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What our students say

Dan Allwright, BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development graduate

"Whilst studying at Solent we were encouraged to do as much volunteer work as possible as it gives you inside knowledge into the industry we were learning.

I began volunteering with the School Games in my first year at university and continued throughout my degree. Volunteer work was not compulsory but after my first few weeks, I knew I would continue it for as long as i could as it gives you a nice break from studying and certainly looks good on your CV.

I volunteered at numerous different sporting events including rowing, cross country, football, indoor athletics and many more. The School Games also offer opportunities for paid work which I took up over summer, working on the roadshows with Lee which was great fun.

The knowledge and insight into the sport industry was invaluable, I was able to use the things I learnt in essays and also help me develop my coaching portfolio.

Before volunteering and working with the School Games i was unsure where in the sport industry I would like to work, but the experiences and partnerships with schools helped me realise I would like to work towards being a PE teacher. I am currently working as a teaching assistant in an SEN school but looking to move into the PE department within the next year.

I just want to thank the School Games for all the opportunities they gave me and how they helped me get through my studies."

Josh Fearon - BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development graduate

"I was one of the fortunate students who found out about the school games in my first year of university. The school games consisted of helping to set up alongside running events/competitions for primary schools within Southampton whether it would be schools against other schools, or teams within a specific school. I chose to volunteer for the school games as I knew the experiences I would obtain be extremely beneficial.

As well as being able to make links/connections with schools. Which would eventually lead to paid work, either running after school/lunch time sessions in schools or helping Solent university host sports days within schools, or community events in local parks. In addition to this I was able to find a school to conduct my dissertation research in, this was done with relative ease as teachers and pupils were already familiar with me as I had been working alongside them the past 2 years.

Overall this was an incredible experience it gave me the opportunity to work within a school environment which was crucial for me as I intend on becoming a teacher. The school games gave me so much more confidence in my ability to teach/coaching in which I now feel like I can implement in any environment I am in."

Jason Probert - BA (Hons) Sport and Physical Education graduate

"Firstly, I was fortunate enough to be offered a paid role at a local primary school leading their football after-school club which continued throughout my 2nd and 3rd year at University. This led to even more experience in a school environment than my course was already offering.

Secondly, I worked as part of a coaching team to deliver sports activities for the local community and schools. This included running sports days for the school, PE lessons and fun activities using inflatable equipment.

I chose to do this because it gave me extra experience within a school environment, working with different children and communicating with school staff to deliver what they wanted.

I am due to start my teacher training to become a PE teacher in September so these added value experiences had a positive effect on my career pathway."

Roberto Morales - BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development

"Since the very beginning of my Sport Coaching and Development undergraduate at Solent, I was taught how important it is to get experience through volunteering in this field. One of the opportunities that the University offered me through Solent Sport was to start doing some volunteering on The School Games, where kids from around all of Southampton take their first steps in Sport.

As an international student with no experience in coaching or volunteering in the country, I decided to get involved as much as I could. Straight away I was helping to enable kids to participate in Cross Country races as a marshal, indoor athletics as a referee and more.

I would say that my benefit from it was twofold, on the one side, I really enjoyed interacting with the kids, helping them to practise sport in an engaging, fun, and safe environment. On the other side, I had direct guidance and feedback from practitioners who are involved in the field for so many years and with loads of experience and knowledge.

Thanks to the experiences and networks I have made through these volunteering opportunities, I have managed to get an occasional job with Solent Sport, mainly inside Schools and some in the community.

These experiences add value to my CV and therefore boost my possibilities of getting a job in the Sport Coaching and Development Field alongside my studies at Solent University."

Luke Stuart - BA (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development graduate

"During my time at Solent University I was involved with the School Games, I helped out at cross country, basketball and athletics. The main reason for me volunteering with the School Games was to ultimately gain more experience within coaching and school events. Although this was a main priority I also wanted to meet new people as I was new to the area and the industry as well as hoping to potentially meet people who could benefit my studies and future career.

Through volunteering with the school games, I met loads of other students who shared the same drive and desire to succeed as myself. This was beneficial as it kept me in an environment surrounded by people with the same ambitions as myself. During this time, I also gained valuable experience and understanding of how the school games works and is run, this is knowledge I did not obtain prior to the volunteering.

Also, I got to witness the valuable impact the school games have on communities and young children first hand. The experiences I gained from the school games helped me both with my studies and furthering me career. It helped me with my studies as it allowed me to meet people already in the industry which lead to further coaching and volunteering opportunities helping me to develop and expand my experiences within coaching. Also, by meeting a lot of members of staff at different schools this was extremely helpful when I come to developing my CIP.

As many students was having to contact members of staff they had not met trying to pitch their CIP to them. However, this was not an issue for me as I already had many existing contacts with many different schools through the school games. The school games also helped with my CIP as I already knew a lot of the Solent University staff who help oversee and work alongside you during the development of the CIP. The school games helped with developing my career in multiple ways. Firstly, I am doing my PGCE (teacher training) next year within a PE department.

This will require me to be involved with the school games, due to previous experiences I am familiar with the school games and know how they work. When applying for coaching jobs having the school games experiences and voluntary work on my CV it really enhanced it. Due to this it led to me meeting more people within the industry and lead to paid work."

Louis Ryan - BA (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development graduate

"Whilst at Solent University, I worked with the Sport Solent team alongside studying BA Sport Coaching. I really enjoyed working with Lee and the team where I was able to work in over 20 different Southampton schools doing roadshows, after school clubs and School Games events.

The opportunity to experience different schools and challenges gave me the experience that has led to me working in schools as a full time job for Saints Foundation. I feel confident in leading and using my initiative in primary schools thanks to the opportunities and responsibility given to me by the Solent Sport team."

Shion Murray - BA (Hons) Football Studies and MSc Sport Science and Performance Coaching graduate

"I did Roadshows, and afterschool program on coaching football.

I was recommended to coach various age and ability groups to become better coach, and I thought this was something I can add to my practical experience in coaching/teaching with different age and ability children.

Communication skills. I had to coach/teach from about 6 to 12 years old so this required different ways of communication. And not just age but all individuals were different so I think my communication skills grew a lot from this experience.

My current job requires to work with 5 to 15 years old children and my employer valued my experience working with all kinds of age group."

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