On Wednesday 1 March the University of Brighton held its annual Value of Sport Conference at the Eastbourne campus for local college students to highlight the opportunities to pursue sport as a career. The event was organised by Dr Mark Hayes, Senior Lecturer and Admissions Tutor and Outreach Co-ordinator, Marina Trowell.
Over 50 students attended the event and they received a welcome from Sarah Hogg, the Director of Sport at Brighton followed by a keynote lecture from University of Brighton Alumni Katy Ritchie. Students then participated in a workshop on personal statements and job applications before a buffet lunch in Sprinters restaurant.
Post lunch students engaged with Marc Dring, Marketing Executive for Brighton and Hove Albion FC Rob Josephs, Cross-Curriculum Development Manager at Albion in the Community and Dr Mark Doidge, a Senior Research Fellow at the university. Then followed a campus tour and a closing speech on jobs in sport by the Director of Sport.
Throughout the day, the students were supported by student ambassadors from the School of Sport and Service Management and members of the Widening Participation team.
Rosie Lewis a Sport and Exercise Science BSc(Hons) third year student and student ambassador commented: “Working as a student ambassador at the value of sports conference was an eye-opening experience. It not only gave me the opportunity to share my university experiences but also added to my knowledge of different career pathways within sports.
“Whilst on campus tours, I was able to communicate with a variety of students about my personal university life; living and working at the university, as well as, showcasing the university’s facilities. I was able to provide a taster of some of the opportunities that I have been able to access at the university for example: volunteering at the cardiac rehabilitation; assisting, conducting and participating in different laboratory-based projects; becoming a PASS leader and student ambassador; partaking in sports teams and generally enjoying the student spaces such as the Student Union and Sprinters Café.
“The guest speakers made the day particularly interesting, as they provided insight into unique career pathways. I thought the talks divided the day and were inspiring for students with ambitions to develop careers in sports. Katy Richie shared her experiences of graduating from the University of Brighton, progressing to working on a mass participation level and then with the national governing body for netball and cricket. Marc Dring and Rob Josephs from Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club spoke from an interdisciplinary prospective which gave a much broader prospective of careers within sports. Dr Mark Doidge provided an insightful sociological talk which addressed aspects of sports which underpin the nature and culture of sports.
“Throughout the day the students had group activities, which involved planning for their personal statements. These helped the students interact with the ambassadors to highlight their personal qualities and identify areas of improvement. I think these activities was a useful tool for introducing college students to personal and professional development.”