Wednesday 26th May 2021

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.

The Awards 

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.

Check out our 2019/20 award winners here! 🏆

The Details

  • Nominations for each category should be a maximum of 500 words.
  • Institutions can nominate as many groups or individuals in any category as they like.
  • Only member institutions can nominate. All member institutions have been sent login details to the online portal where nominations should be submitted.
  • Nominations close on MONDAY 7th JUNE at 18:00 and winners will be announced in July as part of the SSS Month of Celebration.
  • Please contact Totty with any queries.
BACK TO LIST

Monday 29th March 2021

CASE STUDY | How Scottish Student Cycling kept students active, motivated and engaged during the cold, dark winter!

Spring has sprung – gone are the cold,dark winter nights. Replaced with longer, brighter and more hopeful days ahead.

The changing season is very much welcomed, with the easing of restrictions of the next couple of months proving a glistening light at the end of the tunnel. Whilst the winter months were a challenging time for all, there was plenty of golden nuggets of refreshing innovation within the student sporting world to look back on. This extract focuses on our Scottish Student Cycling community and how they spun a negative situation into a positive one.

With in-person, cycling events cancelled for the foreseeable future, the Scottish Student Cycling community led by SS Cycling Chair Aaron Johnson pulled together taking it in turns to host virtual rides, jumping from institution to institution to provide a virtual competitive offering and giving students the opportunity to keep active and motivated throughout the winter.

Scottish Student Cycling Chair, Aaron Johnson writes

Between November and March, 10 different university cycling clubs across Scotland, took on the responsibility of hosting weekly virtual cycling rides (meet-ups), with the support of SS Cycling. Meet-ups took place on the virtual cycling platform, ‘Zwift’. Each week, a different club would delegate a member who would be responsible for creating the meet-up, organising the route and sending invites to fellow students.

A total of 38 participants took part across the various meeting – engaging both current students and alumni members. The highest turnout saw 18 participants tackle one of the hilliest routes on Zwift and was hosted by RGU student, Jamie Chree.

Students were able to use these meet-ups as an opportunity to socialise and engage with clubs, something that has not been possible in-person this year, due to the Covid pandemic. A lot of students also used this an opportunity to fit in a workout, whilst still being able to ride with a group.

The overwhelming response from students and competitors was very postive. Speaking to SSS, Louise Smith (University of Stirling) said:

“I really enjoyed the whole experience! It was good to have a weekly session, knowing I was going to be on Zwift on a Tuesday evening. It was great to be able to chat with students from other universities too. It also helped to fill the hole, that the lack of group rides has left in my life.”

Aaron Blackwood (University of Aberdeen), enjoyed the social aspect of the meet-ups and believes the format has long term potential. He said:

“The SSS Zwift meet-ups gave me a great opportunity to get to know fellow cyclists from across Scotland, at a time where meeting up in person was not possible. The laid-back format with different universities hosting every week really helped to personalise the meet-ups rather than just having a single host picking the routes every time. Even after the pandemic is over I could still see the benefits of running similar events!”

Honourable mentions go to Aaron Blackwood (University of Aberdeen), for never missing a meet-up and even hosting one himself.

Well done to all the students and institutions who took part in meet-ups! Going forward the Scottish Student Cycling team are hoping to build on the momentum gained from the winter events and provide an even better event offering for the 2021/22 season and beyond!

 

BACK TO LIST

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

Our Equality Steering group have recruited four new volunteers onto the group. Meet our Women’s, Ethnicity, LGBTQ+ and Disability Leads here!

The Equality Steering Group was established to advise and prompt the staff, committees and networks of SSS on all relevant aspects of equality and inclusion, with particular emphasis on ensuring adherence to a rolling Equality Action Plan for the organisation. Meet our four new volunteer leads!

Emmanuel Akerele, Ethnicity Lead

Meet Your LeadMy name is Emmanuel, I studied Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (MSc) and currently serving as the President for Education and Welfare at Robert Gordon University Student’s Union. I love and play football and I am very passionate about equality, diversity and representation within sports and wider society.

What attracted you to the role? I know that still racism exists, having experienced it myself and hearing of others’ experiences. It is imperative that everyone be anti-racist, actively against racism until it is completely eradicated. During my studies, I co-founded RGU’s Black Liberation Network which is a network of students coming together to take a stand against racism. I have also led several activist campaigns in the past such as Black History Month and hope to add more value to the subject through SSS.

Fun fact about yourself? I love football and I love scoring goals. I am a big boxing fan and my favourite sportspersons are Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Joshua.

 

Carolina O’Neill de Sousa e Sá, LGBTQ+ Lead

Meet Your Lead: I’m a Portuguese/American who grew up in Lisbon and has been living in Scotland since 2013. I’ve been an avid sportsperson for most of my life; taking every opportunity to get involved in sports teams, competitions, and outdoor activities. I studied at the University of Edinburgh – an undergraduate in Sports Science and a Masters in Sport Policy and International Development.

Like most people, it was during my time at uni that I really came into my shell. One thing which definitely helped me was joining the Women’s Football Club. It was a place where I felt understood and like I could be entirely myself. It was during my Masters that I developed my passion for promoting equality and diversity through sport, particularly LGBTIQ inclusion. I now work as a Project Officer for LEAP Sports (Scotland’s LGBTIQ sports charity) and Football v Homophobia Scotland.

What attracted you to the role? Student sport is a dynamic, fast-paced industry so I have always considered SSS to be an exciting organisation to be involved in. As for the role, this is a completely new role within SSS so it feels like a clean slate and something I can get creative with. LGBTIQ inclusion in sport is what I’m passionate about, and I’m really looking forward to working with students and sports clubs all over Scotland to make student sport a more welcoming space for all LGBTIQ people.

Fun fact about yourself? Not a fun fact, but my claim to fame is that I went to school – in Portugal – with Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier. He was in the year above me, and I used to play football with him during our lunch breaks.

 

Laura Pilkington, Disability Lead

Meet Your Lead: My name is Laura Pilkington and I was born with a disability called Brittle Bones disease. I am a second-year student at Robert Gordon University and I study sports and exercise science.  I am a competitive para-swimmer and have been involved in swimming for the last 10 years. I am part of the Scottish Para-Swimming team and have Scottish para-swimming records in my classification. I am currently part of both Scottish Disability Sport and sportscotland’s Young People’s Sport Panel. I am also a swimming teacher covering shifts when I have some free time!

What attracted you to the role? I am passionate about inclusion within sport and know how much being involved within sport can have such a positive impact on your life; mentally, socially, and physically. However, I know that there are barriers that prevent those with disabilities taking part. I think raising awareness of these barriers within SSS is really important as well as finding out how best we can promote inclusion within disability sport. Sport is such a big part of student life and having a disability shouldn’t stop you from participating in this! I am really excited to work with the team and SDS to increase participation.

Fun fact about yourself? I can lick my elbow!

 

Georgia Moran, Women’s Lead

Meet Your Lead: Hello, I’m Georgia, SSS’ Women’s Lead. I studied Popular Music at Edinburgh Napier University, where I got quickly involved in the Students Association for four years before being elected as VP Sports & Societies for two years after I graduated. I am now the East Regional Development Officer at The RYA Scotland.

Being VP Sports & Socs lead me to so many amazing volunteering opportunities within SSS such as Elected Students Forum Chair, Competitions, Equality and Executive Committee Member and Chair/Founder of the Women in Sport Working Group. I have a passion for Equality and Inclusion in sport and I can’t wait to continue making a positive impact on the Student Sport Sector with SSS and the rest of the Equality Steering Group.

What attracted you to the role? I am excited about this role as it will provide more positive impacts to happen within the SSS membership. I have chaired the Women in Sport Group from 2019, now and I am so excited to keep pushing forward with the rest of the team. I have loved volunteering with SSS the past couple of years and I believe this group will have some amazing outcomes.

Fun fact about yourself? When my mum and I were visiting Nashville, Tennesse we were invited on stage to sing a couple of country songs in one of the most famous bars.

BACK TO LIST

Wednesday 9th December 2020

“Being part of a sports club is more than just participating.” That is the message from the SSS and now BUCS Club of the Year – the Edinburgh University Haries. In the latest BiteSSSize Best Practice webinar, they share their success story alongside Scottish Athletics’ National Club Manager Francis Smith to discuss what a successful club looks like and what support is available.

The University of Edinburgh Haries has had a very successful year. In the Summer they picked up the SSS Club of the Year award, before adding the BUCS Club of the Year title to their ever-growing trophy cabinet in December.

It was clear to see why in the latest BiteSSSize Best Practice Webinar in which the Haries shared their success story on what makes a successful club.  Matt Daley (Men’s Captain) and Ella Revitt (Female Captain) talked us through their approach to training, engagement, socials and performance. Student membership has increased this year and over 150 first years were engaged through introductory 5km runs during welcome week. This has been followed up by making training sessions more sociable while still adhering to guidelines set out by Scottish Athletics.

Sustainability is engrained in the club through a policy of Student Coaches. These older students support the development of younger participants and help the transition of club values. Ella and Matt also gave great advice on how their club has engaged students during the past few challenging months and what they hope to achieve going into 2021.

Scottish Athletics’ National Club Manager Francis Smith gave oversight on how a governing body works with student clubs and the type of support available. Scottish Athletics has a development framework and a number of projects available to student clubs. He also highlighted the network of support through better relationships between student and community clubs.

The discussions celebrated the important role that student sports clubs have played this year. With the underlying message that being part of a club is much more than just taking part in sport. The community spirit generated within clubs can support students with their physical and mental health, by providing vital social interaction.

🎥Watch the full webinar here🎥

BACK TO LIST

Thursday 26th November 2020

In what has been a difficult year for everyone, we are focussing on the good work that has been done across the country amongst these uncertain, challenging times. We asked our members to share some of their “COVID Highlights” and moments they have been proud of this year. Here is what they came up with 💙

Online classes, revamped facilities, virtual welcome fayres, free gym memberships, mental health and wellbeing resources, virtual socials and hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fundraising – it is safe to say that not even a global pandemic could stop our members, partners and sports clubs from making a difference. Here are a few “COVID Highlights”  from our student sport community.

University of Strathclyde | Community Spirit & Fundraising 

Strathclyde Sports Union has not allowed the current pandemic to affect our community spirit and fundraising efforts. This semester we have witnessed sport member’s most creative thinking and determination to continue to play sport. After restrictions stopped them from training, our rowing club swapped their boats for bikes and completed a ‘Time-lapse Challenge’ in aid of Scottish Association for Mental Health charity. This consisted of a 25-hour cycling endurance event in teams of four, with an extra power hour being added due to the clocks changing. The challenge was completed online via Strava, so it was the perfect event to do as a club while adhering to covid regulations.

The club completed laps within Glasgow Green working in various shift patterns throughout the night. The club’s community spirit ensured that participating members were supported throughout – people chipped in to act as mechanics (attending to seven different punctures throughout the event) and chefs, baking plenty of sausage rolls to keep everyone fuelled. On completion of the event, the club raised an impressive £1195 with the teams cycling over 300 kilometres throughout the 25 hours.

Whilst indoor sports club training was halted, our Netball club showed incredible innovation and looked for an outdoor fitness solution. The club took their nets and set up at Strathclyde’s outdoor sports facilities, Stepps Playing Fields, utilising an old blaze pitch (pictured above). They set up their posts and lines, on a largely derelict space, to allow members old and new to step foot on a court. These training sessions saw even the most senior club members make their first-ever trip to the University facility, brave the cold and get to enjoy throwing a ball around again.

As part of the StrathActive programme, the club is currently running online zoom fitness sessions, allowing those that are bound by travel restrictions an opportunity to participate. The club runs two sessions at Stepps per week, ditching their shorts and t-shirts for baselayers and joggers. The sessions may look a little different but the club have really demonstrated resilience and a determination to play. #PlayTheModifiedGame

University of Glasgow | Wellbeing Resource & Makeshift Facilities

As lockdown began in March and our facilities as we know them closed UofG Sport immediately jumped to action to create a wellbeing offering for all of our students, staff and community. In a matter of days, we created a webpage and filled it with a range of content for everyone to access for free. Initially, we started filming classes with our amazing active lifestyle team and uploaded them for people to continue exercising no matter where they were based. The page went from strength to strength and now includes a whole range of information resources including nutritional advice, bodyweight circuits, home-workouts and couch to 3K training plans, meditation tips and links to support resources.

✔️Since March our wellbeing resource recorded over 10,000 clicks.

Another highlight at GUSA has been the new intramural programme to invite students to get involved in sport for free without restrictions of memberships. This has massively improved the student experience at a time when most other social activities have been restricted. To support these activities we have adapted our facilities where ever we can – turning our outdoor rugby pitches into volleyball courts and using an outdoor marquee to host the boat club.

✔️In the last month, over 550 students attended our brand new drop-in Badminton and Table Tennis sessions to replace cancelled sports.

 

 

RGU | Digital Content & Free Gym Memberships

To support our community to remain active and take time to look after their physical and mental wellbeing during lockdown, RGU SPORT created Stay Safe Stay Home Stay Well. An initiative that saw us work with departments across the university to give the RGU community free access to the breadth of our services. Over the course of 23 weeks, we offered daily digital content ranging from live classes and stretching sessions to mindfulness visualisations, showing our commitment to keeping our community well during the challenging times being faced.

On campus we continued to place our student wellbeing at the top of our priorities. We believe the benefits of physical activity and using the facilities at RGU SPORT extend through all aspects of University life, whether that’s improving physical and mental wellbeing, meeting new people, increasing motivation or potentially enhancing academic performance.

Due to the challenging time students are facing, we believed the opportunity of free membership for the remainder of semester one for all students, regardless of individual physical activity background, would be a great way for students to get active at RGU and maintain an active lifestyle in order to support a healthy body and mind, without having to worry about the cost.

This opportunity has been made available to all students, whether or not they have used, or even visited the gym before. RGU SPORT is a safe space for students with a team who are always on hand to support students in their physical activity journey.

University of Dundee | Active Living Programme & MND Fundraising 

In response to COVID-19, the ISE Active Living Programme delivery immediately moved online in March, with nine classes delivered weekly, supported by online member resources and guidance. Regular member circulars with updates, guidance and reassurance ensured that online class attendance was very positive, with over 40 participants for some classes.  The feedback from programme members, who are in the highest risk COVID category, has been overwhelmingly positive:

“The classes have been the best thing about lockdown. Apart from maintaining some degree of fitness, the classes have added some much-needed structure to our days.”

The success of the programme delivery resulted in its manager, Hazel Ednie, being shortlisted for the Evening Telegraph’s Dundee Champion Awards 2020

On the sports clubs front, over the summer, the Dundee University Men’s Rugby Club worked together with club alumni to complete 1,000000 reps of different exercises in support of Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).

After 30 days of hard effort, the club successfully completed 1,027,746 reps and smashed their fundraising target of £2k, with a total of £3894 raised. The individual efforts of one member – who completed 6012 reps on the final day – highlighted the individual and collective efforts of the club and its commendable focus on those in greatest need.

University of Aberdeen | Performance Swimming  & Space Management Volunteers

After three months of lockdown, the possibility of elite swimming returning emerged in June 2020.  Working in collaboration with Scottish Swimming, colleagues from the University and Aberdeen Sports Village seized the opportunity to host one of three regional ‘Performance’ locations (Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Stirling).  Plans were initiated to mobilise quickly, with colleagues returned from furlough, documentation produced, COVID training undertaken, and building compliance ensured.

By 20 July all the necessary checks were complete and ASV was able to facilitate the successful return of elite swimming and diving to ASV’s world-class aquatic facilities.  This ensured that performance sport was able to resume six weeks before other aquatic activity in ASV.

Although initially open to only a handful of elite athletes, the high-performance programme helped enable the wider return to sport.  Alongside ASV and University staff, club volunteers, Scottish Swimming officials, and the swimmers tested our health-related and building-specific processes and procedures, with all seen to be robust. This bred confidence ahead of the return of both public and club swimming which took place in September. This highly collaborative exercise was undertaken with exceptional dedication and attention from all partners.

The pandemic related contribution of the sports staff at Scottish universities hasn’t just been about facilitating the resumption of student sport and maintaining facilities.  In Aberdeen, the specialist Sport & Exercise Team mucked in to help their Estates colleagues complete a vital institutional assessment of teaching spaces.

With Aberdeen Sports Village closed and most of its staff furloughed, the University’s small team of specialist sports staff were also furloughed through May & June.  However, when an opportunity came up that required adaptable, resourceful, and physically active staff to volunteer to support the wider University effort to reopen the campus … the sport and exercise team jumped at the chance to come off furlough two weeks early.

Armed with hand-sanitiser, masks, tape-measures, common-sense, and a giant bunch of keys, the team set out on the exercise.  They visited, measured and analysed every seminar and lecture room on the University’s Old Aberdeen campus.  Each room was assessed for various social distancing scenarios; furniture was counted, logged and moved to lay the rooms out in the optimal format; and a data sheet for every room was compiled.  Ten days and 100 rooms later an exercise vital to the timetabling of face-to-face classes in the autumn was complete.

University of Edinburgh | Wellbeing Offering 

Given the unique challenges of this year, student wellbeing has been at the forefront of all of our activity so far. Sophie Weeden, our Wellbeing Officer, has worked on creating a dedicated wellbeing pack for all club welfare officers. A huge amount of planning went into various EUSU campaigns across Mental Health and Wellbeing Week(s) across November. Our #LetsTalk video highlighting men’s mental health had over 28,000 views across all platforms; we are running Mind Athletics and Growth mindset workshops; and have created a brand new social media campaign.

Alongside this, many of our sports clubs have supported Movember and a number of other mental health-related campaigns during this time, highlighting the importance of student wellbeing across our membership. Staying with sports clubs, during lockdown a number of our sports clubs took the opportunity to fundraise for different charities, including;

  • The Boat Club raised £2500 for Alzheimer’s Society by rowing for 24 hours straight on an erg – breaking the Lightweight Tandem world record in the process!
  • Ladies Rugby raised over £2000 for SAMH, My Name’5 Doddie, and Coppafeel – by virtually cycling/running/swimming from BT Murrayfield to each of the 6 Nation Stadiums – a total of 1,900 miles in just 7 days!
  • Our cricket club raised over £3000 for Age Scotland – running/cycling/swimming the length of their planned summer tour – from Edinburgh to Barbados, in total a whopping 7,800 kilometres in 12 days!

Heriot-Watt University | The Watt Welcome Fair

The Watt Welcome Fair was a celebration of all that is good about a University environment. A Sports Fair is not new as a concept but in the midst of a pandemic, Heriot-Watt held its largest-ever fair (based on the number of stakeholders) at Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, with attendees from across the Heriot-Watt Community. These included the Sports Union, Students Union and Chaplaincy to name but a few. With so much activity around induction and welcome being online, the fair gave new students a much needed physical event to attend.

The planning for the event ended up being military level with every single detail scrutinised to ensure everyone’s health and safety was looked after. All key partner groups were part of the planning and delivery with over 100 volunteers from both the Sports Union Ambassador and Student Union helpers teams supporting the event.

Such was the success of the event, discussions have already started on how the 2021 event, with or without covid, will be bigger and better next year.

Once our new students signed up – our sports clubs activity took off! Our main highlight of this season so far has been our Movember campaign.Our Sports Clubs are doing a phenomenal job raising money for Movember this year – taking part in fitness challenges, growing moustaches and hosting socials, raising over £20,000 so far! We never would have thought that within a week we would’ve surpassed last years target of £14, so we decided to revalue our target to £25k.

Our HW Movember Ambassador Stewart Morgan is leading the campaign. Movember is a campaign close to his heart and he has been instrumental in raising money and awareness for the cause. He spoke with Mark Beaumont SSS Honorary President Mark Beaumont earlier this month about the campaign, chatting all things student life, motivation and the importance of speaking up about mental health. Alongside Mark, Stewart also interviewed Tongan Rugby Player Nasi Manu to discuss their experiences with Testicular Cancer in the hopes to encourage others to regularly self-check and take action if they feel something is not quite right! Stewart also managed to link in with external companies such as First Bus to advertise our campaign and John Pye to host a Movember Auction which has turned out to be very successful and raise awareness for such a worthwhile cause.

As well as fundraising through growing a moustache or doing exercise our Clubs have held socials too – both our Volleyball Club and Basketball Club hosted a virtual Bingo and Movember Quiz Nights to add to our ever-increasing total.

Everyone at Heriot-Watt is hugely proud of all our sports clubs who have built such a great community spirit together during the pandemic.

QMU | Food Pantry & Inclusive Movember 

Despite the disruption to the regular season, QMU’s Sports & Societies have joined forces to raise awareness and funds for Movember 2020. But it hasn’t just been moustaches! Students from a diverse range of sports & societies such as Men’s Rugby, Netball, Hockey and Musical Theatre have all shared a common goal in challenging themselves to get active, completing ‘5K per day’ challenges throughout the month – raising the profile and awareness of men’s physical and mental health. In just twelve days they raced past last year’s fundraising total of £3,500, an immense achievement in the current circumstances. 

 

Also on campus, recognising the additional pressures that the pandemic has put on students finances in particular a group of QMU students worked with local partners Cyrenians and QMUSU to develop QMU’s first-ever food pantry! This student-led project aims to provide healthy, quality food and ingredients to students, in an affordable and accessible way. The first of its kind in Scotland, and possibly the UK, the Food Pantry has been a huge success in its opening months and has become a must-visit for students living on campus!

University of St. Andrews | Charity Work

In line with COVID restrictions, the St Andrews Hockey club has been able to provide regular hockey activity throughout the first semester of 2020/21  in a safe and competitive environment. We have had a record number of students join the club, consequently expanding our squads to 8 women’s teams and 3 men’s teams. We were also able to host pitch sessions for freshers in line with national and university guidelines, giving them the opportunity to meet new people in a safe environment. We are thrilled with the positive attitude everyone has brought to training this semester.

Since May the club has been actively raising money and supporting charities that are close to the club. In May, members ran over 4,500km and raised £4131.76 for SAMH as part of our ‘Run 4 SAMH’ challenge – a challenge which will be completed again next year and hopefully become a new tradition for years to come. Students participated in ‘Green Week’ by hosting a virtual veggie cooking competition, using reusable bottles and more sustainable transport decisions. The club is currently participating in Movember, encouraging the ‘run and chat challenge’ as well as some moustache growing. As of today, the club has have raised £4,138 and ‘moved’ 2345.15km.

We have loved hearing all your positive news stories over the last few weeks. All of this work only scratches the surface of the hard work and countless hours the student sport community have put in throughout this unusual year. We are so proud to be able to showcase this fantastic work from our members. If you have a good news story you would like to share with us please contact Communications Coordinator Gavin Rittoo on gavin@scottishstudentsport.com.

BACK TO LIST

Friday 30th October 2020

The SSS Leadership Programme restarted in style with record numbers of aspiring student leaders signing up and taking their first steps in the new, re-vamped programme! Read the full story here.

Now into its fourth consecutive year, the SSS Leadership Programme is an offering open to all SSS member institutions. This year, the programme provides a virtual platform for students to enhance their personal development, with a particular emphasis on enhancing leadership and employability skills. The full series is delivered by our West Regional Development Coordinator – Megan Richardson – who delivers the content via two blocks of webinars.

This year, 34 students from 11 Universities and Colleges across Scotland have signed up to the programme. The launch event took place on Thursday 22nd October where we were joined by the effervescent Guy Richardson – CEO and founder of Eiger Performance – who led yet another engaging session on ‘Leadership with Impact’.

The programme will be delivered virtually over Zoom between now and March through 10 weeks of Mastermind calls focussing on various aspect of leadership, employability and tailored conversation to encourage the leaders to network and learn from one another.

It’s an extremely exciting time for yet another thriving cohort of aspiring young leaders as they begin their journey to grow and develop on their own personal journey throughout the 20-21 academic year. Watch this space and stay tuned for this year’s group to take the Sports Development world by storm!

Below is a list of SSS member institutions represented on this years Leadership Programme;

  • Fife College
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Moray College
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of St Andrew
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of the Highlands and Islands

For more details contact Megan Richardson: megan@scottishstudentsport.com.

BACK TO LIST

Thursday 30th July 2020

SSS begins the 20/21 series of BiteSSSize Best Practice webinars with a collaborative approach to reducing the environmental impact of sport.

During the 19/20 year SSS highlighted best practice from the Tribe through a series of webinars. This included the #FullTimeOnInitiations campaign at RGU and the progress made by Fife College in working through the College Sport Award.

SSS have now planned an ambitious series of webinars for the 20/21 calendar covering topics such as mental health, volunteering, club best practice and disability sport.

The first in this years series will focus on our newest value – sustainability – and the environmental impact of microplastics on synthetic pitches. This will be delivered in collaboration with Fidra, KIMO International, the Centre for Sports Facilities and Technology (Trondheim, Norway) and EUAC.

If you play football or rugby on an artificial pitch, you’ve probably spotted them: tiny granules of rubber, clinging to your kit, collecting in your shoes and washing down the drain in the shower. These tiny microplastic particles, known as performance infill, give the pitch the bouncy feel of real grass, but they also pose a risk of plastic pollution, escaping the pitch and ending up in local soils and waterways. The Pitch In project, created by Fidra and KIMO International, aims to raise awareness of this hidden but important issue and highlight different ways we can all Pitch In to reduce microplastic.

For more information on the webinar and to sign-up, click here.

BACK TO LIST

Tuesday 30th June 2020

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.

For more information about our plans for 20-21, please don’t hesitate to contact stew@scottishstudentsport.com

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.

 

BACK TO LIST

Monday 29th June 2020

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.

📲Sign up here for the next CHANGES: Train the Trainer course.

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.

Tayside, Fife, and Grampian Regional Trainers;

Eamonn Laird, University of Dundee – e.y.laird@dundee.ac.uk

Ellen Morrissey, Robert Gordon University – e.morrissey@rgu.ac.uk

Claire Scott, University of St. Andrews – cls25@st-andrews.ac.uk

South East Regional Trainers;

Fraser Reynolds, Edinburgh Napier University – f.reynolds@napier.ac.uk

Craig Bodel, University of Stirling – craig.bodel@stir.ac.uk

Amy Beattie, University of Stirling – amy.beattie1@stir.ac.uk

Michael Webster, University of Edinburgh – michael.webster@ed.ac.uk 

Bethany Lawrie, University of Edinburgh – Bethany.Lawrie@ed.ac.uk

Catherine Wilson, Heriot-Watt University – catherine.wilson@hw.ac.uk

West Regional Trainers;

Iain Christie, the University of the West of Scotland – iain.christie@uws.ac.uk

Seona McKenzie, University of Strathclyde – seona.mckenzie@strath.ac.uk

Jamie Taylor, University of Glasgow – Jamie.Taylor@glasgow.ac.uk

Scottish Student Sport Staff;

Gavin Rittoo, Scottish Student Sport – gavin@scottishstudentsport.com

Nicola Scott, Scottish Student Sport – nicola@scottishstudentsport.com

Megan Richardson, Scottish Student Sport – megan@scottishstudentsport.com

Neil Rankin, Scottish Student Sport – neil@scottishstudentsport.com

 

BACK TO LIST

Thursday 11th June 2020

SSS are delighted to sign the SAMH Charter for Physical Activity and Sport, and we have now put a plan alongside this to support the work further. Find out more about what we are doing to look after our staff.

As one of the original working group to the establishment of the SAMH Charter for Physical Activity and Sport, and being a signatory of the Charter since it’s inception, SSS have created a declaration plan to support this work further. In response to the re-launch of Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, SSS have committed to celebrating the positive work we do at SSS to look after each one another’s mental health and challenge ourselves to improve wherever possible.

At present, at SSS we pride ourselves on looking after the health and wellbeing of our staff – from day one inductions to last day goodbyes – we look after our staff. Starting a new job can often be a stressful, nerve-wracking process so we make sure our new staff are warmly welcomed at SSS. Staff inductions often include (along with the operational stuff) a relaxed welcome lunch, giving new starts the opportunity to meet and get to know the rest of the team in an informal environment. Welcome signs, personalised playlists are also SSS favorite to make sure new starts feel comfortable.

Facilitating sport and physical activity is core to what we do at SSS, and we make sure these principles are adopted into everyday aspects of our working life too. Walking meetings, allocated time for team physical activity and actively promoting physical activity lunchtime ensures the staff can get a decent break to switch off which studies suggest often leads to improved mental health.

We are also very proud to provide an open and flexible working environment where we encourage conversations surrounding mental health, check-in with each other and understand the challenges that one another might face. Over the last few months, this has never been more important so we have introduced a weekly Wellness Survey and continue to support our staff through our daily calls. If a staff member needs some headspace, flexibility around working hours or locations are often accommodated for to suit the individual’s needs.

In recent weeks our staff team have completed their mental health awareness training and Nicola Scott, Head of Development has been allocated to champion mental health and be qualified in mental health first aid once courses are back up and running. Appropriate time will be allocated for the mental health champion to fulfill the role alongside their other responsibilities so that the role can be fulfilled effectively.

 

📝If you would like more information on the SSS SAMH Declaration you can download it here.

📲If your institution would like to sign up for Healthy Body Healthy Mind you can find information on it here.

BACK TO LIST