Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde – On Track for Success
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities’ cycling clubs held the first of many sessions at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in October 2012 and have, to date, introduced around 300 students to the sport of track cycling. Novice ‘come and try’ sessions run by each club have given new students the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Commonwealth and Olympic athletes who preceded them and led to the birth of a small but diverse community of student track cyclists in Scotland. The clubs have already started to make a name for themselves at local and national level competitions.
The clubs are looking to continue the fantastic growth and improvement they have seen thus far, and are taking a variety of steps to develop the programme into a sustainable, long term project. This is the perfect example of Student achievement in sport: an entirely student led, collaborative, sporting project, inspired by the upcoming Commonwealth Games and making an early effort to set up a ‘legacy’ programme within one of the most high profile Glasgow 2014 venues.
University of Glasgow – Gym Buddies
The Gym Buddies project was created to support students that experience either psychological or physical barriers to participating in exercise. The scheme aims to increase participation and break down perceived barriers to exercise for some of the people that need it the most. The Buddies programme gives students apprehensive of exercise or entering sport facilities access to one of their peers to help and encourage their engaging in physical activity alongside free facility access for a set period. Volunteer buddies are trained in mental health first aid training, basic health & fitness advice and provided with details of several avenues for support including mental health resources and the University’s own online health & fitness support. Individuals wishing to learn how to use exercise equipment receive a free induction with some key training tips from an exercise professional.
The Gym Buddies Programme aims to bridge the gap often ignored for those not participating in sport or physical activity. We hope that the Gym Buddy Programme will give the support, advice and necessary tools to encourage individuals who have sought help to continue to take part in exercise and sport for the rest of their time at University and beyond.
University of Stirling – Disability Tennis Programme
What started as a one-off fun day has now developed into a full disability tennis programme run in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport, Tennis Scotland and the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) Tennis Foundation.
Driven by a determination to open up tennis to the local community, students from the 150-strong university tennis club hosted a fun day on campus at the Scottish National Tennis Centre – a former base for Andy Murray and Commonwealth Gold medallist Colin Fleming. Led by undergraduate students – and qualified LTA coaches James Swanson & Holly Smith – club members prepared by completing a Disability Awareness Course then volunteered to run six tennis-themed activities designed to give people of all abilities a taste of playing tennis. The fun day attracted people from three local disability support groups and such was its success, a follow up festival was held the next month with more groups on board. This has led to the establishment of a Learning Disability Tennis Programme, running in eight week blocks throughout the student semesters as the programme is entirely student-run.
Now in its third block, further outreach sessions are being delivered as the programme goes from strength to strength, encouraging families to play tennis together.