University pilots Leicester Academy sports scheme

The 2015/16 academic year has seen the Sports and Recreation Service pilot the ‘Leicester Academy’ programme, with the aim of becoming the University’s hub for students to access sport related opportunities such as coaching/officiating qualifications, workshops and training days, and volunteer roles.

To date, six students have completed a Lacrosse Officiating Course, five students have completed a Netball Level 1 Coaching Course and eleven students have completed a Primary Multi-Skills Training Day. Further students are hoping to attend an FA level 1, Rugby level 1 and a Boxercise course, along with an NSPCC Safeguarding course all through the Leicester Academy.

Plans are also underway for next academic year for the University to host a netball, basketball and archery course making it easier for students to access the additional qualifications.

In partnership with the University’s Widening Participation team, Students through the Leicester Academy have also been volunteering in local Primary Schools; assisting in PE lessons and after school sports clubs.

Grainne Purkiss, a member of teaching staff from Braunstone Community Primary School, explains: "Children from areas of high deprivation, with complex social, emotional and educational needs are always inspired and engaged when visitors come. Visitors with a purpose, such as the students who volunteer in our school are like gold dust. They are valued, valuable and add sparkle to the lives of our children. As a school we inspire children to succeed and be the best that they can be. Support from outside agencies help us to achieve those goals and strengthen our links with the wider community."

Leicester Academy aims to help students access sporting volunteering opportunities in the wider community that will not only enhance their employability but potentially inspire a younger generation. Working alongside the Student’s Union increased opportunities are being made available through the Unions opportunities portal for events such as Leicester Victoria Park Run, and  opportunities to volunteer at the National School Games final in Loughborough in September.

For more information on how you can get involved please contact Liz Jennings