For the first time, the SSS Tribe descended on Perth College UHI for our annual Festive Gathering. We were delighted to welcome our members, colleagues and friends from across the length and breadth of the country to participate in a number of forums, workshops and discussions – giving everyone the opportunity to learn, collaborate and innovate the world of Scottish Student Sport going into the new year.
Stew the COO and SSS Chair, Pete Burgon kicked things off with a SSS update and overview of the accounts before we were treated to a practical session delivered by our friends at Scottish Disability Sport (SDS).
SSS has a strong partnership with SDS and this partnership has flourished with the number of events across our member institutions greatly increasing over the last few months – highlighting the appetite for disability sport in both Colleges and Universities in Scotland. Heather Lowden and Gavin Macleod, from SDS, were joined by wheelchair athlete Gemma Lumsdaine to deliver practical skills and theoretical insight into disability sport.
As well as learning more about the disability sport landscape, participants had the opportunity to test their practical skills; activities included visually impaired running, Wheelchair Basketball, Goalball and mastering the art of Boccia. For a number of participants this was the first exposure to disability sport and raising this awareness is an integral element of the partnership between SSS and SDS.
After a hearty lunch, we were treated to a panel discussion on Women in Sport and a keynote workshop on organisational sustainability. The panel was chaired by University of Stirling’s Cathy Gallagher who guided the conversation on a range of topics from participation in student sport to career opportunities and the role of the media in women’s sport.
Cathy was joined by Shelley Kerr, Head Coach of Scotland Womens National Football Team, Gemma Lumsdaine, Wheelchair Basketball coach and Wheelchair Rugby Player, and Laura McGhie, Sports Journalist at BBC Scotland.
With a wealth of experience on the panel we explored some of the barriers to participation but also the hurdles that women potentially face/faced in beginning their career in sport. With fantastic role models on the panel some of the topics discussed included how we celebrate achievements, encourage leadership and promote careers in sport for young women. One of the key actions to come from the discussion is to look for ways to better communicate and promote what we are achieving in the world of Women’s sport, and the importance of collaborative working to achieve this.
Following the panel discussion we were treated to a keynote workshop from Jen Curran. Jen works for Wren & Greyhound, a consultancy supporting the not-for-profit sector in working toward organisational sustainability. Jen delivered fascinating insight on a number of topics relevant to the SSS Tribe including income diversification, workload management and the importance of relationships.
To finish the day the Tribe had the opportunity to hear from Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal at UWS and recently elected Chair of BUCS. Craig’s background in sport makes him a great candidate to succeed Professor Sir Ian Diamond in leading BUCS forward and supporting the work of SSS.
Special thanks to the staff at Perth College UHI for playing great hosts and making us feel warmly welcomed. Thanks to our guest speakers, the Women in Sport Panel, SDS and all our members who attended, contributed and participated in what was a great day and a fitting way to end a hugely successful 2019. Here is to 2020…
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