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Thursday 16 February 2017

Solent University and the Saints Foundation have been working in partnership since 2015, when they made an agreement that first year students on the BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development course would be given a voluntary placement at the Foundation to help them complete their Coaching and Volunteering for Sport Development unit. Current first year students are now preparing to begin their coaching placement, where they'll be working on some of the Foundation's projects such as Kicks, Premier League 4 Sport and Saints4Sport.

In the 2015/16 academic year 68 Sport Coaching and Development students were offered placements at the Saints Foundation to help give them real-world experience of coaching in the community. Some students were even offered paid coaching roles within the Foundation once their placement had finished.

Mike Dixon of the Saints Foundation, said: “We want to give students the opportunity to volunteer within our programmes and gain experience working with highly skilled professionals in the industry. This experience, coupled with their degree, will hopefully make them more employable within the industry after graduation, whether that be with the Saints Foundation or at other organisations.”

This academic year, every first year student has a placement within the Saints Foundation, and there are also opportunities available for second and third year undergraduates to gain experience. Six second year students are being brought in as peer mentors to help assist the first years through their placements, sharing their wealth of knowledge and their personal experiences of volunteering at the Foundation.

saints-foundation-partnership

One of the mentors, Charlotte Berry, said: “I volunteered with the Saints Foundation all last year over many different projects to help my skills as a coach and gain experience in different areas of coaching. I showed up every week on time which demonstrated my commitment, and from this they decided to employ me as a casual member of staff.”

“Our partnership with the Saints Foundation helps the students prepare to work in the sporting industry," said course leader, Kev Harris. "It helps them gain the experience they need to improve their skills, and in return the Saints Foundation gets assistance on their projects with the option to hire some new coaches”.

The students taking part are also being assisted with completing a DBS check which will enable them to work with children at Saints and anywhere else they wish to continue their coaching careers.

For more information on the partnership between the BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development course and the Saints Foundation please email joshua.brimacombe-wiard@solent.ac.uk