225457.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Graduates progress into professional football

A series of work placements paid dividends for two Sports Coaching graduates as they secured roles in professional football.

Michael Vernon made use of the links UCLan has with a number of clubs to gain experience as a Performance Analyst.

In addition to working for Preston North End Women FC, he spent some time with Bury FC first team. Michael also gained a great insight into the lives and routines of elite athletes while working as a Lead Coach and Analyst for Olympic athletes based at UCLan during London 2012.

After graduating, Michael took a placement at Burnley FC where he worked for a full season, before accepting a full-time role at Shrewsbury Town ahead of the 2014/15 season.

During the course of his studies, Tom Hart carried out performance analysis for Curzon Ashton, Blackpool Ladies FC, AFC Fylde and the Wales Women's senior team during their World Cup campaign.

After graduating Tom began an internship with Bolton Wanderers to work within Academy, but he was quickly recommended for a full-time role at Oldham Athletic.

Tom said: "The opportunity came up to work at Oldham alongside their manager, Lee Johnson, the First Team coaches and players. I went for an interview, which was followed by a 10 day trial and then the offer of a contract.

"I'm providing post match video analysis to assist in the feedback process to players following every first team game, as well as creating extensive pre-match opposition reports and analysis outlining different areas of the oppositions players, including strengths and weaknesses and looking at previous formations.

"The club also use an external company to provide us with team and individual statistical reports from each game. We use that to help within the feedback process if necessary as well as update the statistical database we've set up at the club."

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Volunteer opportunity

Chorley Panthers Rugby League Club are recruiting volunteers to assist with further development within their local community.

As a volunteer at Chorley Panthers you will have a varied, exciting and rewarding role, working with many external partners as they continue to raise their community profile.

The club delivers regular coaching sessions to both children and adults from their superb facilities at Chisnall playing fields and also externally within the community.

Chorley Panthers currently have 18 teams playing various formats of Rugby League and cover age ranges from 6 years old upwards.

Rugby League is delivered through Mini, Modified, Full, Touch, Tag and a Masters version of the sport and as a community club the Panthers cater for all genders and abilities.

Volunteering will give you the opportunity to work with and deliver coaching sessions to their existing teams, local schools, youth clubs and other groups such as Cubs, Scouts, Guides and Cadets.

You will also be given to opportunity to take on other roles within the club that cover administration, fund raising and planning within a new sub group that will evaluate and implement strategy on how they continue to develop themselves as a club, their members as participants and the community over the coming years.

To apply or for further information on becoming part of the volunteer group at Chorley Panthers, please send a brief outline of why you are applying to become a volunteer along with your contact details to Alan Bowers.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Coaching opportunity

A well-established Blackburn-based Community Charter Standard Club need a Coach to manage their U10 Girls football team.

The team train indoors on Mondays, 7-8pm, at Queen Elizabeth School Sports Hall, Lammack, and they play their home fixtures on Saturday mornings.

Ideally the club are looking for two qualified level 1 coaches to support the team and provide a great experience for the girls.

This is a great opportunity to develop your coaching experience and skills with a very supportive club.

If this is something you can commit to please email Cliff Olsson.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Football coaching opportunity

AC Preston Junior Football Club require a Coach for their U15 team.

This is an ideal opportunity for 1st or 2nd students to gain some coaching experience to add to their CV.

The club trains at Ashton High School on Thursdays from 6-7pm, with games on Sundays at 2pm.

For further information please email Nick Zuch or Tel: 07506 476996.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Coaching opportunity

Southport College require a Coach to run their Volleyball Academy.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain some coaching experience and enhance their CV.

For further information please email Jack Davenport.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Graduate secures Abu Dhabi role

Career paths often take many different twists and turns, with opportunities sometimes presenting themselves in unusual ways.

Taylor Collard spent some time in Spain, before joining the UCLan Coaching programme at Myerscough College.

After successfully progressing onto and completing our top-up course at Preston campus, Taylor has now secured a coaching role at the American University of Sharjah in Abu Dhabi.

He initially wanted to be an athlete, before going on to play semi-professional football for Club Deportivo Jávea in Spain. His coach there was familiar with the UCLan courses at Myerscough and recommended them to Taylor.

During the course of his studies, he undertook a work placement at Preston North End FC as an Academy Assistant as part of a Work Skills Development module. Halfway through his second year he was taken on as a Performance Analyst, recording data for the Youth and Academy teams.

Taylor said the transition from Myerscough to UCLan was rewarding: "Going from a class of 20 to 150 had its benefits in that there were lots more fellow students to be supported by. Some of my FD class topped up to the same course so I wasn't totally alone.

"Being able to actually study at the university and learn different aspects of sports coaching was great as there were a wide variety of disciplines within the course, such as gymnastics, cricket and rugby.

"We learned from each other, particularly through an online blog we conducted as part of our module called Practice and Reflection. I really enjoyed the intellectual discussion that went on during the workshops - it was a different level to what I was used to.

"We discussed the psychology of athletics, the difference approaches used by athletes and how that affects their performance and the suitability of that approach to their sport.

"I'd like to thank Cliff Olsson at UCLan who was open and approachable, and always asked how I was doing when he met me. Chris Yiannaki at Myerscough was also very helpful. I'd absolutely recommend the UCLan Sports Coaching programme to others."

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Local hockey club requires volunteers

Garstang Ladies Hockey Club (based at UCLan Sports Arena) have some fantastic opportunities available for anyone who'd like to get involved in the sport.

They are looking for student volunteers who need experience for their relevant degree, or for those who'd just like to get involved in a local club or simply love hockey.

They currently have coaching opportunities in their Junior Hockey programme and for their Ladies 2nd and 3rd teams.

The club also have a number of other positions available – for full details please click here. If you need any further information please contact Josephine Rice on 07734 775346.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ambassador role leads to University job

We recommend all our students gain relevant work experience as part of their studies.

Luke Ellis recently graduated from our Sports Coaching programme with First Class Honours and is a great example of someone who took this advice on board.

Luke undertook a variety of posts during his time at UCLan, including with M & M Mentoring and as a course representative.

However, it was his role as a Tennis Ambassador which was the catalyst for Luke's progression into full-time employment at Brunel University.

"For several years I've been involved in tennis coaching at Hylands CASC, Essex," said Luke. "It's a club which has worked hard to ensure it has a friendly, inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, where any level of player would feel at home. During my final year at university I had the opportunity to bring this ethos to the UCLan Tennis Club after securing a position on the committee.

"We worked hard to establish new regular sessions, such as cardio tennis and touch tennis. Due to the club’s commitment to positive change, Robert Henson (Tennis Chairman and recent graduate) and I were appointed Tennis Ambassadors.

"The position is funded by the Tennis Foundation, the charitable arm of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), whereby the prime objective is to get more students to engage in the sport. This allowed us to add even more to the tennis offering with the addition of Timed Tennis Leagues, thanks to the provision of an excellent resource pack from the LTA."

The club attracted its highest member numbers in several years during 2013/14. UCLan Sports Development Officer Darren Waldron was so impressed with the scheme he is looking to continue it this year and beyond.

Since graduating, Luke has been appointed as Tennis Coordinator at Brunel University. The role offers him the opportunity to work closely with the LTA and Tennis Federation, and is a potential stepping stone into either. Luke is also furthering his studies with a part-time Master's in Education.

He has this advice for current students: "My top tip would be to do more than you're expected and grab opportunities with both hands.

"I've done this and as a result I've been on a leadership course in Cyprus, had my work published and operated on behalf of 12 Pacific Oceania nations at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

"I've also set up Supernova Sports Coaching alongside another UCLan graduate, Sam Yates. I'm doing something I love doing and I'm passionate about - life is what you make it, so you might as well make it good."

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Coaching opportunity

Preston North End Women's Juniors FC require a volunteer goalkeeper coach.

The club run seven teams from U10 through to U16 and are looking for someone take training sessions from September 1st 2014 through to April 2015 on Mondays, 7 - 8pm in the indoor training hall at UCLan Sports Arena.

A Level 1 goalkeeper coaching qualification is essential, with Level 2 preferable. To apply please email your CV to Muriel Freeman.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

UCLan Sport for Development Project 2014

Sports Coaching and Development undergraduates have successfully completed the UCLan Sport for Development Project 2014.

Working in partnership with Sport in Action, Senior Lecturer Cliff Olsson created the project six years ago to provide students with an opportunity to study the global value and contribution sport can make towards supporting the Millennium Development Goals.

The scheme aims to actively support Sport for Development projects being delivered in some of the poorest parts of the world by agencies such as Sport in Action and Zambia-based Edusport.

The projects rely upon the goodwill of voluntary sports leaders from the compounds who work with some of the most vulnerable children in the world with only the most basic of resources, delivering key life skill messages through activities and games.

Along with Sports Studies students and colleagues from UCLan's Journalism and Media programme, our students worked at a variety of Zambian schools with children aged 3-16.

Cliff commented: "The project provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates to develop their knowledge and understanding of Sport for Development, by working with Development Agencies in Africa with some of the most challenging communities in the world.

"The project is led by final year undergraduates who develop leadership, management and problem solving skills over a six week period in Zambia. I think it's a unique opportunity that reinforces UCLan's commitment to providing real life experiences for our students."

After returning from Zambia, student Joseph McQuade was invited to BBC Radio Lancashire to talk about the trip on John Gillmore's show.

He said: "This was a truly unforgettable trip for me, as it opened up my eyes to how the Zambian people lived. They had next to nothing but still greeted me every day with smiles and songs. I was surprised to see how happy they were.

"The trip wasn't only working with hundreds of children a day, as we also got to see Zambia's Victoria Falls, as well as taking a trip over to Botswana to see what their safari had to offer. This trip was a truly amazing experience and I'd recommend it to everybody."

To view more images from the trip please click here.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Career opportunity: Relationship Manager

Lancashire Sport Partnership is looking to recruit a highly motivated Relationship Manager.

The successful candidate will support a number of Governing Bodies of Sport to achieve their Whole Sport Plan targets by connecting their plans to the local area to ensure effective delivery and impact in Lancashire.

The post holder will also be the organisations strategic lead for Disability Sport ensuring a whole team approach to developing sport for disabled people and influencing external partners to commit to and resource disability sport.

You will also contribute to developing and maintaining strong strategic and delivery networks that can support Governing Bodies of Sport achieve their targets and the Partnership's aspiration to support at least 55,000 people become more active.

You will need to demonstrate:

  • The ability to motivate, negotiate with and influence partners and stakeholders
  • Experience of working in partnership to achieve shared outcomes
  • Strong leadership, relationship building and project management skills
  • A good knowledge and understanding of challenges and barriers disabled people face when trying to become more active

If you feel you have the skills and abilities and want to join one of the leading County Sport Partnerships then please call Joanne Moss, Partnership Director, on 01772 299837 for an informal discussion about the role.

Closing date for applications is Friday 4 July 2014 with interviews scheduled for Wednesday 23 July 2014 at Lancashire Sport Offices, Leyland.

To apply for this role, please complete an application form and address the criteria set out in the person specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements.

Applications can be downloaded from the Lancashire Sport website and emailed to Joanne Moss or posted to her at Lancashire Sport Partnership, Farington House, Lancashire Business Park, Centurion Way, Leyland, PR26 6TW.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Coaching opportunity

Garstang Ladies Hockey Club require a 2nd XI Coach. This is an exciting voluntary opportunity for an aspiring, driven and motivated individual to take the team forward and help them to progress and achieve their goals.

They are looking for a coach to develop and advance the Ladies 2nd team, while encouraging the development and optimising the potential of their budding young talent, managing the transition of junior players into senior hockey.

This is a fantastic opportunity for any student who requires much needed work experience to build their CV beyond graduation. You must be available on a Thursday evening for training from 6-8pm, with matches scheduled for Saturdays.

Experience of hockey would be an advantage, but not essential - the club would help fund a Level 1 Hockey Coaching Qualification in return for your help.

If you are interested please email Josie Rice or Tel: 07734 775346.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Graduate sets up Elite Performance Consultancy

Our Sports Coaching degree provides a platform to many different careers in the world of sport.

Carl Cunningham has used his qualification to pursue his passion for Performance Analysis, combining Master's studies with demonstrator work within UCLan's School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors.

He has also found time to establish a new company, providing analysis services to lower level sports clubs. We spoke to Carl to find out more:

"I founded Elite Performance Consultancy with Andy Burgess earlier this year. I originally worked with Andy at Preston North End Women's FC while I was finishing my Sports Coaching degree, where we discussed how essential it is for clubs to use a range of performance tools.

"With Andy's knowledge of the football world, having played professionally, we've set up the company to target sports clubs lower down the professional ladder and to offer them a range of services at affordable prices.

"My main role is on the performance analysis side of things. Having qualified with a Sports Coaching degree and now completing my Master's at UCLan, I was interested in moving into performance analysis, taking up opportunities the university provided me with.

"As part of my working role with UCLan I work closely with students who want to further themselves in analysis. I speak regularly with clubs to set up placements and make sure students get the best opportunities they can.

"Knowing the difficulties involved in getting paid roles after graduating, I thought this was an ideal opportunity to start to provide students and graduates the chance of paid work and keep them involved with analysis.

"Elite Performance Consultancy offers more than just Performance Analysis to clubs, including opposition scouting, pre-season planning and coaching courses which will introduce younger players to these types of performance indicators."

For more information about the company please click here.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Sports Development student sees options open

Combining study with employment can be challenging, but Sam Holden is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work and commitment.

Sam will soon graduate from our Sports Development programme and is contuining his studies as he looks to progress into teaching. We spoke to Sam to find out more:

Tell us your thoughts about UCLan and why should people study here?

UCLan developed my passion for becoming the best person I could possibly become. Through extensive support from the tutors, to their subject knowledge and guidance they've given, I'm confident in achieving success in the future.

University develops a high level of critical thinking and UCLan provides the perfect learning environment for you to excel no matter what your passion is. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

What have you done alongside your studies?

I work part-time for Bolton Wanderers Community Trust (BWCT) coaching athletes from a variety of backgrounds. On Saturdays I shadow academy coaches to further develop myself. I've recently been accepted onto a PGCE linked with Edge Hill University where I'll teach and study for one year, which will result in me becoming a NQT in Primary education.

You recently went to Spain – tell us about the trip.

I travelled to Valencia with a group of BWCT with a view to developing potential international contacts and partnerships. We coached football at Lliria FC to children there and helped them pick up basic English language skills. The Trust has since decided to focus their efforts locally.

I was subsequently offered a role as Disability Coordinator as part of a three-year project, but decided to decline the offer to continue with my studies and gain a primary PGCE.

What sort of challenges do you face in your role?

Balancing a part-time job with study can be difficult. The biggest challenge I've faced is structuring and managing my time properly.

I have to make sure I organise my life in order of importance and cut out anything that gets in the way of my development, to make sure I achieve my overall goals.

What have you enjoyed about the job?

It primarily provided me with pocket money! It's also enabled me to practice different coaching styles and methods which have been established through University modules. Finally I see children not only develop and learn new skills but to develop as individual people which gives me a huge amount of job satisfaction. Travelling to Spain was also a great experience.

What are your long-term aspirations?

I want to become a Head Teacher within either a mainstream or SEN primary school setting as soon as possible. From this point I intend to develop a new structure for primary education which involves tailoring each lesson towards the individual. I also aim to highlight the importance of Physical Education.

My main objective is to inspire individuals in becoming the best they can be and contribute towards change in education.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Students support Derian House charity

UCLan Sports Development & Enterprise undergraduates joined their colleagues from the Sports Business Management & Marketing programme to raise nearly £1,500 for Derian House.

As part of their TL3082 Sport and Leisure Events module, the students organised a series of events including a casino night, a pub quiz and football, pool & table-tennis tournaments to raise money for The Lodge.

Opened in 2010, this 4 bedded unit assists with the continuity of care of young people accessing their children's service. Derian Lodge caters for the unique needs of young people aged 16-25 with a life-limiting illness.

Lucy Sawdon-Collings from Derian House praised the students' efforts: "As I explained when I first met everyone, the hospice relies almost entirely on donations to continue to offer the support and care we give to families throughout the North West.

"You can rest assured the money raised will definitely make a difference. A huge thank you on behalf of everyone at Derian House - it's an absolutely fantastic amount and we truly do appreciate every penny."

UCLan Sports Development & Enterprise would like to thank Lucy for her tremendously helpful input in assessing and offering feedback on the feasibility study presentations and also for the support offered to groups on an individual basis.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Coaching opportunity

Preston North End Womens Juniors FC (PNEWJFC) are recruiting new volunteer coaches for the 2014/2015 season.

If you're looking to gain experience in managing and coaching at junior level, this may be the opportunity for you.

PNEWJFC have 7 girls teams from U10s through to U16s. All teams play in the West Lancs Girls Football League.

Winter training takes place at UCLan Sports Arena on Thursday evenings, with summer sessions at Archbishop Temple School, also on Thursdays. Candidates must be able to commit to weekly training sessions and weekend games, be reliable and be able to take on the responsibility of taking charge of junior players. All coaches are CRC checked on joining the Club.

Essential Qualification is an FA Level 1, while Desirable Qualifications are FA Level 2, FAYA Module 1 and FAYA Module 2.

If you wish to be considered for this role please email your CV to Muriel Freeman.

Monday, 31 March 2014

UCLan offers Basketball scholarships

UCLan are offering scholarships of up to £6,000 for successful applicants to a scheme which combines studying while playing Basketball at an elite level.

UCLAN Men's and Women’s Basketball Club have both been chosen as a Performance Sport at the University, with financial support being committed to ensure high level performances are produced.

Training takes place twice a week, with the teams competing on Wednesday afternoons in the BUCS league. Home games are played on state-of-the-art basketball courts at our £13.5M indoor sports centre.

The team also receives strength and conditioning programmes, nutritional and lifestyle advice, physiotherapy support and performance analysis to ensure all players are assessed, monitored and developed according to their specific needs.

The team has a close knit group of students who organise excellent social events each week. Many of the players have represented their own national league teams. To supplement this we offer a large range of sport related courses you could study or you could choose a course to suit your particular needs here.

For further information and application forms please contact: Amy Whitehead (Women’s coach) or Craig Wright (Men’s coach).

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

UCLan partner scoops two awards

UCLan Sports Coaching & Sports Development partner FUNDA received double recognition at the fourth annual Red Rose Awards.

More than 1,100 representatives of Lancashire businesses attended the glittering ceremony held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. TV and radio personality Graham Liver compered the event, and awards were handed out across 25 categories.

UCLan graduate and FUNDA founder Kieran Fletcher accompanied his team to the event following their nomination for the Caring Employer of The Year Award. Despite stiff competition, FUNDA were announced as winners and received their award from Claire Fryer, Managing Director of Mosaic Community Care.

Kieran said: "We were delighted to receive the award and started to celebrate together - as you know our staff are renowned for FUN! All businesses were having a fabulous evening networking when a special award chosen by Richard Slater, publisher of Lancashire Business View, was presented to FUNDA. Both awards were unexpected and the last one was the biggest award of the night. I wasn't ready for it and didn't even have chance to put my bow tie back on for the winning photos!"

FUNDA promotes sports, education and creative play to children and is the North West's largest children's sports coaching and activity provider. The company employs 28 full-time coaches who deliver programmes to get the most inactive children active. Kieran originally ran his business out of UCLan's Northern Lights business hub, which provides supports to fledgling student and graduate businesses.

Kieran thanked the Northern Lights team for their support: "The programme gave me the entrepreneurial desire to start up my business and without their support at start-up it would have been difficult to structure my company and protect all the intellectual property."

John Duckworth, Business Advisor for Northern Lights commented: "The Northern Lights team would like to congratulate Kieran and all his staff at FUNDA for winning not one but two of these prestigious awards. They are well deserved and reflect the hard work FUNDA has put in over the last three years to lay the foundations for future growth."

For more information about FUNDA please click here or call: 0843 523 5709.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Rocky road reaps rewards

Careers in sport often take a very different path from the one you start out on. UCLan postgraduate student Chris Brammall describes his own as a 'rocky road' and one which is still developing.

Following a highly successful time as a sports coach, coach educator and lecturer working for Schools, Professional Football Clubs, Universities and Colleges, Sporting Charities and Community Organisations, Chris signed a four-year contract with the Football Association as a PE & Coaching in Education Coordinator (NW).

He is one of just six appointments made by the FA nationally and is tasked with working with Premier League and Football League clubs to deliver a coaching programme which links to the national curriculum, and he believes the role will benefit children by helping other coaches educate them to partake in more active lifestyles.

Chris has also chosen to pursue a Master's in Sports Coaching and, after researching a number of other universities, he decided UCLan was the place to be."The University has a growing reputation in sport. The staff, research informed teaching, course modules and excellent facilities made it an easy decision for me when I decided to take on postgraduate study."

Away from his main job and studies, Chris still does volunteer work and thinks anyone looking to work in sport needs to be flexible: "It's important to have a plan, but don't try and look too far ahead as your career may not take the path you expect," he said.

"Find out what your main passions are and look for jobs in that area, but be prepared to do different things. Networking is vital and you need to keep learning as you progress to stay ahead of the game."

Friday, 14 March 2014

Graduates 'go the extra mile'

Two of our 2011 cohort are shining examples of what can be achieved through hard work. Darren Waldron and Katie Bent have secured rewarding roles since graduating through our programmes, and both put it down to going the extra mile whilst studying.

Darren undertook volunteer work with Preston Council, before coaching on the Streetwise scheme. He enjoyed his time at UCLan so much he accepted a full-time role as a Sports Development Officer in the Student Union.

"It's important to get yourself noticed and get a reputation, said Darren. "I did a lot of volunteering which helped me get my current job. I've coached football and led on numerous other sports. Perhaps my biggest achievement so far was working on the University's Sport 4 U project, where we achieved our three year target within the first 12 months.

"I now look after various Student Union leagues and work closely with our BUCS teams. I'd advise any UCLan students looking to work in sport to use your lecturers when it comes to looking for jobs. They have the experience to make sure you're on the right path with your applications."

After leaving UCLan, Katie spent some time in Australia before taking up a coaching role in the UK at Bolton Hockey Club. She puts her success down to what she learned on our programme.

"I spent two weeks in Zambia on the Sport for Development Project during my second year and two months there during my final year.

"I also went to Russia to help teach volunteers ahead of Sochi 2014. They were invaluable experiences. I’ve now worked my way up the ladder and I'm running the hockey programme at Bolton.

"When applying for jobs it's vital to sell yourself - make sure you get across what you've learned and what you've done. I'm now reaping the rewards to the point where the England hockey manager knows who I am and the work I've done. It's all down to the hard work I put in at UCLan."

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Hard work pays dividends

Our most successful graduates acknowledge that hard work at university usually pays off further down the road.

Brian Kay and Danny Maynard both came through our Sports Coaching programme and are now making progress on their respective career paths.

After graduating Brian undertook a PGCE while gaining experience as a Community Sports Coach and a Trainee Teacher.

He subsequently secured a position with Wigan Athletic Community Trust as a Project Manager/Teacher, before progressing into the role of Academy Education Officer with the club.

Brain admits he wouldn’t be where is today if he hadn't fully committed to his degree: "It's vital to think about your study route and how it will apply to what you want to do. Throughout my time at UCLan I made a point of trying to get myself known by volunteering to coach across a variety of sports.

"It's important to try and be different and to keep your options open. I've gone from coaching onto managing programmes and I now plan, deliver and evaluate education programmes within the Academy department at Wigan.

"I've also made a point of being cheeky by applying for jobs I knew I probably wouldn't get. Even if you're lacking a necessary qualification to get the role, the feedback you receive can prove invaluable."

Danny is studying his PGCE and combines this with his role as Head Coach of Blackburn Harriers Athletics Club. He echoed many of Brian's comments.

"I've done my utmost to get my name about, to network and to learn from other people. From working at Bolton Arena on children's parties, to getting some work experience in a school; it all helps on your CV.

"Postgraduate study is hard work and you have to be fully committed, but hopefully it will lead me into the industry. The best advice I can give new or current students is not to wait for things to come to you – get out there and make it happen."

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Coaching graduates spread their wings

Our Sports Coaching and Sports Development programmes provide a platform to many varied careers in the world of sport.

Kyle Wiffen and Charlie Hay graduated with Coaching degrees in 2009, but both are now working in different areas of the industry.

During his time at UCLan Kyle gained performance analysis experience by working at Preston North End and Bolton Wanderers' Academy.

After graduating he went on to work in various roles across first-team, reserves and academy settings at Cardiff, Ferencvarosi TC, Manchester City and Fulham.

Kyle joined Liverpool in October 2012 as the club's U18s performance analyst and is delighted with the route his career has taken.

"The knowledge I developed at UCLan, coupled with the experience I gained with North End during the course of my degree, has really helped me to get where I am today," said Kyle.

"Although I'm not coaching, my role allows me to create an environment for young players to be unique, to progress and to learn. For anyone considering their future career path I'd simply say if you have a goal stick to it; you won't go far wrong."

Charlie also supported his studies with outside activities including volunteering for a Youth Intervention Agency, along with numerous coaching roles.

He went on to gain coaching experience in ice hockey with Blackburn Hawks, Bristol Pitbulls and Solent & Gosport Devils, before signing a three-year contract with Kenai River Brown Bears in the North American Hockey League.

After returning to the UK Charlie continued to coach ice hockey, but also secured a role as Business Development Manager with ambitious non-league club AFC Fylde and is soon to become their Academy Director. He says it's vital students look beyond the academic side of things.

"Half of what I learned on my degree was outside of university. Gaining experience away from your course is crucial if you want to be a success. I wouldn't have got to where I am without my degree, and it's important you furnish your CV with volunteering, internships and work experience wherever you can get it."

Monday, 17 February 2014

UCLan cements partnership with RFL

Dave Rotheram
'You can't teach an old dog new tricks' is often used as a put-down to people who aren’t necessarily in their first flush of youth. Dave Rotheram is proof that age doesn't need to be a barrier to personal development.

He graduated from West London Institute in 1990, and spent 12 years working in education. The ex-London Broncos rugby league player turned professional in 2002, before progressing into a successful coaching career including two World Cups, a Challenge Cup win and a Super League leaders trophy with Leeds.

After leaving his role as Head Coach of Workington Town in 2009, Dave found himself lacking in confidence and suffering low self-esteem due to a fear of failing again. He was soon back on track after securing a role with the Rugby Football League (RFL) and embarking on a UKCC Level 4 in Rugby League and a PGDip at UCLan.

Dave says it was a fantastic opportunity to rebuild his self-belief: "It was a great change for me to be in a new environment. Coaching can be a lonely place so it was great to retrain around like-minded people. In addition to people from a rugby background, there were coaches from Basketball, Squash, Hockey and Table Tennis and it was wonderful to be able to share ideas and experiences."

With his passion for coaching reignited, Dave took on the role of Scotland Assistant Coach in the build up to RLWC2013. The Scots tournament budget was small in comparison with some of the bigger nations, yet Dave and Head Coach Steve McCormack laid down a blueprint for success.

"In reality we were never going to win the competition, but reaching the quarter-final at Headingley was an achievable target. We developed communication and trust with the players and asked them to buy into the culture of what we wanted to do.

"We kept it simple, focusing on team bonding and how the team would function at the tournament. They were asked to respect the nation's history and tradition, with honesty, competitiveness and fearlessness becoming our trademarks."

After beating Tonga and drawing with Italy, The Scots sealed their dream quarter-final versus New Zealand with victory against the USA.

Dave has now secured funding to establish a knowledge transfer partnership between UCLan and the RFL. Working with Professor Dave Collins and his team at the Institute of Coaching and Performance, Dave is looking to improve players, resulting in better games thus enhancing the overall product.

A number of scholarships will be made available to players, while there will be numerous learning and work experience opportunities for UCLan students across a variety of courses as a result of the collaboration.

"What you learn at university is highly applicable to the world of work," said Dave. "Hopefully my experiences show what you can achieve if you set your mind to it."

Monday, 10 February 2014

Age is no barrier to ambition

Clare Carson's story is proof that age doesn't need to be a hindrance to your personal development.

The Crusaders and Northern Ireland Ladies football international graduated from UCLan's Sports Development and Coaching programme in 2011, and is now changing the lives of youngsters in her homeland. We caught up with Clare to find out more.

Tell us about your time at UCLan:

"I studied a Sports Development and Coaching top-up degree and graduated with a 2:1. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I wish I'd done my full degree at UCLan. Even though I was 28 I learned a lot about myself.

"I gained a lot of new skills and it provided a great insight into sport development that I hadn’t seen before. I was privileged enough to work with great lecturers who went out of their way to help me. The network of people and organisations I met during my time there has been invaluable."

What are you doing now?

"I currently work as an Irish Football Association (IFA) Primary School Coach in the Newry and Mourne area of Northern Ireland. There are a total of 32 coaches funded by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DENI) and my role is to teach the fundamentals of sport to primary children in years one to four. These include spacial awareness, balance and coordination.

"We incorporate these through football, ideally once they are competent in the basics. Our job provides children with the tools to play a wide range of sports and gives them the skills to participate longer, helping them take part in active life styles."

What sort of challenges do you face?

"No day is ever the same – the kids can be very complex and challenging. I work with a range of children with many different needs, both physical and learning, and I’m tasked with providing inclusive, fun sessions that aid their development. Previously I was purely focused on coaching football to older ages, so this has definitely widened my experience."

Away from coaching you've enjoyed a successful time as a footballer. Tell us about this.

"Where to begin! I play for Crusaders Women's Football Club, who have been the Premier League champions six times in the last eight years. I've played in European competitions and been to some beautiful countries, including Austria, Croatia and Slovenia.

"At international level I've played since I was 24 and been privileged enough to travel to many countries. Last year we played at the Cyprus Cup against South Africa, South Korea and Republic of Ireland. Being capped by my county is one of the greatest achievements of my life - nothing compares to standing for the national anthem on game day."

What are your your long-term aspirations?

"I'd always envisaged being a teacher and I guess to a certain extent that’s what I am, but it’s made me rethink what’s involved in education and how there are additional ways of educating children.

"I also coach at the IFA County excellence development squads and find this to be great experience. In the future I would like to do a top-up PGCE and also aim to coach at elite level age groups.

"One other thing I’m very keen to do is a Master's degree. Hopefully in the next five years I’ll have at least a couple of these completed. Eventually I hope to be either a lecturer or progress into a higher role with the IFA."

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Student boosts career prospects through volunteering

We recommend all our undergraduates gain work experience to help their future job prospects.

Lee Marshall hopes his volunteer work for the University's Sport 4 U programme will be the first step on the ladder to a career in sport. The 2nd year Sports Coaching student was rewarded for his efforts on the scheme at the recent Preston Volunteer Awards.

Lee assisted with promotion of the project, which helps motivate students by increasing their participation in a variety of sports.

In addition to working on Futsal and Badminton sessions, Lee led the delivery of the Preston Schools' Tag Rugby tournament, which was attended by the Irish Rugby League team during their stay at UCLan.

Speaking after the awards ceremony at Preston College Lee said: "I was really pleased to have been given the award for my volunteering, as I feel I put a lot of hard work into Sport 4 U.

"I don't volunteer for the rewards, but it's nice to feel my hard work has not gone unnoticed. Sport 4 U has allowed me to develop leadership skills, which will help me when I start looking for a job in the world of sport.

"Through working for the team I have made good friends and have met and got to know a lot of new people, which in turn has helped me work on improving my social skills. I've enjoyed working as part of the team, and look forward to continuing to work for them in the future.

"It means a lot to have been nominated by Sport 4 U leaders Rick and Danielle, and it's great to know they appreciate the work I've done."

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Ryan's having a ball

UCLan Sports Coaching undergraduate Ryan Ball is a man on a mission.

After initially struggling to make the transition from college to university life, Ryan has used the knowledge gained on his course to secure a role at Blackpool FC and is now hoping to progress up the sporting ladder.

Ryan takes up the story: "I was a typical student in my first year – not completing assignments and failing to complete some of my modules.

"The penny dropped in my second year and with the support of my tutors, particularly Cliff Olsson, I managed to turn things around.

"Cliff helped me get a position at Preston North End FC and I ended up as first team Goalkeeper Coach.

"The experience and knowledge I gained quickly helped my results improve. I was then put in touch with someone at Lancashire Football Association to do some work on the Girls' Player Development Centre project.

"I'm now in my final year and have worked as a North West regional deaf and partially sighted Coach. This led to an invite to coach at St George’s Park, the FA's new National Football Centre near Burton-on-Trent.

"As part of one of my modules I was tasked with gaining extra experience and found a position at Blackpool FC as Head Academy Goalkeeper Coach. This has given me the opportunity to implement what I’ve learnt, including development plans and programmes, along with elite coaching systems.

"I'm on track to secure a good degree and I’m looking to complete my coaching badges. Cliff's help has been invaluable throughout my time at UCLan. He's a great tutor and a good judge of personality. He doesn't say much, but when he does his words are influential and motivational.

"I've enjoyed the course, but you only benefit from it if you put in the effort. Thankfully I've done that and am now reaping the rewards."

Cliff said he was delighted with Ryan's achievements: "Ryan has taken full advantage of all opportunities that have come his way whilst an undergraduate at UCLan and has fully deserved this role at Blackpool Football Club.

"He has studied hard to develop his knowledge and understanding of the coaching process and taken every opportunity to apply his skills in applied contexts and is now beginning to receive the benefits of his hard work and dedication to his chosen profession."

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Lolley signs for Huddersfield

Former UCLan Sports Coaching student Joe Lolley has joined Huddersfield Town.

The 21-year-old has signed a contract until the summer of 2016, with an option on a further year, and will join his new teammates at Town's Canalside training ground for the first time today.

Lolley joins the Championship side after scoring 11 goals in just 19 starts for Kidderminster Harriers.

In his final game for the Conference outfit, Lolley hit the winner in their thrilling 3-2 FA Cup victory at Peterborough United.

For more on the story please click here.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Coaching opportunity

Lancashire FA and Preston College are looking for coaches to run PAN Disability sessions.

UCLan students who commit to the programme will be offered help, via the LFA, to obtain and attend specific education courses through the FA.

The sessions take place on Mondays, 3.30-4.30 pm, at Preston College.

For further information please contact Sarah Nickless.