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Solent students visit Southampton Football Club as part of an ongoing and historical partnership

11th February 2022
Sport and fitnessFootball

Fifteen BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching students were provided the fantastic opportunity to visit Southampton Football Club as part of an ongoing and historical partnership between the Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences, Solent University, and the Club. Students are given the opportunity to volunteer with the Saints Foundation, the Club’s charity, and further their development through face-to-face placements supporting the foundation on the following projects: Primary Stars, Saints Goal, Saints Kicks and Soccer Schools.

Over a 10-week period, those who attended will now support Saints Foundation project officer’s in the delivery of their projects. This will give them invaluable real-world experience delivering to a variety of communities and age groups. At the end of the placement, the students will evaluate their time volunteering and present these findings to course tutors.

The visit itself started with a small tour of St Mary’s Stadium, which was followed by a presentation introducing students to the Foundation and how the charity transforms lives in and around Southampton. Students were then split into sub-groups and allocated to a specific project. Each project officer then introduced themselves and explained the project's wider aims and goals before working with the students in mapping out the delivery for the term to come.

Kola Adeosun, Senior Lecturer in Sport Education and Development at Solent University, established the faculty relationship with Saints Foundation approximately 10 years ago as part of the sports coaching course provision. Since then, it has been an ever-present opportunity for first-year students on the Sports Coaching course which is recognised as an important opportunity to gain real world experiences. Many students have gone on to secure full-time and causal roles directly from their involvement on the placement.

Ian Butcher, the Workforce and Training Coordinator for Saints Foundation, said “It was great to welcome Solent University students to St Mary’s Stadium. Saints Foundation has continued its partnership with Solent University in providing students from the Sports Coaching course voluntary placements. These students will be placed across a variety of Saints Foundation sessions to gain a better understanding of coaching, development, and first-hand experience in engaging with participants from the local community. We look forward to working with students from Solent University over the next coming months and supporting them within their sports development journey.”

We are excited to follow the progress of the participants closely and will continue to provide updates of their achievements. This is another fantastic example of how our students take part in public engagement in and around Southampton, generating benefit to not only the communities they are directly working with, but also their own skill-based development. Discover more about our partnership with Southampton FC here.