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22nd January 2019
Sport and fitness

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) has recently held the first meeting of its Youth Panel. The group is comprised of fourteen members from the across the UK with a range of backgrounds and experiences. The panel will meet four times a year to discuss their ongoing progress in personal and group projects that they have undertaken.

We were delighted to hear that Solent student, Fraser Ford, who is studying MA Sport Development and Management was selected to be on the panel. We spoke to Fraser to find out how he felt about being on the panel and what it means for him in terms of helping to shape the sport and fitness industry, as well as his future career.

Can you tell us more about the CIMSPA Youth Panel?

The Youth Panel has been created to provide CIMSPA with an authentic, contemporary perspective from young people who are involved in the sport and physical activity sector. Its aim is to offer young people an opportunity to influence the policy and direction of the organisation. This is an exciting proposition, and I am excited to have the opportunity to be proactively involved in the future of our workforce.

Solent student, Fraser Ford (second left) and the other members of the CIMSPA Youth Panel

Was there a selection process?

Yes. After submitting the initial application form there was a video interview where I was asked various questions about my current role within the industry and the influence I believed I could have on CIMSPA as an organisation moving forward. From there, I was told that I had been successful in the selection process and I was given the date of the first meeting, which was held in Loughborough.

How did it feel to be selected to be on the panel?

I felt very privileged! It is one of the biggest organisations in the sport and physical activity sector, so to be a part of their first ever Youth Panel and have the opportunity to influence the direction they are moving in is a real privilege - I'm very grateful to CIMSPA for the opportunity.

Do you think what you studied on your degree helped with the selection?

Absolutely – one of the units in my BA (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development degree looked at the sports policy and focused on the role that CIMSPA plays within the sector. This meant I came from a good starting point, which enabled me to really get to grips with the organisation and how they operate. Without this unit, I would not have been as comfortable with the interview process and being a youth panel member.

How do you feel this will benefit your career in the industry?

Spending a year working with one of the biggest organisations in the sport and physical activity sector is a massive deal, and definitely something to put on the CV! I'm hoping this will be very beneficial moving forward, but regardless, having had the opportunity to see how a major organisation operates on a first-hand basis will have been an awesome experience in itself!

The CIMSPA Youth Panel in a meeting

What’s next for you?

Currently, I'm very focused on completing my master's degree to the best of my ability, as well as continuing the work I'm currently doing with the Saints Foundation, and making a positive contribution as a member of the CIMSPA Youth Panel. Beyond September, my aim is to work within the sport and physical activity sector and I hope the experience of being a CIMSPA Youth Panel member will enhance my chances of securing full-time employment.

Feeling inspired? Find out more about our sport and fitness degrees