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."