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Solent's Community Innovation Programme (CIP) gives students the opportunity to make a real impact in the local community. By working with schools, community groups and industry professionals students can boost their employability while driving positive change in the local community.

Follow the links below to find out more about some of the amazing work that has taken place over the last 12 months.

Mikey McColm

Inspiring the next generation

We caught up with Mikey McColm, whose project was called Employ Active Plus. Mikey worked with students from the Isle of Wight College to discuss the benefits of higher education.

Lasting for 10 weeks, the group ran a mix of classroom and practical sessions that developed the communication, confidence and leadership skills of the participants. They encouraged the student to lead sessions and coach each other, helped them with CVs and personal statements, and generally tried to develop a social connection that would allow them to converse effectively with the participants.

Read more about the Employ Active Plus project

NRG in action

Combining sport and nutrition

Coaching innovation project Nutrition Rugby Girls (NRG) took place earlier this year, looking to introduce rugby to girls between 11-14, while also educating them about the importance of nutrition and healthy eating. We asked group member Daisy Player to give us an overview of her experience.

“Working with a young audience was challenging, especially when introducing concepts they weren’t aware of, such as realist evaluation. This particular idea is not recognised in the sports development field, so it was not the norm to our partners, either.

Read more about the Nutrition Rugby Girls project


Walk Hard Play Hard in action

A successful first session

The Walk Hard, Play Hard group started delivering their project recently, delivering weekly walking football sessions every Friday for participants aged 50+.

Being delivered at the recently upgraded Places Leisure Eastleigh sports facility in partnership with Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire FA, the project aims to make football more accessible so participants can stay physically active within an enjoyable environment.

Feedback on the sessions has so far been very positive.

Read more about the Walk Hard, Play Hard project


Link up Play was originally a concept developed as a Coaching Innovation Programme project

Going past graduation

In 2016, three students created Link up Play as a coaching innovation programme intervention.

Using physical activity to assist key stage 2 children with core literacy skills within a local school, the aim of the project was to increase pupils’ concentration and confidence. They focused on the national curriculum while using football as an enjoyable tool for teaching.

Following their graduation last summer, one member, Liam Botcherby, has since developed the project into an enterprise and has already found success within the industry. 

Read more about the Link up Play project

Two students working on Actively Ageing as their Coaching Innovation Programme Project

Making a difference

As part of the coaching innovation programme, student project Actively Ageing has been delivering group exercise sessions for the older generation within a deprived area in Southampton, collaborating with Monty’s Community Hub, of Sholing.

The students aim to reduce social isolation within the elderly community through giving them the opportunity to get involved in physical activity while engaging with other members of the group.

Read more about the Actively Ageing project


2017: A CIP overview

2017: A CIP overview

Find out more about 2017's community innovation programme and hear from some of the students taking part.

“The CIP has definitely improved my employability in many areas and I have learnt a lot from the experience that I can take into my career” - James Hickman.

“In my opinion, the CIP is one of the best things I had the opportunity to experience while at Solent. It gave me an insight into the way people and organisations develop partnerships." - Iesha Jackson.

Read more about 2017 CIP review

Coaching Innovation Symposium

Community Innovation Symposium

Now in its fifth year, the symposium celebrates the achievements of our Community Innovation Programme (CIP). 

To date, students have delivered over 100 projects through the CIP and engaged with 1,800 participants

"The symposium continues to grow every year, demonstrating the impact the Community Innovation Programme has on reaching out to community and industry needs" - Kevin Harris, Course Leader

Read more about the Coaching Innovation Symposium

Catching up with Employ Active

Catching up with Employ Active

One of the groups currently delivering their project is Employ Active.

Their work focuses on improving sixth form and college students' awareness of the options available to them after completion of their A Levels or Diplomas. The project has been running for the past 9 weeks at the Isle of Wight College and has helped the team to develop some valuable transferrable skills.

We caught up with Employ Active and asked them: "What have been the benefits of working on this project?"

Read more about the Employ Active project

Work with the Saint's foundation

Work with the Saints foundation

Our students have been working with the Saints Foundation since 2015. 

In the first year 68 Sport Coaching and Development students were offered the chance to secure some hands-on experience of coaching in the community.

This year we've gone bigger and better - all first year students can undertake a placement with the Saints Foundation. There are also opportunities for second and third year undergraduates.

Read more about Saints Foundation placements 

Feeling inspired? Visit our sport and fitness page to see the full range of sport, coaching and fitness management programmes.

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