Thursday 25th February 2021

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: 19th April  2021 at 13:00

Coronavirus (19/04/21) – Update

Following the latest announcements from the Scottish Government, the SSS Competitions Committee have agreed the following:

  • All in-person events scheduled for the remainder of the 2020/21 season will be cancelled.
  • The BUCS Cricket season will go ahead and is planned to start on the 5th of May.
  • All National Squad activity will be cancelled for the remainder of the 2020/21 season, except for Cricket which remains in a tentative position due to it being a summer-based sport.
  • SSS will not plan to hold events in the spring or summer in place of the cancelled 2020/21 season, however, if SSS Sports Development Groups provide a strong case for a sport-specific activity then certain events may be considered on an ad-hoc basis.

The decisions above are supported by feedback received from members in our latest Competitions Survey and are reflected by the Scottish Governments road map out of the national lockdown.

As of the 16th of April, Individuals can travel throughout Scotland. Sport-specific guidance can be found HERE. Please be aware of the regulations before any sport or physical activity session is due to take place.

SSS will continue to work closely with our members, partners, Scottish governing bodies, and sportscotland throughout the coming months and provide further guidance and information in due course.

For any COVID -19 related queries please contact Chris Purdie, Head of Competitions at chris@scottishstudentsport.com

Additional Information

The SSS office remains closed and all our staff will be working from home for the foreseeable future. Therefore the main SSS Office phones will be out of use. Should you need to contact any of our staff please reach out via email – a list of contact details for all our staff can be found here.

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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.

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Wednesday 10th February 2021

The latest edition of the BiteSSSize Best Practice webinar series focussed on how we can better embed disability sport into our universities, colleges and Scottish sport in general. Read our key findings and watch the webinar here!

Our next webinar, in the ever-popular BiteSSSize Best Practice webinar series focussed on the principle of better embedding disability sport into universities, colleges and Scottish sport on the whole.

We were delighted to be joined by Alison Shaw and Andrew MacKenzie from Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) who delivered a fantastic presentation on the partnership work between SDS and  SSS. They were joined by para-swimmer and current UWS student Erin Swann who gave a student-athlete perspective.

High on the agenda was the importance of collaboration, not just between SSS and SDS, but the importance of institutional collaboration with SDS. This collaboration has allowed for university and college sports clubs to gain access to training and equipment to use to make their sports inclusive to students with disabilities.

Multiple governing body development staff were in attendance, including representatives from Cricket Scotland, Tennis Scotland and Scottish Archery who shared their own best practice of adapting their sports to accommodate disabilities.

From the call, we learned a number of important elements required to create a more inclusive culture in student sport. These included:

  • Make sure para-athletes are visible in branding/imagery on campus and on social media so students with disabilities feel more welcome.
  • Create opportunities for students to participate and try out new sports/ parasports
  • Build links with community clubs to facilitate smooth transitions for athletes going from youth sport into student sport.

The success of Disability Inclusion Forums was also highlighted in the webinar. These forums play a vital role in bringing together different departments within an institution. This can often include student services, sports unions and facilities managers and creates a more collaborative approach to improving access to sports.

SDS works with a number of institutions to deliver training to staff and students. This includes UK Disability Inclusion Training (UK DIT) and organisations interested in learning more should contact their regional lead from SDS.

Huge thanks to our panelists Alison Shaw, Andrew MacKenzie and Erin Swann for sharing their insights and to all the attendees who joined the call and contributed questions and comments throughout!

🎥Watch the webinar back in full 👇

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Wednesday 16th December 2020

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.

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Thursday 26th November 2020

Scottish Disability Sport shares a case study alongside the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences. The study reviews the impact that disability inclusion training had on fourth-year PE students.

Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) has an excellent partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences.  The funding from Sainsbury’s has enabled SDS to deliver three UK Disability Inclusion Training (DIT) sessions to 87 fourth-year PE students, prior to them undertaking their final teaching practice.

June Murray Associate Tutor, within the Faculty of Education at the University of Edinburgh, provides an overview as to the importance of PE students gaining greater knowledge, understanding and applying it through the UK DIT regarding the inclusion of young people with a disability.  June said:

“It helps the students to become more professional, empathetic, and committed to teaching all pupils.  Furthermore, it allows them to plan for the huge diversity of needs within a class.”

Q. Why is it important for PE students to gain greater knowledge and understanding regarding the inclusion of young people with a disability?

June explains:

“The training puts the students in a better position to demonstrate more fully the values and standards required of a PE teacher.  It is the combination of theory and practice that is a vital combination and provides a tangible learning environment.

“The content provides a kudos for the training being transmitted and has proved to be invaluable learning for all the students. In essence, it brings about greater resonance for the PE students in Year 4 when completing their teaching practice and about to embark on their NQT Year.  The University further identifies that the learning that takes place for the PE students makes them more thoughtful about planning and there is a definite shift in their practice and ability to plan for inclusion.”

A central theme that runs throughout is to highlight ability, not disability and it often changes the PE student’s view as to the imperative need for differentiation in teaching.  The subtle nuances of differentiation can mean the difference between inclusion for a pupil with disabilities and isolation.

Throughout the training, cards were provided to the students to assist their learning and provide them with support. Below are some of the quotes that have come directly from the 4th year students who undertook the training in November 2019 and went out on placement in January 2020.

The following Q&A in the article is with participants who completed the disability inclusion training.

Q. What do you consider to be the key learning from the disability inclusion training?

“The DIT has massively enhanced my knowledge of being able to alter my teaching in order to best meet the needs of every pupil in the class in a fun and creative way. The content that was taught through these practical sessions is fundamentally the most important part of my teaching practice as what was taught goes way beyond just supporting pupils with additional support needs, it’s about recognising that every pupil learns differently. I would consider the DIT course to be vital for all student and even graduated teachers.

“Deeper understanding of the importance of inclusion for those with disabilities and without, especially within a sports context.

“I think the biggest thing I have taken from these workshops is getting to experience how vulnerable some young people will feel when they are in PE/school in general.

“I don’t think I realised how much I learned from the training until being on placement and now reflecting on it, very glad we got to have the training.

“The key thing I took from the training was knowledge for different disabilities and then the process of adapting activities by the space and equipment to help the learner. Before the training, I had little awareness of the impacts of different disabilities and how to best understand an individual’s needs. The course also taught me to focus on things that individuals can do and not only focus on what they can’t do.”

“I’m definitely more aware of differentiating lessons to ensure that everyone is included whether it be equipment or different challenges.”

Q. What has been the practical impact been during your placement?

“It’s definitely changed my view on how important my job as a teacher, to include these pupils and all the possibilities that are available so all can participate in my PE lessons.”

“I have used a lot of the content from the DIT in my student placements. A very memorable moment for me was on PEP, I shadowed one pupil with additional support needs in all of his classes, once a week for 4 weeks. He made it very clear that PE was by far his least favourite subject as he struggled to mix with other kids in his class and felt too under pressure in a PE environment so he very rarely took part. However, as I was there as an extra member of staff, I was able to support him on a 1 to 1 basis in PE for 3 weeks and we simply did our own adapted PE lesson isolated from the other pupils. The lessons I prepared were entirely things that I had been taught within the DIT sessions held at the University. I simply just wanted him to be engaged with PE and enjoy it more so he would build up his confidence. In my final week of PEP, I asked him if he felt like he would want to go back into PE with the other pupils and he was hesitant at first but agreed.  It may not seem like a huge life-changing story but the difference of being able to take part in fun activities and bring enjoyment to his physical exercise had changed his outlook on the subject in a small period of time. It’s something that I feel very happy about.”

“It has enabled me to grasp a greater understanding of multiple disabilities and helped me to identify the barriers that students with disabilities face on a daily basis.”

“The course has allowed me to gain a deep appreciation and admiration of those with disabilities. This has meant that I ask those within my class to help me reflect upon my lessons for next time. By doing so this has helped build relationships while teaching while also aiding my own development.”

“One example I would give is from my 4th-year placement where I had one pupil who wouldn’t bring his kit and didn’t want to join in etc., but by gradually encouraging him over the weeks and using adapted activities, he started joining in as he felt more comfortable within the class.

“The training has definitely given me more confidence when there are pupils in my classes with a disability or learning difficulty by making me aware of the appropriate ways to communicate with the pupil and tailor lessons to allow them to successfully be involved in the lesson. It has also made me put more thought into how I am giving instructions or explaining activities so all pupils can understand what they are to do. By being more aware of pupils’ needs has also made me think about the class setup and who pupils are working with and the space they are working in, which is something I learned on my last placement guided by what I learned from the course.”

“I had a pupil in my class that had tunnel vision, taking from the training, when I put on the tunnel vision goggles and I felt for myself how it felt, I made sure that I was doing everything to make her feel comfortable and, benefiting from lessons as much as everyone else in the class.”

Thank you to Scottish Disability Sport and the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences for sharing the student journey with us. For further information about SSS’ partnership with SDS, follow this link. If you wish to discuss disability inclusion further, please get in touch with your Regional Development Coordinator.

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Thursday 9th July 2020

After a roller-coaster season in Scottish Student Sport, we are closing the 2019/20 chapter off with our SSS Annual Awards Ceremony. Full lists of nominees, winners and speeches here!

It safe to say that the 2019/20 academic year did not go exactly to plan with COVID-19 bringing an abrupt end to sporting activity across the county. With that said, prior to mid-march, the SSS train had been travelling full steam ahead with record numbers of club activity and event entries nationally across institutions.

Although a bittersweet end to an unusual year, the number of nominations and calibre of this years award winners pays tribute to the number of talented, dedicated and influential people we have across our student sporting network. Unfortunately, there was no fancy awards dinner celebration this year – so SSS took to Twitter to announce the winners! Here is the full lowdown of all our 2019/20 award winners – scroll down to the bottom of the page to watch the acceptance speeches!

Female Athlete of the Year: 🏆Neah Evans (University of Glasgow)🏆

Neah Evans (University of Glasgow) was announced worthy winner of the Female Athlete of the Year Award, fighting off some fierce competition from a group of very talented nominees.

Neah first started cycling whilst in her first year at Glasgow University in 2014. She went onto win seven BUCS medals in one year alone. Following University she went on to work as a veterinary surgeon before joining the Great Britain Cycling Performance Programme in 2017 to compete full time.  Since then she has gone from strength to strength – winning two Commonwealth Games medals in 2018, winning two European Championship medals and selection onto the GB squad.

In the last year, Neah has consolidated her place in the GB squad and successfully defended her Women’s Team Pursuit Crown at the European Track Championships back in October alongside teammates, Laura Kenny, Kate Archibald and Ellie Dickinson. Neah has been an inspiration to many sportspersons at the University of Glasgow and has proven that you can still reach the peak of elite sport regardless of what age you start! She was on course to be selected for Tokyo 2020 Team GB team and is a worthy winner of our Female Athlete of the Year Award.

Also nominated: Bethan Goodwin (University of Strathclyde), Emily Dark (University of St. Andrews), Lucy Glover (University of Edinburgh), Hazel MacGarvie (University of Stirling), Katie Sugden (University of Aberdeen).

Male Athlete of the Year: 🏆Duncan Scott (University of Stirling)🏆

Duncan Scott added another trophy to his growing cabinet following another ground-breaking year in the pool. After his phenomenal performances at the British Championships in April 2019, setting a new 100m British record, he went on to win gold and bronze at the World Championship in Gwangju, South Korea. It was in Gwangju that Duncan also made a stand against the Chinese athlete Sun-Yang for doping offences by refusing to share a podium with him. In addition to becoming a World Champion, Duncan further demonstrated his dominance in the pool by claiming twelve medals and five BUCS records at the BUCS short course (November 2019) long course (February 2020) swimming events in the past twelve months.

Duncan is a superb ambassador for University of Stirling, Team Scotland, Scottish Swimming and British Swimming. As well as winning multiple medals and setting new records, he continues to be a diligent student-athlete and is a shining example of what can be achieved when balancing sport alongside academia. Congratulations Duncan!

Also nominated: Francis Millward (University of St Andrews), Andy Brown (University of Strathclyde), Edward Narbett (University of Edinburgh), Stephen Mackay (UHI), David Cumberlidge (Heriot-Watt University)

Coach of the Year: 🏆Rachel Cremin (University of Strathclyde)🏆

Rachel Cremin was award Coach of the Year for season 2019/20 in what was her first year as Strathclyde University’s first-ever Director of Netball. Rachel’s impact has been monumental with all six Strathclyde netball teams finishing within the top three of their respective BUCS and GNA leagues – and a 31% increase of Netball BUCS points compared to the year previous.

Much of this success is due to Rachel’s development of the club’s coaching structure. She has ensured that all six teams have an assigned coach – drafting in and mentoring a number of volunteer and performances coaches to assist each of the teams.

She has also provided the students with fantastic opportunities to learn from the best, inviting specialist coaches from across the world to input on their training sessions including Fiji Head Coach Vicki Wilson and Australian High-Performance Coach Sue Gaudion. In addition, Rachel hosted the clubs first-ever Open Day – with over 40 prospective students in attendance to learn about the Netball programme offered at Strathclyde. Amongst all this, she created a new performance programme – aimed to accelerate players’ development and ensure that they maximise their on-court potential. Well done Rachel!

Also nominated: Sophie Tyler (University of St. Andrews), Steve Tigg (University of Stirling), Lewis McCue (University of Aberdeen & Robert Gordon University), Claire Cruikshank (University of Edinburgh).

Volunteer of the Year: 🏆Hamish Townshend (University of Edinburgh)🏆

Hamish Townshend was awarded the SSS Volunteer of the Year after an exceptional year as the first-ever Wellbeing & Inclusion Officer for Edinburgh University Snows Sports Club. Hamish identified a gap within the club committee and recognised that more needed to be done with regards to wellbeing and inclusion in the sport. Taking on the role himself, Hamish completely changed the culture within the snow sports club and led the way on the wellbeing and inclusion agenda within the Edinburgh University Sports Union.

Some of his successes included forming an advice place within the club – a drop-in session that shares key university service information. He delivered numerous stressbuster events during winter exam periods and ran a series of events during mental-health and wellbeing week.

On the slopes, he facilitated the delivery of adaptive skiing lesson and organised adapted guide training to upskill 10 members to support with delivering adaptive skiing lessons. On the ski Christmas trip, Hamish provided a wide range of activities for students to take part in including alpine yoga sessions, Savoyard food tasting, Alpine spa sessions, freestyle workshops and Igloo events.

In addition, Hamish had a positive impact on the Edinburgh University Sports Union too. He shared the stories of the clubs best practice and offered practical advice to 64 clubs on how they could replicate some of the fantastic work within their own clubs. He also shaped the sports unions wellbeing and inclusion remits and widely advertised all of his session and events to students from any sports club. Hamish’s undermining passion to support member wellbeing and create a more inclusive club environment makes him a worthy winner of this award. Hats off Hamish!

Also nominated: Craig Stephen (University of Stirling), Lucy Cottee (University of St Andrews), Eilidh Sneddon (University of Strathclyde), Lana Neish (Heriot-Watt University), Jordan Moore (Robert Gordon University), Matthew Simpson (University of Dundee), Aaron Johnson (University of Aberdeen).

Club of the Year:🏆Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds🏆

Edinburgh University Hares and Hounds were awarded the SSS Club of the Year after a hugely successful 19/20 season both on and off the track. Club membership numbers sore to a record 168, a rise courtesy of the inclusive nature of the club welcoming beginner runners all the way through to GB runners. Some of their highlights from the year include;

Inclusion was a main focus of the club and they lobbied with BUCS competitions committee to make BUCS cross country more inclusive and fair across male and female categories which was successfully voted through. In terms of development, the club ensured all first-year runners were put through a jog leader qualification, with the aim to develop them as future coaches. The club also formalised a pathway with Scottish Athletics aimed to get more student members involved with officiating.

On the performance side of things, the club had numerous medallists at a variety of prestigious events with the club winning medals male and female team medals at the Scottish Student Cross Country Championship. In terms of their own organised events the club developed strong community links inviting students, staff and students from other institutions to attend a number of their charity events including the annual Braid Hills Race, Kings Buildings 5 and EUSU Zombie 5k.

Alongside these charity events the club hosted and delivered the BUCS Cross Country Championships in January with over 3000 athletes participating from across the length and breadth of the UK.

Not even COVID-19 could stop the Hares & Hounds. Even in lockdown, the club delivered the Scottish Virtual Road Relays which saw 132 team entries with over 540 runners competing. A fantastic year all in all and worthy winners of our Club of the Year Award.

Also nominated: St Andrews University Boat Club, Stirling University Volleyball Club, Dundee University Trampoline Club, Heriot-Watt University Volleyball Club, Aberdeen University Cheerleading Club.

Team of the Year: 🏆University of Stirling Men’s Swimming Team🏆

The University of Stirling Men’s Swimming Team had an unrivalled year in the pool – winning both the BUCS Long and Short Course Titles.

The men’s team took Sheffield by storm back in November 2019 winning the BUCS Short Course title with a total 209 points – a lead of 25 points to second place. The team claimed 10 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze medals across the competition, with Duncan Scott breaking 5 BUCS recorders and claiming top performer of the competition!

In the BUCS Long Course, the team made history as they returned to Sheffield in February 2020. The team took home men’s title, breaking a 32-year long winning streak of Loughborough University. It was a close run affair with Stirling finishing on 176 points to Loughborough’s 168. Along with the title the team picked up 7 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze medals whilst breaking the BUCS record in the Men’s 4X100m Freestyle Medley and 4X100m Medley Relay. A sensational effort from everyone involved!

Also nominated: St. Andrews Women’s Football 1st Team, Edinburgh University Boat Club Women’s 1st VIII, Strathclyde Badminton Men’s Doubles, Heriot-Watt Squash Men’s 1st Team.

Honorary Presidents Award: 🏆Georgia Moran🏆

The inaugural Honorary President’s award was won by Georgia Moran, outgoing sabbatical officer at Napier University. Georgia’s journey through student sports has been a fruitful one from student sports club member to committee volunteer and then sports sabbatical officer.

Having just finished her second year as VP of Sports and Societies at Napier University Georgia has been an invaluable member to the SSS Tribe throughout her time in post. Her impact on the SSS network as a whole is noteworthy; she chairs the elected-student sabbatical forum, sits on the SSS executive, BUCS Advisory Group and Chairs the Women in Sport Group. She also appeared on the first episode of the SSS Podcast and slept out in Princess Street Garden as part of ‘The Big Sleep Out’ to raise awareness and funds to help fight homelessness in Scotland.

On top of her commitments to various focus groups and projects, Georgia has been a great role model to a number of first-time sabbatical officers who value her help and support greatly. Georgia’s undeniable passion for student sport extends well beyond her remit at Napier University and can be felt throughout the entire student network. A worthy first winner of this award and a tough act to follow – Well done Georgia!

Also nominated: Sally Sandison (University of St. Andrews)

Massive congratulations to all our nominees and award winners – these awards are a great example of some of the world-class talent student sport has to offer. Not only that, these awards showcase of only a handful of the hundreds of volunteers, coaches and sports clubs across the country who all work tirelessly throughout the season to facilitate student sport, creating a more inclusive, safe and enjoyable environment for students – thank you all for your hard work this year!

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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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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 4th March 2020

The latest edition of SSS best practice webinar series is now available to view. We caught up with Alban Dickson and Amy Beattie from the University of Stirling who shared their success of their Stirling Disability Inclusion Forum. Watch the webinar here!

This edition is delivered by Alban Dickson and Amy Beattie from the University of Stirling and focuses on the Stirling Disability Inclusion Forum (SDIF).

In partnership with Scottish Disability Sport, the SDIF was established to improve accessibility to sport and physical activity for students with physical, sensory or learning disabilities. This webinar looks at how and why the forum was established. There’s an insight as to who was involved in those initial stages and what the forum stands for, as well as some of the projects currently being worked on.

Special thanks to Alban and Amy for delivering this webinar, and thanks to all those who have contributed to the forum from the University of Stirling, Scottish Disability Sport, Forth Valley Disability Sport, and Basketball Scotland.

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

🎥Check out some of the awesome work the University of Stirling has been doing around disability sport and inclusion in the last twelve months.

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