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Solent sport development students are encouraged to research a community or group in their second year – engaging with local practitioners, examining underdeveloped or niche areas and working with the community to develop a project that uses coaching, sport or physical activity to address its unique needs. In their third year, the students follow through on their plans – delivering their project in the chosen community.

Here we have selected four programmes, each with different goals, but all aimed at encouraging people to get into a sport and helping them to improve their fitness and wellbeing. Regular updates will be provided as each programme progresses.

Active in Multi Sports (AIMS)

Harvey Willis, Jack Walkett, Harry Stewart

AIMS - Harvey Willis, Jack Walkett, Harry Stewart

AIMS is a multi-sport programme targeting young people aged 14+ who have either a physical or mental disability, and who may not have as many opportunities to participate in sport.

Over eight weeks, we intend to deliver a wide variety of different sports in two schools in Southampton with a focus on fun and games. This is to give participants the best opportunity to find a sport they enjoy and can continue, either in school or outside of school. Although we can plan the structure for our sports sessions for our programme, the preferences of the participants will affect what and how we deliver.

Background information

When and where will the sessions be running?

Our project will be running for around eight weeks, starting in November, and within the Itchen and Totton areas. We have already run two pilot sessions and have received positive feedback from these:

"We thought your pilot session was fantastic. We loved the way you handled the session and the students - they love being respected but treated like other people their age. The knowledge, teamwork and genuine care you all showed was special, and we thank you for that."

What things are you looking forward to?

We're really looking forward to gaining real-life experience where we can practically implement all of the content we've been learning in lectures and seminars. This will allow us to become more rounded practitioners when it comes to getting a job in the industry.

We are considering the option of continuing our CIP as a business venture, so we're excited to see how our CIP goes and how successful our eight week intervention is.

What challenges do you think you will face during your Sport for Development project?

We think that one of the biggest challenges will be delivering sessions that cater for the needs of all participants; trying to adapt the content for each individual. We're working with two schools with divergent participant groups, so it will be challenging to make sure that both weekly sessions are planned.


Get Involved Girls (GIG)

Connor Malone, Connor Wilshire, Lee Thomas, Enzo Russo

GIG - Connor Malone, Connor Wilshire, Lee Thomas, Enzo Russo

Get Involved Girls (GIG) intends to tackle low participation rates in girls' football within the Southampton area. The aim of GIG is to encourage young girls aged 5-11 to get more involved in physical activity by using the power of football.

GIG will aim to provide sustainable exit routes for the participants, including links to community/football clubs in their local area, with also the possibility of GIG continuing as a project within the targeted school under the control of a new group of students or through the school's own staff.

Background information

When and where will the sessions be running?

We've been delivering pilot sessions for around 12 weeks now, and we'll be delivering a few more before the official start of our project, within the next month or two. We are delivering the project in partnership with Hampshire FA and at a 3G pitch in Southampton.

What things are you looking forward to?

We're looking forward to hopefully making an impact within the community for our target population, and gaining experience ourselves as to what things work well and also what don't.

We're looking forward to enhancing our community and partnership networking within the field.

What challenges do you think you will face during your Sport for Development project?

We think that a main challenge for our project will be gaining new participants and also retaining current ones. For our pilot sessions, some weeks we've had a good number, and for others we haven't - we want to make this more consistent.

We know that we need to stay organised throughout the whole CIP process, which may be difficult at times as this year will be busy with other University work. But we're confident we can coordinate our project effectively.


Nutrition Rugby Girls (NRG)

Daisy Pledger, Harry Meale, Callum Neave, Magda Kiec

NRG - Daisy Pledger, Harry Meale, Callum Neave, Magda Kiec

Nutrition Rugby Girls will be focusing on girls aged 11-14 within a secondary school in Southampton, introducing them to the sport of rugby, teaching them the basic skills of the game in a fun and safe environment.

We'll be using our sessions to educate the participants about nutrition and healthy eating. We'll be bringing  healthy foods to each session for the participants to try, and handing out recipe cards for them to take home.

Our CIP aims to increase participation in rugby for girls in the Southampton area, demonstrating that sport is accessible to them and providing knowledge and links to continue with sport, as well as providing them with information about health lifestyles and the benefits of sport.

Background information

When and where will your sessions be running?

Our project will be delivered in a school in Southampton. At the moment we have three schools in contention, so we're meeting with our partners to decide which one would benefit the most from our project. The project will run for 12 weeks, but we have also established a partnership with Trojans Rugby Club to provide potential exit routes for participants.

What things are you looking forward to?

We're looking forward to undertaking a challenge where we can gain new experiences. Working with the RFU is a really exciting opportunity for us moving forward.

We're excited about delivering holistic sessions, as previously we have just been coaching rugby, so there is now a shift in focus with the nutrition and health side being involved too.

We're proud that we'll be delivering a project we've all created from scratch.

What challenges do you think you will face during your sport for development project?

Because we're working with girls, and half of our CIP group are male, there may be a sense of animosity that the male coaches may have to overcome and adapt to first.

We don't want to be considered as just volunteering students. We want to be considered as sports development practitioners making a difference within the comprehensive field.


Walk Hard, Play Hard

Charlotte Berry, Josh Dolman, Fraser Ford, Harry Humphreys

Walk Hard, Play Hard - Charlotte Berry, Josh Dolman, Fraser Ford, Harry Humphreys

Walk Hard, Play Hard is planning to deliver walking football sessions for participants aged 50+. Walking football is a sport on the rise in the UK since its establishment in 2012, with more than 400 clubs across the UK. Walk Hard, Play Hard plans to help continue the growth of this exciting sport in Hampshire by providing sessions for people who are looking to get back into the sport. This would involve targeting people who have sustained injuries and area looking to get back involved in sport, as well as people who simply want to give waking football a try.

Background information

When and where will your sessions be running?

Our project will be starting in January and will run for 10 weeks in Eastleigh, with Eastleigh Borough Council. Furthermore, we'll be delivering two weeks of pilot sessions in November before starting in January to get an understanding of the context we'll be delivering in. This allows us to alter our project accordingly to ensure that it's as beneficial as possible.

What things are you looking forward to?

We're looking forward to applying theory into practice. We're interested in seeing how the theoretical content we've been taught is applied within a practical sports development environment.

We're excited to see and evidence what the beneficiaries gain from our intervention with regard to increasing physical activity and social cohesion.

What challenges do you think you'll face during your sport for development project?

We think that one of the main initial challenges will be finding the best way of advertising our project to our niche audience. We'll be looking to make sure that our collaboration with our partners is of a high quality as we have already had a small issue with previous partnership collaboration.

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