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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.

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Friday 29th May 2020

SSS are pleased to announce that we have been awarded the Intermediate Level of the Equality Standard in Sport. Read the full story about what the award is and how we achieved it!

SSS recently received the very positive news that we have been awarded the Intermediate Level of the Equality Standard in Sport.

This achievement represents three years of excellent work within the organisation and significant leaps across student sport in terms of participation, projects, and partnerships.

The Equality Standard is supported by sportscotland – via Plan4Sport – as part of its expert resource help to governing bodies and other partners. By working through the standard, funded organisations are encouraged to own and deliver an Equality Action Plan that can demonstrably improve their impact on people in protected groups.

For SSS this has produced a number of highlights including:

  • Our well-developed work with partners at Scottish Disability Sport
  • An active contribution to the SAMH Charter for Physical Activity & Sport
  • A lead delivery role within the rejuvenated Healthy Body, Healthy Mind programme
  • The collection, collation and analysis of better equality data
  • A series of impactful campaigns and projects including Rainbow Laces, CHANGES, and She Can She Will
  • Embedding value-based decision making across SSS – adopting an INCLUSIVE approach in all we do

Reaching the Intermediate award milestone represents another 2021 strategy target achieved, and so it is fitting to pause and celebrate the network-wide commitment that this represents.

SSS would like to thank all who have contributed to the work thus far, both across our membership and within the many partner organisations who have supported us along the way. A special thanks to Barbara Lawson and all of our Equality Steering Group members for giving additional volunteer time to help guide the work. We couldn’t have managed it without you.

Having reached this level SSS is now amongst the most developed sports bodies in the country. This important work will now continue towards the top-level (Advanced) over the coming years, in our bid to make student sport a place where everyone is able and welcome to play.

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Wednesday 29th April 2020

The numbers are in and SSS are excited to announce a 12% growth in club membership numbers in the 2019/20 academic year. Check out the sport-specific breakdown and highlights here!

Scottish Student Sport are delighted to report that across Scotland, the collective total club membership numbers has reached just under 40,000.  Here are some of the facts behind the numbers…

  • Across 571 student sports clubs there are 39,947 individuals reported to be taking part in club activity. This healthy annual growth of 12% is representative of the hard work put in by the staff, volunteers and students at each institution working hard to ensure good quality, fun and friendly sport and physical activity are available on campus.
  • We are delighted to see a huge increase in the reported involvement of students with a disability with that number reaching a total of 1,330 students.
  • The sex balance reported is 45% male, 48% female and 6% unknown.
  • There is slight movement in the top 10 sports per membership numbers with Netball moving up and Tennis moving down. Each sport in the top 10, with the exception of mountaineering, have all increased in size since the 2018/19 reporting.

Please see below a snapshot of the data capture. If you have any questions regarding the data then please email Development & Competitions Assistant Leah Davidson.

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Wednesday 29th April 2020

Check out the latest edition of the SSS Webinar Series. Watch Kirsten Mullen and Jade Burnett discuss the journey of Fife College through the first level of the College Sport Award!

We recently shared the exciting news that Fife College had achieved the ‘Training Towards’ level of the College Sport Award (CSA). The CSA is a framework that supports Colleges to provide physical activity and sport opportunities to their students, staff and communities. In achieving this stage the college has been rewarded with £500 of sport equipment.

Kirsten and Jade have been integral to the success so far that the college has achieved. In this webinar, they look at the reasons behind why the college has taken part in the CSA, as well as some of the key stakeholders involved and the challenges overcome. There is also a future-focussed look at some of the opportunities going forward.

If you have a project or campaign you think would be an impactful addition to the series then please contact neil@scottishstudentsport.com.

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Thursday 2nd April 2020

Check out the latest edition of the SSS best practice webinar series! We caught up with Georgia Moran & Fraser Reynolds from Edinburgh Napier University who shared the success of their club committee training.

The latest edition of the BiteSSSize Best Practice Webinar series is now available to watch. Delivered by Georgia Moran and Fraser Reynolds from Edinburgh Napier University this edition looks at online committee training.

This episode focuses on how Edinburgh Napier Students Association (ENSA) has used an innovative approach to training their sport and societies’ committees. Following a process of feedback and consultation, ENSA moved their training to an online platform for students to complete over the summer months in advance of returning to study in September.

Here, Georgia and Fraser talk us through the process involved, some of the challenges along the way and how they have adapted the training for future cohorts.

If you have a project or campaign you think would be an impactful addition to the series then please contact neil@scottishstudentsport.com.

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Thursday 19th March 2020

SSS are thrilled to announce the signing of a new partnership agreement with Netball Scotland for another two years.

SSS are thrilled to announce the signing of a new partnership agreement with Netball Scotland for another two years. This new agreement will come into effect in 2020 and extends into the 2021 -2022 seasons, ensuring consistency for the sport as both organisations enter new strategic plans over the course of the next two years.

Rebecca Hope – Education Development Manager at Netball Scotland shares our excitement. She said:

“Netball Scotland are delighted to be entering into this Partnership with SSS as we move into the next phase of our strategic plan. Universities and Colleges provide a great opportunity to strengthen and enhance our pathway, while encouraging and cultivating a future workforce across netball in Scotland. 

“We are committed to support students and provide opportunities for them to succeed and thrive. We are excited to work closer with them and truly understand their needs and ensure our provision is relevant as they continue to develop as players, coaches, officials, and volunteers.”

Working together with the newly appointed Sports Chair, Emma Cartmill and the SSS Netball Development Group, Netball Scotland and SSS will focus on enhancing links at local, regional and national levels between both community and student clubs as well as building a robust workforce network across the country.

For further details, please visit our SGB partnerships page here and click on the Netball Scotland logo to download a copy of the full partnership agreement.

If you wish to learn more about our partnership work with other sports, please contact SSS Development and Competitions Assistant, Leah Davidson.

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