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Sunday 16 February 2014

Student spotlight: Ben Wills

Third year BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching student Ben Wills tells us his experience studying here at Southampton Solent University.

My interest in sport coaching was initially sparked during my A levels. It was P.E. that drove me towards applying for a sport science course. I saw that Solent were running a sport science and coaching degree and it seemed like the perfect choice for me because during my gap year I was going to be working at a school as a sports coach.

The course hasn’t disappointed and I enjoy all aspects of it from the hands on practical side to the more theoretical elements as well. The realistic attitude of the lecturers is a plus as they make you fully aware that a degree itself is not enough. You have to go out and get experience in the field you want to work in. The area of study I enjoy the most however is the scientific practical side, such as conducting and running a V02 max test in my physiology module. It’s interesting fun and a great way to apply the knowledge you learn during the lectures and seminars.

I’ve taken the Solent ethos to heart and made the most of every opportunity to do placements and gain that vital work experience. At first through Sport Solent who offer daily opportunities to go out into local schools and colleges and teach sport. Since year one I’ve been amounting several hours of volunteer work with Sport Solent coaching sports like cricket, basketball, dodgeball and tag rugby. I’ve also helped out at a UK athletics national event, which was a great experience.

I really want to pursue a career working in rugby, whether it’s coaching community rugby, working at a club or even being a strength and conditioning coach in a rugby club. I’ve done more specific placements through Hampshire rugby, Tottonians rugby whilst also being a coach at Perrins high school which is really rewarding.

Other activities I was involved in include being a games maker at the London 2012 Olympics. More recently, I was nominated to be one of 15 outstanding candidates from the RFU to represent them on a new youth sports trust project. It’s things like these that make me want to do more and more and I know they will help me a lot when I start building a career after my degree.