Following the evolving Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, follow this page for how this will affect Scottish Student Sports events and competitions in the coming weeks. This page will be regularly updated with the latest news as and when we get it.
Following the evolving Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, follow this page for how this will affect Scottish Student Sports events and competitions in the coming weeks. This page will be regularly updated with the latest news as and when we get it.
Updated: 9th August 2021 at 09:00
COVID-19 09/08/21) – Update
A further update was provided by the First Minister on the 3rd of August 2021, confirming that all of Scotland will move “Beyond Level 0” on Monday 9th of August. Although restrictions are being eased it was also confirmed that the Scottish Government will retain the option of putting in place local measures and travel restrictions to manage any future virus outbreaks.
People who are symptomatic, including close contacts, should self-isolate for 10 days as per the NHS Scotland guidance. From the 9th of August, close contacts of 18 years of age or over who have been double vaccinated for more than 14 days or 5-17 year-olds, with no symptoms, will be able to take a PCR test and end self-isolation if the result is negative. No one who is self-isolating should attend a sports facility or activity.
For each sport, please find the up-to-date information HERE. SSS is working closely with our members, partners, Scottish Governing bodies, and sportscotland throughout this time to provide further guidance and information should things change.
For any COVID – 19 related queries please contact Chris Purdie, Head of Competitions.
In case you missed it! Read all about the highlights from the SSS Conference 2021! Including photos, videos, key themes and more…
Proudly sponsored by PRECOR, we were delighted to bring together over 80 attendees from 18 different institutions in Scotland for the return of the SSS Conference!
After last years SSS Conference was sadly cancelled due to COVID – there was increased appetite and anticipation heading into this years event – with many guests and attendees experiencing SSS Conference for the first time.
Having said that, the whole experience was a totally new phenomenon for everyone with it being the first Conference delivered virtually. Over an action-packed two days, we connected members, friends, institutions and partners across the country for a celebration of student sport.
Despite being held remotely, we were determined to ensure SSS Conference would be an ‘Always Active’ Conference. Due to the nature of working from home and staring at screens for long periods of time we recognised the need to ensure our attendees kept active and engaged in between and even during sessions. Standing desks were encouraged wherever possible, sessions were delivered via podcast with attendees encouraged to listen along whilst ‘on the move’, active challenges featured heavily (more on that later), and as always, traditional ‘SSS Standing Ovations’ were observed throughout to welcome and thank our guests.
Sustainability was another key emerging theme from the conference. Speakers, discussion and conversations often routed back to the importance of sustainability and the need to look after our planet in every way we can. In advance of the conference, we partnered with Trees For Life and purchased a grove in the Scottish Highlands. For every attendee/speaker/contributor that signed up to this year’s conference we planted a tree – that means there are 110 new trees in the Scottish Highlands thanks to you! We plan to continue planting trees for each milestone we reach, whether that be each time a new staff member joins our team, to welcome them aboard, or for Conference attendees in years to come.
To kick things off, our attendees were met with a welcome video – introducing a few members of the incoming sabbatical line-up and a few of our SSS staff – representing some brand new stash… 👀
After a brief introduction from Chief Operating Officer Stew Fowlie, Professor Damian Hughes got the ball rolling with a sensational opening keynote session. Damian is well known for his role co-hosting the High-Performance Podcast and he included insight and analysis from a number of guests he had interviewed. Damian spoke about creating a high-performance culture and the importance of having a set of “non-negotiable” behaviours to create a culture within a team. Throughout the session, there was plenty of opportunities to engage with Damian, with quizzes, interactive challenges and a Q&A segment at the end. It is safe to say Damian set the tone of inspiration and innovation to follow.
SSS Team photo with our keynote speaker Damian Hughes!
From one podcast to another – following Damian’s session, attendees were then encouraged to get outside and tune into our next session on the move – listening to Stew Fowlie and Gavin Rittoo host a special Conference addition of the #SSSPOD. The episode included an in-depth preview of the Conference and an exclusive interview with our brand-new team wear provider.
The afternoon session focused on active living, engaging students and developing active lifestyles. A highly informative and engaging panel was led by Kim Atkinson from Scottish Sports Association (SSA). Kim was joined by Andy Mytom and Ross Cunningham who brought professional expertise in the areas of design and communications respectively. As we begin the recovery from the pandemic it is imperative to be responsive to new demands from the student community about how they engage with, and enjoy, sport and physical activity.
Following the discussion, delegates were given the opportunity to give their input on the conversation and discuss key themes through the use of breakout rooms on zoom. Before Iona Grant & Hana Nasser from the Edinburgh University Women’s Hockey Club, took to the stage to share their story of what they did to look after their member’s mental health during the pandemic.
To close day 1, we were treated to a mouthwatering clash in the ring… Our own SSS Regional Development Coordinator, Neil Rankin, laced up his gloves for a 1v1 with Scotland’s first female Boxing World Champion – Hannah Rankin. Rather than throwing punches however, Neil was throwing questions to the professional sportswoman who shared some of the highs and lows of her journey in sport so far. The discussion ranged from the introductions to combat sports, the pressures of being a woman in sport to the challenges of balancing becoming World Champion and a classical music degree! Hannah challenged delegates to showcase more women’s sport and create role models within their clubs and institutions to inspire the next generation. A great way to round off day 1!
Hannah Rankin gives guest a glimpse of her World Champion Belt!
Happy Birthday to y̶o̶u̶ Scottish Student Sport! 🎉🎉🎉
The #TimeforTen challenge got people across the country moving to the theme of 10. Whether it was walking, running, cycling, skipping, circuit training or in some cases, even swimming – it was fantastic to see so many people join in with the challenge across our social channels!
Members and friends of the network take part in the #TimeForTen Active Challenge.
Everyone who participated in the challenge was encouraged to listen along to our second special episode of the #SSSPOD. On this episode Stew and Gav were joined by members of the SSS community past and present for a trip down memory lane, celebrating our best bits!
After a quick shower and change, we were back on Zoom to digest a trilogy of Best Practice. Sarah Gandon kicked things off with some key updates on Healthy Body Healthy Mind which has seen the following achievements over the past year:
✅ University of the Highlands and Islands – Training Towards
🥉 Fife College and University of Glasgow – Bronze Award
Presentations of best practice were made by Kirsten Mullen (Fife College) and Shereif McGregor-Kholeif (University of Glasgow) demonstrating the ambition of each institution to engage with the project. Professor Moira Lafferty followed this with some key updates on the CHANGES project and how this can be delivered virtually to clubs ahead of returning to sport in September. The final part of the session was an inspirational presentation delivered by Sam Winton, founder of Here for Sport – a social enterprise focussed on creating more inclusive communities through sport.
After lunch, delegates were treated to a fantastic panel led by Pam Dewar from sportscotland in conversation with Mel Young and Dougie Samuel. This explored the trio’s involvement in the sport for social change movement, with Mel being the co-founder of the Homeless World Cup and Dougie the current CEO at Spartans Community Football Academy. Collaboration was a key theme in this discussion and with hundreds of sports clubs as part of the SSS community, there is great potential and opportunity to link with community clubs and deliver a bigger social impact. Breakout sessions were then led by participants from sportscotland’s Changing Lives programme, exploring themes of inclusion and purpose!
To finish, no SSS Conference is the same without an inspirational closing keynote, and this year delegates were treated to a Q&A from Craig Burn. Craig has enjoyed a diverse career in sport that has landed him in the role of Director of Strategy, Policy and Impacts for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, which takes place in Scotland. Craig gave us an insight into the challenges and opportunities he’s faced throughout his career and left us excited about future volunteering opportunities with the world championships. In conversation with Stew Fowlie, Craig spoke openly about the need to design sustainability into the delivery of the Championships and how they are working to reduce the carbon footprint of such a huge sporting event.
A huge thanks to all our guests, attendees, speakers and contributors for their inspirational and motivational input throughout! The event was a welcome reminder as to how much hard work goes on behind the scenes, up and down the country to ensure that the overall student experience is enhanced through sport and physical activity.
Shout-out to all our SGB partners that attended the event and to Dave Swiss and the team at Precor for their unrivalled support – sponsoring EVERY Conference since 2006!
Finally, well done to all out outgoing sabbatical officers that are leaving this year – you have all done a tremendous job in an unprecedented year. Best of luck for your future endeavours and we hope to keep as many of you in the sporting bubble as possible.
To kick off our 10 year-anniversary celebrations we are inviting everyone to join in with our #TimeForTen active challenge! Find out more about the challenge and how you can get involved.
This year at SSS we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary! To mark the special occasion, we are inviting everyone to join in with our #TimeForTen active challenge!
As part of this year’s SSS Conference | Always Active we are encouraging all our members, partners, students, staff, alumni and friends of the network to get involved with our challenge.
Here is how to get involved:
On Thursday 10th June – we invite you to get active and move your body to the theme of 10.
What you do is entirely up to you, so whether you’re completing 10,000 steps, cycling 10 miles, bashing out 10 press-ups or wheeling for 10 minutes – it all counts!
To keep you company we will be releasing a special #SSSPOD episode celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary. Available from the 10th June, our bonus episode will take a special look back at our highlights from across the student sport network over the last 10 years and beyond.
Hear from former students, staff, Scottish Governing Bodies, partners and sports professionals as we take a trip down memory lane.
Join us online to mark the occasion by sharing a photo of your activity with us on social media using the hashtag #TimeForTen. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Whether you are a current student, staff member, alumni, member, partner or friend of the network we are encouraging everyone and anyone to get active and take #TimeForTen.
We are now accepting nominations for the 2020/21 SSS Awards! This year we have revamped our awards line-up with six brand new awards up for grabs! Find out more here.
We are delighted to announce that the SSS 2020/21 Awards are officially open!
This year we are doing things a little bit differently. As opposed to our usual individual and club awards, this year our awards will be based on the SSS values! Given the unusual and challenging year that everyone has faced, we wanted to recognise the incredible work and many success stories across our sector and celebrate the amazing people involved in student sport in Scotland.
The awards will therefore be based on the SSS values and we are looking for nominations for the following categories: Ambitious, Collaborative, Inclusive, Innovative, Responsive, Sustainable, Honorary President’s Medal. An additional eight award, the Dr Rob Macpherson SSS Volunteer of the year award, will be selected by the SSS staff.
We are accepting nominations in the following categories:
Ambitious – Who is this aimed at? Unsung heroes – juggling multiple projects/things at once.
Collaborative – Who is this aimed at? Best online learning resource/best practice sharing, coaching and officiating, Zoom webinars.
Inclusive – Who is it aimed at? An inclusion champion – someone who has made their sport more accessible and available to all.
Innovative – Who is it aimed at? Those who have been exceptionally innovative and creative – i.e using Zoom workouts, creating new podcasts, performance athlete finding new ways to train.
Responsive – Who is it aimed at? Examples of best practice in adapting to COVID, new ways of working and flexibility.
Sustainable – Who is it aimed at? Sustainability champions – people/groups that have incorporated sustainability into their clubs/work.
The above awards can be won by individuals or groups, so please feel free to submit nominations for both outstanding individuals and student sports clubs!
Honorary Presidents Medal – This award is for any individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to/lasting impact on student sport at a local, regional or national level. Nominees should be regarded as wonderful examples/ advocates of student sport and their behaviour should resonate with the above SSS values.
The final award is the Dr Rob Macpherson Award. This award differs slightly from the rest of our awards – there are no nominations, instead, the winner is selected by the SSS staff team as opposed to the Executive Committee. The award is aimed at any individual who has made an outstanding contribution to volunteering with Scottish Student Sport.
We are looking to recruit a new Scottish Student Climbing Chair to drive the development of student climbing in Scotland.
Role title: Scottish Student Climbing Chair
Responsible to: Head of Competitions
Where (location): Various within Scotland
Time commitment: Variable, 10-15 hours per month, with up to 2-3 weekend tournaments
Role duration: Minimum one year – until 30th June 2022
Scottish Student Sport (SSS), the organisation for student sport in Scotland, is seeking an energetic and committed individual to act as the lead volunteer within Scottish Student Climbing.
The Chair will enjoy an excellent opportunity to contribute towards growing the sport within universities and colleges, and building on the relationship with ClimbScotland.
The selected individual will be a key figure in the drive towards improving and strengthening student climbing in Scotland.
The Chair will work with SSS staff to coordinate event delivery, manage a budget, participate in strategic planning, communicate with student participants, support event volunteers and improve both SGB engagement & club development.
Oversee the programme
Coordinate a meeting for all student climbing club captains at the start and end of the year to plan/review the season
Promote student climbing competitions and opportunities to clubs
Oversee climbing programme budget, managed by Head of Competitions
Develop the Sport
Work with SSS and ClimbScotland to establish a Development Plan for SS Climbing, and make realistic plans to achieve those goals
Develop Student Climbing calendar, in conjunction with Competitions Coordinator and ClimbScotland
Deliver Scottish Student Climbing events, liaising with Competitions Coordinator
Required Skills, Qualities & Experience
Proactive, can do attitude
Experience in event management
Experience of student climbing in Scotland
Knowledge of climbing landscape in Scotland
Ability to effectively communicate with a range of stakeholders
Training & Support Available
Annual Chair Development Day hosted by SSS
Any relevant CPD courses/experience as identified by Chair and Head of Competitions
Named staff member within SSS
The Chair will be appointed on a voluntary basis for a minimum term of one year. Individuals may re-stand for the position of Chair. All reasonable expenses incurred undertaking the role will be reimbursed in line with SSS policy.
Application is by cover letter and CV and should be sent to Jess Barrows, Competitions Coordinator, no later than deadline 25th July 2021 – EXTENDED
This role description can be downloaded in PDF format HERE
Inspiration, innovation and collaboration at every corner. These were some of the key themes that emerged from the SSS 2020 Festive Gathering. Over 70 members tuned into the virtual gathering and were treated to thought-provoking discussion, high-quality guest speakers and plenty of Festive Fun! Read all about it here!
In a change to tradition and a fitting tribute to 2020, the SSS Festive Gathering was delivered virtually this year with over 70 members across the tribe tuning in to hear from a panel of world-class athletes and leaders in sport.
Whilst the virtual gathering was a first of its kind, the longstanding tradition of participants wearing festive jumpers remained true – with some fantastic outfits on show throughout the afternoon. None more so than panelist Robyn Love (pictured below) in what is undoubtedly a candidate for the most festive photo of the year.
After an energising welcome from SSS Chair Pete Burgon, a brief review of the year gone by and finances approved – our attendees were met by two equally inspiring and thought-provoking discussions from our special guests.
First up, the Road to Tokyo panel, where SSS Head of Competitions Chris Purdie, was joined by three athletes whose experiences through student sport had helped shape their career path and their journey to next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Neah Evans (Cycling), Megan Gaffney (Rugby) and Robyn Love (Wheelchair Basketball) discussed how their positive student sport experiences helped them reach where they are today. From balancing the workload of their studies with the pressure of performing in their sport and also trying to keep up a social life in the process, the panelists spoke honestly and fondly of their student days.
All three touched upon the huge sacrifices required to make it at the top level and acknowledged the vital support they received from their institutions and staff during their time at University. This support has been vital to them and many other young athletes looking to achieve their potential while also studying and preparing for their future.
The panel discussed the importance of resilience and “bounce-back ability” that the challenges of Coronavirus and lockdown caused before previewing what promises to be a jam-packed and exciting year of sport in 2021.
All three have very real and promising hopes of competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games and everyone at SSS wishes Megan, Robyn and Neah every success for 2021 and beyond.
Following this inspirational panel, the next section was packed full of ambition, innovation and collaboration at every corner: An Audience with Jan Paterson.
Jan is currently Managing Director Sport for Neom, delivering a bold new vision of future living. Neom is being designed as a global city for global citizens and Jan’s role is to engrain sport and physical activity in the lives of residents. In the future city, citizens will never be more than 8 minutes from a sports facility and physical activity will be an integral part of the curriculum.
Jan herself is a pioneer and her experiences in leadership roles were a great learning opportunity for our audience. She spoke of the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people, and the significance of bottom-up team building. We also heard some great stories of her times at the World University Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.
To round off the day and in true 2020 style, the SSS Tribe were treated to a Zoom Quiz of the Year courtesy of Pete Burgon. This gave everyone a chance to show off their best Christmas jumpers, share some “funny” Christmas jokes and engage in some much needed festive cheer.
We would like to wish everyone a restful festive break and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021.
Check out the highlights from our first-ever virtual Chair Development Day and meet your new and returning SSS Sports Chairs!
Last Sunday (6th September 2020) Scottish Student Sport hosted the first-ever virtual Chair Development Day! A total of 35 volunteers across 28 of our sports engaged in a zoom-based training day designed to equip them with all the necessary tools to tackle the upcoming 2020/21 season.
Throughout the day, the eager volunteers were treated to a series of different workshops delivered by the SSS staff touching upon a little bit of everything and anything. Including; introductions to the staff team, planning the return to play for student sport, how to encourage growth and participation levels within their sport, student mental health, all things social media and communications, and engaging discussion surrounding where student sport fits in the wider student landscape.
In another first, the workshop was opened up to include not only sports chairs themselves but also other members of each sports development committees. This enabled vice-chairs and other officers to learn, engage and contribute to the conversation around planning for the next 12 months and beyond!
Despite not being able to meet in person, in true SSS fashion, everyone on the call grasped the opportunity to get to know each other, collaborate with one another and share best practice. We can’t wait to see some of your fantastic ideas in action. We hope all our volunteers found the day beneficial and are feel better prepared to grasp their unique opportunity and tackle season 2020/21!
Meet your sports chairs and find out what they made of the day! 🎥👇
The SSS AGM took place virtually on Thursday 11th June 2020. Did you miss it? Catch up on everything you need to know here!
The 2020 SSS AGM took place on Thursday 11th June via Zoom webinar in what was the first (but perhaps not the last…?) of its kind for the SSS Tribe. Over 50 members from 16 institutions were able to tune in and whilst something was lost in the two-way face-to-face interaction, we also gained in some respects and the Chair is to be congratulated for bringing it all to a close within 62 minutes. Please click here for the official AGM minutes.
The meeting allowed for a bittersweet look back at the unusual year, which until mid-March had been going like a train, with a bumper year in terms of club activity at an institutional level, and event entries nationally. This appetite will surely stand us all in good stead as the subsequent lockdown begins to lift.
The AGM endorsed a sober but pragmatic approach to the 20-21 Academic Year in terms of SSS’ planned activities and finances, and approved a one-year plan that can get the organisation safely to next summer whilst still being well placed to deliver across every part of the business.
Some notable features of the revised plan include:
Carrying as little risk as possible, with modest aims around event entries
Shelving of all non-essential costs
Budgeting for a significant deficit on the year, equal to the current level of our non-fixed reserves
Offering up to a 25% discount on membership fees for those who need it
This will mean less room for manoeuvre and the cessation of some aspects, including our Special Projects Fund, but gives us a solid footing for what is a most unpredictable year. It also allows for the full staff team to remain in place throughout, so as to be best placed to provide a strong service to the members.
With the finances dealt with the AGM was then able to confirm the line-up of volunteer officers and appointments that will help to shape SSS’ work over the next twelve months. Across all of our committees we are blessed to have the most capable and enthused individuals in place and each of them comes into office with the thanks and optimistic expectations of the wider membership. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the new SSS Executive, Development, and Competitions Committees for season 2020/21.
The departing volunteers – and particularly the sabbatical students leaving office – exit with a huge vote of thanks from all at SSS. We all appreciate that the year has ended in strange circumstances for you all, but we know that you have all the traits and tools you need to make a really positive transition, and we hope you’ll retain a long and positive engagement with the Tribe.
The CHANGES: Train the Trainer programme is designed to up-skill staff in the network to deliver awareness workshops to clubs in an attempt to tackle the challenge of initiation and hazing activity within student sport. Read more about the partnership, and the work done so far.
As of August 2019, the SSS and CHANGES partnership, led by Professor Moira Lafferty (University of Chester) and her colleague Dr. Caroline Wakefield (Liverpool Hope University), continue to work towards a joint aim of making student sport safe and inclusive for all. Together we are continuing to work towards the commitments set out in the partnership agreement alongside the CHANGES trainers, Development Committee, and Equality Steering Group.
So far the partnership has hosted two Train the Trainer programmes which has led to the upskilling of 17 student sports staff across five regions of Scotland. In February this year, SSS invited the trainers to a CHANGES networking and planning workshop to discuss the journey so far and future steps. Amongst other things, the trainers made it clear a third train the trainer programme was required to reach the target of training all student sports clubs in Scotland.
Train the Trainer Course
The third Train the Trainer will take place on Friday 23rd October in Edinburgh. The deadline for signing up is Monday 19th October at 12:00. Professor Lafferty’s research highlights the advantages of having external staff deliver the CHANGES workshops to student clubs. The overall aim is to be in a position where we have developed a large enough workforce so that institutions are able to support one another to train up all our 614 clubs in the network.
Please note that we are mindful of the challenges Covid-19 may bring with delivering this course. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep up to date with public health guidelines so that we can take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of those involved.
Michael Webster from the University of Edinburgh, participated in the training last year and from that, co-delivered a workshop to over thirty sports club members.
He said: “The Train the Trainer course was engaging, informative and eye-opening. The effects of hazing and negative group events can be catastrophic, so to have the ability to deliver workshops with the aim of positively influencing the culture of student sports clubs, feels incredibly impactful, and fulfilling on a personal level.”
“The tools and techniques from the course have allowed me to frame conversations around looking to the future, creating new traditions, and utilising team-building techniques to create inclusive, positive, and safe welcome activities.”
The current list of available trainers can found below and will be updated after the October Training.