After discussions with SSS, women’s student football clubs have voted to rename the SSS Women’s Football Cup to grow the profile of the game and celebrate recent achievements! Read more about the competition here.
With women’s football continuing to be one of the highest growth areas in sport across Scotland, SSS are at the forefront of ensuring that the progress being seen in the women’s game nationwide is equally extended into the student game. In order to support the growth and participation of women’s football in Universities & Colleges across Scotland, the SSS Football Development Group launched a campaign to rename the previously named SSS Women’s Cup.
After the contending titles were put to SSS’ member football clubs, the competition has now been rebranded as the #SheCanSheWill Cup.
The University of Edinburgh celebrating winning the Women’s Cup in 2019.
#SheCanSheWill is a campaign spearheaded by SSS in partnership with the Scottish Government and sportscotland. The campaign aims to empower and celebrate Scotland’s females in all sports and provide equal access to sporting opportunities for women and girls of all ages. It aims to encourage females to become active leaders, officials, coaches, and participants in their sport alongside SSS’ national partners and Scottish Governing Bodies.
Speaking to Scottish Student Sport, our current Scottish Student (SS) Football Chair, Patrick Barnett, praised the rebrand of the competition. He said:
“Even though football, generally, is one of the most popular sports in the SSS programme, growth and participation in the women’s game is a key area of work for the SS Football Development Group to focus on in the upcoming years.
“We want to ensure that all female students have the opportunity to take part in the sport and that they are actively encouraged to become involved in their institution’s football club. The rebranding of the women’s football cup as the #SheCanSheWill Cup is indicative of our goal in developing the women’s game and helping the sport develop throughout Scotland. By encouraging as many female students to get out onto the pitch as possible, I think we can achieve that.”
Commenting on the first rebranding of the competition Eilidh Paterson, SSS’ Equality & Culture lead, commented:
“I am delighted to hear that #SheCanSheWill has been selected as the new name for famous competition. The #SheCanSheWill campaign aims to inspire and encourage more of Scotland’s women and girls to get active and I am delighted to hear of the work of SS Football very much aligns with its wider goals. Best of luck to all of the teams taking part!”
Georgia Moran, Women’s Equality Lead and Women in Sport Working Group Chair at SSS, added:
“The work SSS and its volunteers are doing to increase gender equality in the Student Sport Sector is monumental and this is just another step in the right direction. I want women and young girls from all over to identify with the #SheCanSheWill campaign and believe that they have what it takes to get involved in sport and physical activity at any capacity.”
The #SheCanSheWill Cup will take place throughout the student academic year, culminating in the final which will take place at the Oriam, Scotland’s National Sports Performance Centre.
The SS Football Development Group are currently recruiting a Vice-Chair (Womens Football). The deadline is Friday 17th September at 12 pm – find out more about the role HERE.
Glasgow University Men’s Football Club (GUMFC) are seeking applicants for a number of roles on their newly formed GUMFC WoSFL Committee.
In 2020, GUMFC successfully applied to the West of Scotland Football League, currently competing in Conference A, and as such, are looking to form a committee that would support the already formed student club committee with the operational requirements of running a WoSFL team. The club has also successfully obtained SFA Licencing to Entry Level for the past 7 years, competes in the Senior Scottish Cup and plays their home games at The Penny Cars (Excelsior) Stadium in Airdrie.
Whilst not set in stone and will involve a degree of flexibility, the roles will have remits of business development, football development and marketing and communications alongside general match day support, so experience in these area’s is preferred but not essential. The club already has a student committee in place that consists of roles including Captain, Treasurer, Secretary and Welfare amongst others and has the support of a Director of Football, Club President and staff support from University of Glasgow Sport.
These positions would be ideal for anyone who is wishing to further their experience, knowledge and understanding as part of a progressive and inclusive Football Club structure, that has access to UEFA approved facilities.
Availability to attend majority of monthly committee meetings and match days.
Prior experience of Football Club Committee’s
Business Development Experience, Football Development Experience, Marketing and Communications Experience
Match Day operations experience
Monthly meetings (either in person at Garscube Sports Complex or via Zoom)
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.
In collaboration with the Scottish Football Association, 22 young football and futsal players took their first steps onto the coaching ladder. Read our highlights here!
The Introduction to Coaching 1.1 Course kicked off in style last weekend, with 22 students taking their first steps to becoming qualified coaches. The course was delivered with our partners at the Scottish Football Association and was unique in the sense that it was the first-ever course tailored specifically for female students.
The course included 22 participants – representing 10 different universities across Scotland – from a mixture of student football and futsal clubs!
David Baird and Karen McConnell from the SFA led the session, with support from Niamh Russell. In addition, Debbie McCulloch (Head Coach at Spartans WFC) delivered a session focussing on leadership and confidence.
This additional session was an important part of the course prompted by the SSS Women in Sport group, which highlights the need for more opportunities available for females in sport in order to gain the extra confidence required to lead a team. The group acknowledged that along with the specific coaching skillset, the confidence to deliver is a crucial part of the jigsaw.
SSS was keen to take the opportunity to incorporate a ‘Changing Lives’ mindset into the training. The ‘Changing Lives’ mindset focuses on using sport and physical activity to intentionally bring about positive change for individuals and communities.
We caught up with some of the participants on the course to find out what they made of the course.
💬”I thoroughly enjoyed the course. Karen and David were excellent and their passion for the sport came through clearly. The entire day was really engaging and it was great to hear from Debbi McCulloch on her coaching journey!”
💬”I really enjoyed the community atmosphere amongst the group. The course was mainly discussion-based so interaction was key – it was great to hear everyone expressing their views and experiences so openly!”
💬”Growing up, I have mostly only had male football coaches, so I was greatly inspired by the enthusiasm and drive that many of the female students had to become the best coaches they could be.”
💬”The course was delivered in an extremely professional manner and was well planned throughout the entire day. As a young female player, I feel really inspired to begin taking active steps forward into the coaching world. I believe there is a huge future for young aspiring female coaches and I hope to be a part of that.”
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.
Last week, SSS kicked off their webinar series for the new season, starting with a highly insightful webinar delivered in partnership with Fidra focussing on the environmental impact of synthetic artificial pitches. Find out more and watch the webinar back here!
SSS kicked-off their BiteSSSize Best Practice webinar series with the first webinar focussing on the environmental impact of artificial pitches and microplastics, delivered in partnership with Fidra.
On Friday 11th September, over 30 people tuned in to hear from various environmental experts who explained some of the negatives effects artificial pitches can have on our planet. Joining Madeleine Berg from Fidra on the webinar was Jerry Ahlstrom from KIMO International and Bjorn Aas from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Over the past 20 years, the number of artificial pitches across Scotland and the UK have increased. These pitches provide all-weather options for the likes of predominantly football, rugby and lacrosse teams to train all year round. A key component in the design of pitches is the microplastics used to provide a grass-like surface – often known as rubber crumb. From the webinar, participants learned that over the course of a year a single pitch can lose up to 500kg of rubber crumb – ensuing large financial costs and detrimental damage to the environment with the crumb often leaving the pitch and being flushed away into our seas and oceans.
To raise awareness of this issue Fidra have launched their Pitch In project. This project looks to educate communities and offer suggestions on ways to combat the environmental impact. They provide solutions to minimising the loss of microplastics such as wind barriers, boot brushes and drainage filters. These can be low-cost options that will reduce the volume of microplastics leaving the pitch which in turn reduces the cost of replacing them.
The webinar also looked at some of the more sustainable alternatives to the fibres and microplastics used in existing pitch technology, including coconut husk and cork as a base, and olive pits as the alternative crumb. The alternatives were more cost-effective, cheaper to maintain over time and are still of the appropriate standard to meet FIFA playing regulations.
While many pitch users prefer to play on grass, having access to artificial pitches can keep communities more active all year round. The webinar taught participants of the potential different ways to operate these pitches in a more environmentally friendly way.
Huge thanks to Madeleine, Jerry and Bjorn for delivering and everyone who tuned in.
Missed the event but want to find out more? You can rewatch the webinar in full here. 🎥👇
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! 🎥👇