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Friday 13 May 2016

Students showcase their talents at top coaching event

Employers, staff and students have come together at the annual Coaching and Innovation Symposium to explore innovative coaching projects created by Southampton Solent University sports students.

Now in its fifth year, the event celebrates the achievements of the University’s Coaching Innovation Programme (CIP), which encourages sports students to develop their own coaching projects to improve lives and address social issues within the wider community.

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"The symposium continues to grow every year, demonstrating the impact the Coaching Innovation Programme has on reaching out to community and industry needs," says Kevin Harris, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development.

Through the programme, students develop their own innovative project using sport, coaching or physical activity to engage communities, improve lives and address social issues.

To date, students have already delivered over 100 projects through the CIP, engaging with over 1,800 participants, helping local schools, hard to-reach groups, the elderly population, sports clubs and youth groups.

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One project, called Cricket in the Community, aims to tackle the lack of Black Ethnic Minorities participating in cricket within the Southampton area.

One member of the group, Luyando Muhwanga, BA (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development student, says: “Representing the University through the CIP project is something we have found exciting and enjoyable. Not only are we enjoying working together as a group on such an amazing project, we are also enjoying the fact that the unit has given us the opportunity to do something for the community.”

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Another one of the many projects showcased was called Ladies Only, and was aimed at Indian ladies from a lower socio-economic area of Southampton.

“Through studying under the guidance of the teaching staff, we have been able to design and execute a unique project which has potential for actual developmental influence,” says Emily-Marie Coleman, BSc (Hons) Health, Exercise and Physical Activity student and member of the Ladies Only group project.

Visitors to the symposium had the opportunity to meet with students, discuss their projects and network with like-minded professionals and community representatives.

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Tara Dillion, CEO of Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity and keynote speaker said: “I am very impressed with the projects showcased by the students tonight. This is the best programme of its kind that I have seen delivered in higher education.”