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University students learn how to deliver inclusive activities

Today is the start of BUCS Inclusion Week (British Universities and Colleges Sport). A national campaign to promote the importance of inclusive sport and activities for all students in higher education. To mark the occasion, we hear from students at Loughborough University on how attending an Inclusive Activity Programme workshop helped them to improve their confidence and skills to deliver inclusive activities.

Student taking part in practical exercise during workshop

Last month, 13 university students from Loughborough University’s Coach and Volunteer Academy attended an Inclusive Activity Programme workshop, hosted by Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport. The University arranged the workshop to support the students’ personal development and learning.

Alexander Themis, Loughborough Sport Coaching and Officiating Administrator said:

"At Loughborough University, we value developing our students personally and professionally, and this programme offers that development."

UK Coaching tutor and former GB Paralympic swimmer, Martin Mansell guided students through the key inclusion principles. They learnt how to adapt sports and activities using the STEP Tool and Activity Inclusion Model, so disabled and non-disabled people can take part together. They were also introduced to the concept of reverse integration by playing sitting volleyball and boccia.

Workshop tutor Martin Mansell delivering Inclusive Activity Programme workshop Laura, a coach and PGCE student, signed up to the workshop because she wanted to increase her knowledge and become more confident in making sessions inclusive for all participants. The main learning points she took away were how to adapt activities for different groups and that disability specific sports, such as wheelchair basketball, can be a great activity for everyone.  

Laura said:

"I would recommend the programme because it provides simple yet effective techniques and strategies on how to make sessions inclusive. It helped me to realise that separate sessions are not needed, just the adaptation of sessions to allow everyone to access it. The practical nature helped me to understand better and the course tutors were extremely knowledgeable and made me feel at ease to ask questions."

Laura now plans to use sitting volleyball as part of her sessions for both disabled and non-disabled participants because it enables everyone to take part together and builds on the fundamental skills of the game.

Inclusive Activity Programme supports BUCS Inclusion Week

A big part of BUCS Inclusion Week is providing ideas and support to universities and colleges on how they can improve inclusive and accessible sport opportunities. This week, Activity Alliance is delivering Inclusive Activity Programme workshops to students at Brunel University, University of Derby and Northumbria University.

Our Inclusive Activity Programme can equip your students, staff and volunteers with the skills and confidence to engage more disabled people in sport and activities on campus. The Programme is funded by Sport England's National Lottery funding and delivered by Activity Alliance in partnership with UK Coaching.

If you’re interested in running a university workshop, please contact our team: email programmes@activityalliance.org.uk or call 01509 227753.

For more information visit the Inclusive Activity Programme page