Luke always enjoyed sport growing up and didn't consider university until a college teacher recommended our Sport Coaching and Physical Education course to him. Now he's graduated and is on his way to becoming an outstanding Secondary Teacher.

What brought you to apply to university?

Growing up, I really enjoyed taking part in sport and as I grew older enjoyed taking up opportunities to be involved in wider areas of sport. I have been heavily involved as a coach and committee member of my local swimming club for many years and won Active Cumbria’s Young Leader of the Year 2016 and SE Young Coach and Volunteer 2019. I never planned to go to University, it was my college lecturer Graeme Thompson who recommended the university and course to me.

Why did you choose Cumbria? 

The reason I chose the University of Cumbria was for its size. I enjoyed the challenge provided but value the utmost support that was provided throughout the course. I liked that there was the opportunity to work with lecturers who are really passionate about their subject and wanted to make me passionate about their subject too.

What was the most difficult thing you’ve overcome in your education journey so far?

I completed my degree during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this became an opportunity to develop my skills in different areas. As part of the Managing Community Events module, I chaired my events team to create a virtual Sports Leadership programme. The Sports Leaders Academy was accessed by over 500 students to support those passionate about physical activity and eager to inspire young people, adults and communities through sport. Aspiring students were able to participate in tasks and watch workshops on-demand with sessions led by experts. A series of Leaders Live chats have been recorded to explore the real-life lessons from real people with real experience. Guests include Becky Wolstenholme, CEO of the Cumbria Youth Alliance and Jacob Blain, Performance Analyst at Carlisle United. You can visit the page here: http://bit.ly/SportsLeadersAcademy

 

I enjoyed the challenge provided but value the utmost support that was provided throughout the course. I liked that there was the opportunity to work with lecturers who are really passionate about their subject and wanted to make me passionate about their subject too.

What was the breakthrough moment for you when things began to fall into place or become easier?

The breakthrough moment of my course was the opportunity to gain real-life experiences. As part of the final year vocational placement module, I completed my 100-hour placement at Hunter Hall School in Penrith.

From the offset in my time in school, I enjoyed being in educational settings and working with young people. The experience I gained at Hunter Hall School has been invaluable and has certainly broadened my horizons. I enjoyed being part of school life which has developed my skills as a reflective practitioner, raising my awareness of teaching processes that has allowed me to strive to become a better educator!

I was able to take the skills and knowledge, I’ve gained from University and apply them to real-life students in lessons. It was great to apply a Game Sense approach to lessons and see how it enhanced the learning, it is priceless to see the facilitation of a child’s learning.

The real highlight of my time at Hunter Hall School was being able to work alongside truly inspiring teachers, who shared their real-life gems of wisdom with me. Despite COVID restrictions and guidance in place the teachers still wanted to do everything to share their passion for their subject and create the best experiences for their students – which is something I want to make sure I follow in my career!

What was your end result?

I graduated with a first-class honours degree in Sport Coaching and Physical Education. I am now studying a Secondary PGCE in PE through Trinity School, Carlisle in partnership with the University of Cumbria. My career ambition is to become a leading sports development/PE professional.

My expertise lies in fostering physical development whilst promoting exercise and social cohesion through sport. Through an opportunity from the University, I spearheaded the organisation and development of a Fit and Fed project on behalf of the Sports Development charity StreetGames. From completing the administration and marketing to working with people across a range of ages and backgrounds—including those with special needs, I have honed my communication and leadership skills. The initiative was a success in engaging with over 100 local children from some of the most deprived areas. This role, combined with other academic and vocational opportunities, has provided me with a broad range of skills.

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