Creativity and innovation at its finest – the SSS Innovative Award recognised students and clubs who thought outside the box!
The Heriot-Watt Sports Union picked up another prize in this category with a number of inventive initiatives in response to the pandemic. The sports union held a ‘Battle of the Clubs’ every Monday for 10 weeks, where sports clubs were invited to take part in a whole range of different challenges… ranging from virtual 5k runs, to poetry, prose and video challenges. The union also held a virtual half marathon, which involved a 12-week training plan for students, staff and alumni to follow before participating in the event! To top it all off, Heriot-Watt took an unconventional yet highly entertaining take on sports ball this year – announcing the winners live on Instagram! This proved for a dramatic and exciting evening with the award winners delivering live victory speeches from their homes at a moments notice!
Across the city, the Edinburgh University Sports Union Media Team picked up an award for two of their impressive campaigns across the year – The #SportED Podcast and the #PeopleoftheSU. Both campaigns were entirely student-led and focused on telling peoples stories and gave students the opportunity to stay connected with the SU during the pandemic. The #SportED Podcast can be listened to here and the #PeopleoftheSU stories were published on Instagram with a picture of each individual – simple but so effective!
The University of Dundee Boat Club ensured that despite the lack of action on the water, the club continued to grow and engage their membership through a range of different activities and campaigns. As well as training and competing in virtual competitions, the club organised guest speakers to chat with the club on a variety of different topics including mental health, nutrition and racing tactics! The club engaged in numerous different fundraisers, raising over £1000 for both Movember and local Dundee charity Feeling Strong. In addition, the boat club put on wellbeing sessions – including the ‘What’s Rowing on in your Head?’ campaign – to ensure their members had a safe space to chat through what was on their mind.
The rest of the Innovation Awards were given to clubs who got creative with their training sessions – heading online to keep students, staff and their local communities active. In the west, the UWS Sport and Team UWS department came together to create the “UWS Active Community”. This initiative utilised the Playwaze platform to deliver a programme of daily live and on-demand fitness classes, physical activity challenges, and an open forum to bring staff and students together at a challenging time.
The Glasgow University Muay Thai Club at their peak were offering 5-6 online sessions PER WEEK – yes, you read that correctly! These sessions chopped and changed between yoga classes, strength, conditioning and technique sessions. The sessions were popular with both students and members of the public – that the club was invited to host destress yoga and fitness sessions are part of the university-wide ‘Exam Destress’ Campaign.
The RGU GAA Club managed to provide a home away from home for their members, forming a link with Aberdeen based Gaelic Football club Dalradia. Together, both clubs hosted joint zoom fitness sessions, participated in charity fundraisers together and shared training sessions and facilities when outdoor sport was permitted again.
The Stirling University Women’s Lacross Club claimed the final innovation award. The club created its own ‘Lacrosse Disney Channel Challenges’ online – splitting the club into teams to take part in different fitness and social competitions. The club supported the Universities Movember campaign raising over £2,100 and created their own ‘Christmas Walking Challenge’ – walking the equivalent distance of Stirling to Los Angeles totally over 2,500 kilometres!