More than just the game, we go into the deeper layers of sport

Sport can mean many different things for many different people from 5-a-side football for a group of mates to knowing the ins and outs of diet and nutrition needed to be an elite athlete.

Grantham College have been running Sport courses for over a decade with students progressing on to a range of courses at University with some going straight into the Sports industry.

On joining a Sport course students learn from a team of staff with a wealth of experience passing on their knowledge and skills from their degrees in BA (Hons) Leisure Studies, MA Sport and Leisure Management, PGCE Education, MSc Sociology of Sport and Sports Management as well as their industry experience within a range of Sports. Staff bring their knowledge from not only the UK but Internationally and some from Olympic level.

To begin with the Sports courses are very theory loaded as the basics of fitness, health & safety and anatomy & physiology are paramount to the understanding of the course and to ensure every students safety for progression. Our Sports staff ensure they teach in a variety of ways using different props and mediums to engage students and motivate their learning through the theory ready for the practical.

Students are taken on a variety of trips to expand their knowledge of Sports including Wembley Stadium and the Velodrome. Each trip has a link to one or more of the units for the course, for example the trip to Tallington Lakes sees students try out Sports which they may not have tried before including raft building and wakeboarding so students would need to assess the possible safety risks to themselves and others around them before undertaking one of these Sports. Students will also need to make a personal judgement regarding their own fitness level as to whether they think they are able to do a new sport so they don’t cause harm to themselves or others.

Trips to Ice Sheffield, the National Water Sports Centre and a variety of Universities gives students the tools and relevant knowledge of the industry as well as a qualification that means students can make an informed decision to either go onto University to further their study or into an industry related job.

Students on Sports courses are also offered the opportunity to go on a two week fully funded work experience placement in Rimini, Italy as part of the Leonardo Programme funded by the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme. Before students leave they are given basic Italian lessons to help them interact with the local people as some students undertake work placements within customer service roles. Whilst undertaking their work placements students get to encounter how the industry is different to the UK, as well as putting into practise those skills talked about back in the classroom.

The variety of Sports studied on the Sports courses include football, volleyball, basketball, badminton and table tennis with a new Football Development Centre launching in September 2015 in association with Grantham Town FC. The aims of the development centre are three fold. To improve each individual as a footballer in terms of technical and tactical ability, knowledge and understanding as well as offering each student the opportunity to gain an academic Sports qualification at an appropriate level. Finally to offer each student the opportunity to develop a possible career in semi-professional football as there will be a clear career path towards the Grantham Town FC First Team. It is hoped that players will also be able to study for their FA Level 1 coaching qualification early on within their course which will enable them to be involved with local school football teams for experience and practise.

An outdoor field, gym, Sports hall for indoor football, basketball, table tennis, dedicated badminton courts and an association with Grantham Town FC means that students have the opportunity to learn and practise in a wide variety of environments. Students can also get involved with several clubs the Sports department put on including yoga, boxercise and touch rugby.

2013 saw Sports students Tim Brooks and Kieran Taylor undertake coaching experience at Nottingham Forest FC coaching within the ‘Development Squad’ which resulted in them both volunteering as coaches long term for the club.

During the sessions Kieran and Tim supported a qualified Nottingham Forest coach coaching anywhere up to 21 boys who have been scouted by Nottingham Forest to potentially move up to the academy if they show enough potential.

Tim said ‘We looked at different aspects of football such as defending and dribbling. We implemented the session plans the top coaches such as Tony Cook, had devised and get the lads academy ready so if they are successful in gaining an academy place they don’t feel out of place to others in the academy.’

Kieran said ‘Grantham College Sports courses are a great foundation to help build on your future career, I cannot recommend this course enough to anyone looking at a career in Sports.’ Kieran actually gained one of the highest pass rates on his course with a triple Distinction* (D* D* D*) grade which is equivalent to 3 A*s at A-Level and 420 UCAS points.

Sports students get involved with the wider college community by putting together and implementing events for local school children and other college students including Fit4Life which has been running for several years. The aim of Fit4Life is to get the Sports students thinking about nutrition and diet as well as gentle exercise whilst involving students and staff at college in the actual event. Sports students will come up with a timetable over a few days/a week of Sports/activities for varying abilities as well as nutritional cookery demonstrations raising awareness of a healthy lifestyle.

Part of the legacy of the London 2012 Summer Olympics has been to distribute money to 377 county Sports projects across England with the aim of increasing access to quality coaching and encourage more people to take up sport. This has resulted in more opportunities for coaches and Sports development officers and corresponding jobs in marketing and fundraising.

Salaries within the industry vary depending on the job role and previous experience. On average a role in Sports Management could see you earning up to £26k, Sports Coaching £24k whereas a professional footballer could earn millions! (www.reed.co.uk/average-salary/leisure-tourism)