Athletes, sports teams and individuals of all ages and abilities can feel inspired as the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games kick off on 23 July. The importance of sport and the positive impact on our wellbeing will be reinforced, helping to motivate people to get active.
Within Northern Ireland, less than 15% of children meet the recommended physical activity guidelines (The Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity, CSPPA study.) South West College recognises that it has an ongoing advocacy role in promoting sport and physical activity. It supports Olympic ideals, aiming to encourage the regular practice of physical activity and sport due to the vast educational and health values it provides.
We often hear people say, ‘your health is your wealth’ and for a good reason, as staying active offers colossal health benefits protecting against many health risks like stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In addition, it is believed that sport positively impacts your life, enhancing social, emotional, and physical wellbeing, contributing to improved mood, increased self-esteem, reduced stress and improved sleep.
However, the benefits of sport and keeping active stretch way beyond, and it is known to enhance the cognitive and memory functions of the brain, contributing to better academic performance. It also allows athletes and individuals to gain transferrable leadership skills, transcending them into great leaders who can think strategically and adapt, helping them thrive within their careers.
Sport breaks down barriers and fosters open and inclusive societies providing opportunities for marginalized groups. Promoting and delivering physical education both inside and outside of College sends a message of hope and belief, that inspires all ages and abilities to aspire, aim and achieve. South West College want to increase access to sport locally for everyone at all levels through their vast, ever-evolving curriculum.
Cheryl Veitch, co-ordinator for Level 3 Sport at South West College, believes that her department will be able to provide some of the best sporting education in Ireland, the UK and beyond.
Cheryl explains, ‘In the past, Sports Courses had a focus on several traditional career paths, such as personal training, PE teaching, fitness coaching and things like that. Now, however, we cover so much more in the curriculum and therefore open up a lot of new opportunities. Students still have those traditional paths, but the introduction of elements such as physiotherapy, radiography and nutrition sciences mean that sport studies is now a fantastic course for anybody who has an interest in sport but isn’t completely sure what they want to do yet.’
‘The fact that we have such state-of-the-art facilities within the new Erne campus is going to have a massive impact on students learning. We’ll have fully functioning fitness suites, our own dedicated dance studio, access to internal and external sporting facilities. It’s going to be one of the top learning facilities in Northern Ireland, if not the UK, and is going to enhance the learning so much.
‘Here in Fermanagh and the surrounding areas, we have so much to offer with different types of sports. We have GAA, Soccer, Volleyball, Swimming, Horse-riding, and Cycling. Really anything you can think of in terms of sport in Northern Ireland. We’re versatile in what we do we allow students to find their niche, to experience everything they want to try and all the different aspects, be it coaching or even psychology. Anyone with any sort of interest can step in; we will promote that interest and nurture it, so they get the best experience possible.’
As a result of initiatives from government and sports governing bodies, participation levels in sport have increased, contributing to a fast-moving and competitive sports industry with vast employment opportunities in areas such as coaching, fitness instruction, sports marketing, facilities management, sports writing and consultancy. South West College’s curriculum ranges from Level 2 – Level 6 and has been designed to ensure that you have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to get a job in the industry or progress within your studies.
The current suite of professional sporting qualifications available at the College is:
Pearson BTEC Level 2 First Diploma in Sport
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science (RQF)
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science (RQF)
Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing
Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Group Training
Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training
Active IQ Level 4 Certificate in Strength and Conditioning
Foundation Degree in Sport and Exercise (Validated by The Open University)
BSc (Hons) Degree in Sport and Exercise (1 year Top-Up) (Validated by The Open University).
For further information and to apply please visit: www.swc.ac.uk