Thursday 4th April 2024

West College Scotland’s Active Health Coordinator Savannah Antoine brings students together for three days of activity and inclusion.

A group of staff and students at West College Scotland celebrating International Mother Language Day

The power of sport to connect was on full display at West College Scotland when over 200 students came together to celebrate International Mother Language Day with three days of activity, camaraderie and fun.

International Mother Language Day – which took place on February 21st – is a globally-observed day created to highlight the importance of linguistic diversity in fostering mutual understanding and respect. For West College Scotland, this offered the chance to connect ESOL (English as a Second Language) and sports students across a variety of inclusive activities, led by their Active Campus Coordinator and Wellbeing team.

Over the three day programme, students participated in sports from table tennis to basketball. A buddy system operated between ESOL and sports students to create connections across the participants and create an enriching cultural experience for all involved.

The day was the brainchild of West Scotland College’s Active Campus Coordinator Savannah Antonie. In her short time in the role she has already transformed how sport and activity is accessed by the entire student population.

An image showing Savannah Antoine

Savannah is part of the Active Campus Network, supported by Scottish Student Sport, sportscotland and Colleges Network: an initiative aimed at creating active, healthy environments across the nation’s college campuses.

The energy and excitement across those participating was clear. Natalia Skoromna, a Ukrainian student, commented:

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it has been so much better than I thought – I’ve loved it! It has been a really good morning and has really helped my mental health, I already feel much more relaxed. The lecturers have been wonderful – me and my friends would love to be able to do this every week.”

The influence that Savannah has had on campus was shared with her colleagues. Sports Lecturer Alex Beattie highlighted:

“The difference in sport provision since Savannah has started is amazing. Sports halls, which were previously dead space during lunchtimes or break times, are now filled. It’s all students from all sections of the college who are coming and playing. It feels like a college where you’re really playing sport. You see the engagement of the students, it’s been amazing and has made a massive difference.”

International Mother Language Day is just part of a series of initiatives being run across the College to help encourage students to get active on campus. We can’t wait to see sport continue to flourish at West College Scotland!