Student-run community sporting events boost fitness and raise money for charity

Student-run community sporting events boost fitness and raise money for charity

Over 500 school pupils and 200 adults have enjoyed a series of sport and health-related activities organised by final year P.E. sport coaching and development students from the University of Cumbria.

Charities including Access2Learning, Derian House Children’s Hospice, Every Action Has Consequences and the Cervical Cancer Trust shared £1500 raised from seven community sporting events held in April and May.

The events included a schools Tri-Golf festival at Lancaster Golf Club, a netball tournament at Richard Rose Academy in Carlisle, a corporate golf challenge at Brampton Golf Club, a Change4life Primary Festival in Lancaster, a Streetgames youth event at the Youth Zone in Carlisle, a Quicksticks Hockey Festival on the Lancaster campus and a corporate health event for University of Cumbria staff.

“The students were all excellent role models for the university and delivered satisfying event experiences for all those involved, from primary aged children, to teenagers and adults in a number of different and potentially challenging contexts,” Jonathan Lowes, programme leader for the BA (Hons) sport coaching and development programme, said. “The feedback from all the schools was excellent, as it was from staff attending corporate sport and health activities. It is a great way for the students to finish their degree on a high by delivering a successful event”.

Various industry mentors were attached to each team to help guide and support the event teams in the twelve week planning process towards delivering the events.

“We value the support of industry staff such as Adam McAlister from Golf England, Sonia Dryden from Netball England and colleagues from local clubs and schools, in giving our students these exciting opportunities to put theory into practice, so they are not simply learning about event management in the classroom, but actually getting out there and doing it for real,” tutor for the managing community events module, Mark Christie said. “As a result, they gain key employability skills and experiences which make them more credible graduates when it comes to entering the competitive job market”.

 “The primary schools Tri-Golf festival, involving over 130 local pupils, was a huge success and really enjoyed by all the children that attended,” Adam McAlister from Golf England said: ”The students worked really hard throughout the event and hopefully they have gained some valuable event management experience. It was great to see the children taking part with the correct spirit of fair play, fun and participation. Overall the event was very well planned and a great credit to both the University of Cumbria event students and the Myerscough college students who acted as volunteers on the day.”

The corporate health event at the university gave staff the opportunity to have a Health MOT check-up, an option taken up by over 60 staff members. The simple tests included measuring blood pressure, body fat, BMI and cholesterol within a ten-minute appointment.

“We were really pleased with the level of engagement,” commented Adam Ridley, one of the event team in charge. “Staff appreciated not only having the chance to have an MOT but also to get advice about the results”.

The team also organized a health walk, online challenge and a gardening session for staff.

In Carlisle, a Corporate Golf Challenge between the University of Cumbria staff and students against Brampton Golf Club received great praise for its format and the professionalism of the student event team.

Tim Barry, head of the department of medical and sport science, who was a member of the university team, said: “This was a thoroughly enjoyable event, and I was very impressed by the interpersonal, team working and communication skills the student event team, supported by an excellent group of volunteers, displayed throughout the day. It reinforces why our graduates are so employable and why the university as a whole was recently ranked 2nd within the HE sector for graduate employability”.

Also in Carlisle, a Netball tournament in aid of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust attracted six teams and raised over £230 for the charity while a Streetgames Youth inclusion evening event, based at the Carlisle Youth Zone (CYZ), was hugely successful in engaging young people aged 13-20 in a range of sporting and leisure activities, with the support of Carlisle United’s Community Programme and the local Rugby Football Union Development Officer. In fact, it was so successful, CYZ reported that it had a record attendance at the centre the following week, leaving an immediate, positive impact on their services which it’s hoped will leave a lasting effect.