Prospering partnership to benefit the community & aspiring sports coaches
Bedford’s Blues Foundation has been announced as the official partner of the University of Bedfordshire’s new Sports Coaching & Development degree, to help support the charity’s community work and enhance student learning and employability.
Following a number of successful project collaborations with the University’s School of Sport Science & Physical Activity (SSPA) established in March 2021, this official course partnership will ensure students can gain valuable upskilling and career development opportunities with the Blues Foundation through year-round placement opportunities – both voluntary and paid.
Students will get the chance to assist at flagship activities run by the local rugby club’s charity throughout their studies, from holiday camps to outreach programmes, and even sports and wellbeing initiatives, such as TRY to Change (focussing on weight management) and ABILITY Blues (sports provision for disabled children).
The BA (Hons) Sports Coaching & Development degree has been designed by the University to create a workforce of talented and energetic sports coaches who are ready to make a difference on both a local and national level, utilising the skills developed on the course.
Dr Martyn Morris, Head of SSPA, said: “Formalising the relationship between the University of Bedfordshire and Bedford Blues and its Blues Foundation, will create fantastic opportunities for our students to gain real world experience to enhance their studies. We place a great emphasis on the importance of our students to develop their employability profile, so it’s great that the Foundation has become an official partner of our new undergraduate Sports Coaching & Development degree, which will open up lots of work experience opportunities with a range of projects across Bedfordshire.”
Alongside practical opportunities, the Blues Foundation will pass on expertise to students through lectures and seminars held at the Bedford campus. In particular, this insight will highlight how the sports development sector operates locally, regionally and nationally – and the impact this has on communities. Students will also conduct research with staff from the Institute for Sport & Physical Activity Research (ISPAR) on select Blues Foundation projects, to help gather critical insight into the impact of the initiatives on both the lives of individual participants and the wider community.
Tom Harwood, Head of the Blues Foundation, said: “Our partnership with the University of Bedfordshire has really flourished since inception last year and we’re delighted that this is being extended across multiple disciplines, as it will allow us to work collaboratively together on even more ideas.
“The opportunity to continue to benefit from the facilities at the Bedford campus as sponsors of the new Sports Coaching & Development course is exciting, and to have additional support of student researchers and volunteers will both support their learning and enhance the quality of our programmes.”