Friday, 9 October 2015

UCLan researchers help Rounders England campaign

Research by Dr Sue Minten and Dr Jess Macbeth has been used by a National Governing Body to help grow participation in sport.

Rounders England have been working across the UK to develop the sport as part of their 'Chuck it, Whack it, Leg it, Smile' campaign, with the scheme proving particularly successful in Lancashire.

In partnership with Burnley Leisure Trust they have attracted 500 women to play Rounders regularly, creating vibrant leagues and training tutors, leaders, coaches and umpires.

The study by Dr Minten and Dr Macbeth found that socialising plus the ethos and culture of the organisers was the key to sustained engagement. The impact on people's lives has been significant.

Charlotte Hardiman shared her love of Rounders in this month's Essentials magazine. She commented: "Rounders reignited my love for sport. I also really love the fact that playing rounders gives me a bit of 'me time' that I didn't really have before.

"The biggest thing I missed about being involved in sport was the camaraderie, so it's fantastic being part of a team again and I've made so many new friends."

To find out more about Rounders England please click here.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Hard work pays off for top marketing prospect

Our programme has strong industry links which can help our graduates as they look to further their careers.

James Holmes will graduate with a Master's in Sports Business Management in December and has already utilised one of those links to secure a role with iProspect, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, one of the world's largest multinational media and digital marketing communications companies.

Course Leader Tony Keaveny put James in contact with Peter Cobley, Managing Director at recruitment specialists Found Us.

Peter is a media, marketing and advertising expert who used his vast industry knowledge to recommend James to iProspect and Dentsu Aegis. After impressing at his interview James was offered a role as an Affiliate Marketing Graduate at their Manchester office.

James studied Sports Coaching at undergraduate level, gaining first class honours alongside numerous sporting awards over the three year course, but decided to keep this as a back-up whilst exploring the possibilities on our programme.

He gained additional experience away from his studies, working as a Manager at Dallam Sports Centre in Milnthorpe and as a Coach & Development Officer at Kendal Town Football Academy.

James said his UCLan experience has been extremely enjoyable: "The University has got a very relaxed atmosphere, with friendly teachers who are always willing to help. I've probably spent more time in Tony's office than I have in a classroom!

"One big difference from studying at college is the independent learning - I believe you get out what you put in at university. You've got to want to learn and if you put in the effort you'll reap the rewards.

"There's so many lecturers here who've got lots of experience on top of their academic abilities. People like Tony and Stuart Wilkinson, an internationally renowned Rugby League coach, who've been at the top of the industry outside of UCLan and can come in and share what it's like in the real world. That sort of perspective is so valuable when you want to make a name for yourself."

There are numerous opportunities for progression available to James with Dentsu Aegis, with employees encouraged to pursue avenues of interest within digital marketing and advertisement. After completing an initial two year graduate scheme, James will have the option of moving into an executive role.

"I'm really looking forward to it, and from speaking to the panel during the interview I really liked what they had to say regarding opportunities within the company," said James.

"The ethos of the harder you work, the greater the rewards suits me down to the ground.

"I'm currently working on my dissertation so I can give my full focus to iProspect when starting in Manchester.

"I've really enjoyed this course and thank the all tutors who've given me the belief to push myself to achieve the best I can. Results wise, if I get a Merit for the Master's then I'll be happy, but a Distinction would be the icing on the cake.

"I can't wait to get started at iProspect, and I'd like to thank Tony and Peter for the help they've given to me in securing this fantastic opportunity."

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sarah bags exciting role with Myprotein

A Master's student has taken passions for blogging, sport and nutrition to secure an amazing opportunity with a leading online sports supplements company.

After successfully completing her Sports Marketing and Business Management degree at UCLan, Sarah Harradine has accepted an offer to work for the US version of the Myprotein website.

Sarah studied fashion marketing at undergraduate level, but her desire to work in sport and stand out from the crowd led her onto our programme.

She commented: "A Master's is more relaxed than an undergraduate degree and you're given a lot more responsibility to manage your own workload.

"Some parts I found very difficult - I never imagined I'd be writing about politics in the Sports Business module - but doing lots of reading and also talking a lot to tutors, who become more like your friends due to the small class size, make it easier and you learn a lot."

Sarah also worked part-time for Nike whilst studying for her Master's, and took advantage of a number of opportunities within the brand such as the Run Club, track sessions and 10K races. This tested Sarah in a number of ways, particularly her time management skills, but she came through with flying colours.

During the course of her studies Sarah gained additional experience, managing social media, content creation and working on SEO for two small brands, whilst also developing her own blog. This allowed her to hone her skills in a real-world environment and significantly enhance her CV.

Sarah said these additional experiences were invaluable when it came to taking her first step onto the career ladder.

"My advice to anyone doing a degree at UCLan would be to work hard at your studies, but also have other interests that make you stand out from the crowd," said Sarah.

"This year I ran a marathon, so that gave me a lot to talk about when I was asked about achievements.

"Try and meet as many people as you can - if you don't know where to start the lecturers are all incredibly well-connected, especially in the sports world, so ask them to think of relevant contacts who may be useful to you in the future."

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Trip to NC State seals new partnership

UCLan Sports Business Management and Sports Marketing undergraduates crossed the Atlantic to experience life at one of the USA's top research institutions.

Accompanied by colleagues from the university's Sports Studies programme, the group spent a week at North Carolina State University to formalise a new partnership agreement between UCLan and NC State.

The trip, supported by the UCLan Travel Bursary scheme, gave students the opportunity to take part in a series of lectures delivered by staff from both universities, teach in local schools, deliver coaching sessions and visit a variety of world-class facilities.

UCLan's Nick Passenger and Dr Ingrid Griffiths led the visit which featured a tour around NC State's sports facilities including Carter-Finley Football Stadium, the PNC Stadium, Weisiger-Brown Athletic Facility and the Willis R Casey Aquatic Centre.

NC State has invested a huge amount of money into its sporting programme, with the 'Wolfpack' brand one of the most recognisable names in American intercollegiate varsity competition.

Students also toured the Carolina Panthers' NFL stadium and enjoyed an evening watching a Durham Bulls baseball game.

Dr Griffiths said the visit enhanced our students' learning experience: "This was an important trip for our Division. As well as being invited to a fantastic university, it was a pleasure to take our excellent students and establish long term relationships in a number of areas.

"The hospitality and welcome we received was excellent throughout, and the opportunity to work with world-leading staff was of great to benefit to us all. Thanks must be given to Dr Sue Minten from UCLan and NC State’s Dr Mike Edwards for their superb organisation."

The highlight of the week for Dr Griffiths came as the hosts presented her with tickets to see The Who and meet Roger Daltrey at a special charity concert in aid of Teen Cancer America.

In addition to forging the relationship with NC State, a new collaborative partnership with Meredith College was also agreed, with UCLan students now having research opportunities available to them at the all-female Physical Education institution.

Nick Passenger commented: “The experience our students had on this trip was exceptional and is a key reason why our courses have been designed as they have.

"Our students were a real credit to UCLan. Their performance in lectures and the maturity they showed whilst teaching and coaching local children showed what an excellent job our staff have done in helping their development.

"NC State were magnificent hosts and special thanks must be given to Mike, Jason and Gareth for all their time and efforts. It was a lovely touch for them to invite us to a function with The Who, and also introduce us to Joey Butler and his Durham Bulls team. Unfortunately for the Bulls I think they have 17 lifelong Twitter followers from across the Atlantic now!

"We look forward to hosting NC State and Meredith College in 2016 and developing research and lecture materials online in the meantime. I can only see this partnership getting stronger - Go Pack."

To view a selection of images from the trip please click here.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

UCLan teams up with NC State

UCLan Sports Business Management and Marketing students and staff are set to visit one of the USA's leading research institutions.

In conjunction with colleagues from the university's Sports Studies programme, the group will spend a week at North Carolina State University as part of a new partnership agreement between UCLan and NC State.

Organised by Dr Sue Minten from UCLan and NC State's Assistant Professor Mike Edwards, the trip will provide students with the opportunity to broaden their horizons in an international learning environment.

The visit includes a series of lectures by staff from both universities, including Dr Jonathan Casper and Dr David Conner from NC State, and UCLan's Dr Ingrid Griffiths.

Students will also have the opportunity to volunteer at Bugg Elementary School, providing a useful grounding for those progressing onto PGDE courses next year.

A variety of activities have been planned during the trip, including a tour of the Carolina Panthers NFL stadium, a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and experiencing a live baseball game between Durham Bells and Charlotte Knights.

NC State is one of the USA's most respected universities and can boast a rich sporting tradition. Former students include PGA golfer Tim Clark and ex-Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher. Jim Valvano (above) is perhaps their most iconic sporting figure, after leading NC State Wolfpack to the NCAA Basketball title in 1983.

Valvano went to work as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC Sports, before famously delivering an inspirational speech at the ESPY Awards in 1993, just eight weeks before he died of metastatic cancer.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

LFX North event boosts students' digital knowledge

Students and staff from our Master's programme recently attended a top UK conference for management and fitness professionals.

Didsbury's Waterside Hotel and Leisure Club was the venue for LFX North, which featured expert speakers from a range of companies including Everybody Leisure and Les Mills UK.

The event focused on digital media and its use in marketing and customer service situations within the respective industries. The group took part in a variety of sessions during the day, all designed to widen their knowledge of an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Our students said the conference had been a great opportunity to learn from industry professionals. Nathan Armstrong commented: "The event gave us the chance to network with people we otherwise wouldn't be able to meet, and I gained a better picture of what it would be like to work in the industry.

"The experience was extremely beneficial, as it cemented in place what field I want to try and get into, which has given me more reason to focus on my current studies."

Sarah Harradine added: "I loved the conference - it was very interactive with speakers whom I respected, and I also felt were respected by the other delegates. The presentations were relevant to my studies and took things like social media and put them into real-life situations.

"It also helped with the management of my own digital accounts and those I'm running as part of my work experience, showing I can be practical in the application of a relatively new element of marketing."

For more information about LFX please click here.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Lecturers to pen new book

Dr Ingrid Griffiths and Dr Sue Minten are set to co-author a new book for the world's leading academic publisher.

'Operations Management for Sport' has been approved for publication by Routledge as part of their 'Foundations of Sport Management' series.

By examining the management of operations in sport services and activities, the book will outline and explain essential theories and concepts of operations management to provide readers with a coherent and fundamental grounding in the discipline.

Dr Griffiths and Dr Minten will draw together the diverse range of research relating to sport operations management within one text, providing contemporary, global case studies in practice including sports facilities, events and competitions.

The book is scheduled to be published in January 2017. For more information about Routledge please click here.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Star athlete looks to the future

Top athlete Jenny Meadows' international career spans almost two decades, but despite having one eye on the future she shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

Jenny is the fastest 800m female athlete in the World indoors in 2015 and is currently preparing for the European Indoor Championships in Prague.

Later this year she heads off for the World Championships in Beijing, before beginning her build up to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Whilst that might be enough to keep most people occupied, Jenny is also undertaking a Master's in Sports Marketing and Business Management at UCLan, as she prepares for life after Athletics.

She commented: "During my career I've gained a useful insight into many aspects of the sports industry and have been privileged to gain first-hand experience working with a variety of key stakeholders.

"The daily demands of a professional athlete are in some ways very similar to being on a work placement scheme, as I'm gaining 'on-the-job' experience through my involvement with NGBs, local authority staff, sports development teams, sponsors, fans, sports agents, event management, corporate, media and production teams and sports regulators.

"This has ignited my interest in the field of Sports Marketing and Business Management and fuelled a desire to increase my theoretical knowledge to enable me to undertake a managerial career after my Athletics career is over."

Due to Jenny's training and competition schedule she is unable to attend UCLan campus. Course Leader, Dr Sue Minten, helps Jenny utilise the distance learning option available on the course, providing her with a recommended structure of study which Jenny tries to fit into her busy schedule.

"Obviously there is a degree of flexibility in this around the demands of my job, however I've found the pace of recommended learning very realistic," said Jenny.

"The combination of work and study has given me a new focus and has actually enhanced my passion for both as I can see the correlation between what I'm experiencing and what I'm studying in the course modules.

Jenny's husband, Trevor, is also currently studying at UCLan on the PG Dip Elite Coaching Practice course, and the pair are using each other's experiences to enhance their learning.

Jenny added: "We're finding plenty of common ground to discuss around the dining table, as well as both looking over our shoulder to see if we can benefit from any research or study notes that the other one is using.

"Having been an athlete for all my adult life, I'd always assumed I would dread the moment when I finally hang up my spikes, however through my studies at UCLan I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my professional life."

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Graduate secures top golf management role

UCLan Sports Management graduate Tom Lynch has landed a top executive position as the regional Director of Golf for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.

Tom previously worked in a variety of roles for De Vere Group before taking up his new appointment, which gives him responsibility for Linden Hall in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders club Cardrona near Peebles.

The 28-year-old began playing golf 20 years ago at Stocksfield Club, Nothumberland, where he is still a member.

He said: "I don't feel I have been fast-tracked or anything like that. Anybody who works in golf will tell you it is labour-intensive and you either put in the hard yards or opportunities do not happen for you.

"My background is the joy of playing the sport I love – and enjoying a short spell of coaching in America just after leaving UCLan – followed by, if you like, the 'real world' of playing my part in helping to make sure De Vere operated successfully.

"Macdonald Hotels have offered me scope to develop both the operational standards and commercial side at a time when we are investing heavily in the two courses."

Tom started his working life at Slaley Hall in 2008, before becoming De Vere’s UK membership services manager, contributing to a massive rise in numbers nationally during the peak years of the De Vere Club boom, while still being based at Slaley.

Tom added: "My one main central workplace until now has been Slaley. I made good friends there and it was where I met my wife Vikki when she was working on the conference and events side of the business.

"I have fond memories of some great characters both on the staff and among the members. In some ways it was a wrench to leave, but this was far too good an opportunity to pass up."