Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bucks student secures coaching internship with England Hockey at Bisham Abbey National Sport Centre

A student from Buckinghamshire New University fought off stiff competition to secure a 20-week internship with England Hockey.
Student Tom Ramsell has secured a coaching internship at Bisham AbbeyTom Ramsell, a final-year BSc (Hons) Sports Science student was selected to take on the coaching role after seeing it advertised on the Sport England website.

Based at the renowned Bisham Abbey, one of Sport England's national sports centres, Tom spent eight hours a week working alongside coaches and assessors of England Hockey.

The former student of The Grange School in Aylesbury said:  "I'm passionate about sport and was excited when I saw a chance to work with England Hockey advertised. My job is to assist the Coaching Officers and the Regional Administrators in organising and carrying out assessment days to help aspiring hockey coaches progress through the coaching badges.
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals and learn important on-the-job skills that will benefit my career after I graduate."

Tom, who is part of an initiative run by Bucks New University known as the Business of Sport Mentoring Programme, was supported in his internship application by his mentor Tom Baker, the Commercial Partnerships Director at UK Sport, and the English Institute of Sport.

The programme, developed with the University's Careers and Employability Service, enables students such as Tom to be mentored by high-profile sports figures, including Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches MBE.

Paul Morgan, Head of Sport at the University, said: "An internship at Bisham Abbey is a fantastic opportunity for Tom to consolidate his learning and gain an insight into working at one of the UK's most successful national governing bodies. I understand that Tom has also recently been offered the chance to extend his role further working full time until he commences his MSc Strength & Conditioning in September which is a credit to him."

Monday, 23 March 2015

Postgraduate Bursary 2015-2016

Bucks is offering 19 postgraduate bursaries worth £10,000 each for students who paid the higher rate undergraduate tuition fee (September 2012 onwards), who are from groups currently under-represented at postgraduate level, and due to graduate in the summer of 2015. A minimum of £5,000 will be allocated towards course fees with recipients being able to choose how they receive the remaining £5,000; either as a cash bursary or a further fee discount.

Awards are restricted to full-time and part-time students from the UK or EU who are progressing directly from an undergraduate course to a postgraduate course in the 2015-16 academic year, but priority for awards will be given to those students who are currently under-represented at postgraduate level. A list of eligible courses, application criteria, application forms and FAQs can be found at: bucks.ac.uk/pgbursary.

One of the eligible courses is the MSc Health Rehabilitation and Exercise, which is the current progression route for Sports Science and Coaching Studies graduates.

The MSc in Health Rehabilitation and Exercise is a niche programme for sport and exercise science graduates and fitness practitioners who are currently working in, or have the potential to work in a role where they have responsibilities for designing and supporting fitness programmes for participants who present with a range of specific and non acute health needs. You will study the pathophysiology of non acute health conditions and learn to administer suitable fitness tests and design appropriate exercise programmes for cardiac patients, diabetics, hypertensive individuals and the obese.

This Master’s programme has been developed within the framework of the European Master in Health Rehabilitation and Exercise Project of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission. 

The MSc Health Rehabilitation and Exercise is a two year, flexible delivery, work-based type course. Students can continue working while studying and apply the knowledge acquired on the course into their working practice. Modules are delivered over ten weekend workshops (Friday-Saturday; five weekends per year of study) and on-line tutorials. The programme includes five taught modules and a dissertation project.

Modules include; Contemporary Study of Non Acute Health Conditions, Fitness and Physical Exercise Science, Clinical Exercise Physiology,  Socio-cultural aspects of the body, health and exercise and Research Methods and Dissertation.

For more details about the course, please visit the course webpage on: http://bucks.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/MS1HRE9/ or contact the course leader, Dr Maria Konstantaki on mkonst01@bucks.ac.uk

If you have any queries about the scheme, please contact the Student Centre in the first instance at student.centre@bucks.ac.uk or call 01494 603020 for further details.


Working with an older individual
Exercise recommendations for hypertension


Working with an obese client


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Profile on sport & exercise science student, Gemma Najar. From the USA to Bucks: "I wasn't sure if I was being brave or just crazy!"

This September, I graduated high school, turned 18 years old, and moved from the USA to England all in just a few short weeks. At first I wasn’t sure if I was being brave or just crazy!

It turns out that making the decision to come study here at Bucks has been no less than a life-changing experience thus far. I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to study a course I love, internationally, while playing a sport I’m passionate about (football) in its founding country. I am in Sport and Exercise Science here at Bucks and I could not be more interested in all the things we’re learning. The course is very focused, and we have been given hands-on experience right from day one. The equipment in our lab is amazing, and as if it weren’t good enough already, Bucks is generously funding the construction of an even bigger lab to be built for next year!

Photo: Gemma in the white kit playing for her club in the USA.

Bucks is particularly good at combining sport with academia, so that it’s easy for students to get active and play sport while studying. I play for Reading Football Club as well as the University team, and Bucks has made it possible for me to play at a world-class level with Reading while continuing my education. We train every day (sometimes twice a day), and getting to and from training is made easy for us. I am very thankful that Bucks is supporting us to train every day and improve our skills, on and off the pitch.

We’ve also been given opportunity to get involved in some outside experiences with coaching. Bucks’ connections with the Wycombe Wanderers and Berks & Bucks FA is a very useful link for us as prospectus students of sport.

Thankfully, we’re not all business here at Bucks. Our University football team has been doing exceedingly well in our league, and with that, comes celebrations. The Students Union puts on great Wednesday nights and the team morale is always high. We’re much like a family on Bucks FC, and this makes game and training days highly anticipated. Bucks is also a very well-rounded university, so I’ve made life-long friends from all kinds of different courses outside of football as well. Life is great when you love the people you’re around!

People often ask me why I decided to come to England for University. Many young English women look to go to America because they offer elite athletics to their students. I know that the grass always looks greener on the other side of the ocean, but Bucks offered me a better deal overall.  I can play football at a very elite level here, at the same time as attending university, just like at home.  But my degree is much more focused here, without a lot of off-topic classes not relevant to my career choice.  Some of my friends in the USA are enrolled in classes such as, "French Literature", or "Intro to Philosophy", which are fine and important topics...just maybe not for a Sport Science student like me.  Then, having such a "focused" course means that there is a great savings in time and money.  An equivalent course in the USA would take four years, whereas I will be done in three here at Bucks. 

Looking back, my crazy/brave decision was worth it. I couldn’t be happier with what I’m doing here at Bucks. It has been an amazing experience so far and I look forward to my next two and a half years here.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

England team returns to Bucks New University in preparation for 2015 World Cup

With the 2015 Touch (rugby) World Cup fast approaching, the England women's team has returned to Buckinghamshire New University for a weekend of fitness testing and training in the University's Human Performance Laboratory.
Bucks New University main
The national team, which originally undertook a series of fitness testing sessions at the University in September last year, were once again put through their paces by Human Performance Laboratory Manager Gary Peters, his team of student helpers, and the England coaches.
England Women's Touch (rugby) team Head Coach Samantha Phillips, said: "The aim of retesting was not only to evaluate progress and identify areas for further improvement, but also to ensure the girls are on the right track to undertake the fitness demands that the Touch World Cup will place on their bodies."
The World Cup, which will commence in April and is being held in Coffs Harbour, Australia, will require the team to play three 40 minute games per day for up to five days, and it is important that players' fitness levels are monitored as the competition nears.
As well as fitness assessments, the squad of 20 players was also given some helpful advice on training and performance by Bucks New University's Mr Peters.
"I gave the squad a short talk on three ergogenic aids to give them some food for thought on aiding training and performance, and I also held drop in sessions for their fitness programmes," he commented.
Renowned mental conditioning coach and Bucks graduate Richard Dean delivered a presentation on sports psychology and also held individual sessions with the squad members to discuss their mental preparation for the tournament.
The University's helpers were BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science student Cliff Service, and BSc (Hons) Sports Science and Coaching Studies students Bobby Dickinson, Aquila Burgess and Ohio Orumen.
The weekend concluded with a series of friendly games against Bucks New University's first XV.
Main picture caption: Gary Peters training members of the England Touch (rugby) team.
Second picture caption: The England squad training in the Gateway Events Hall.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Ageing, Physical Activity, Recreation and Well Being Conference

Following the success of last year's 'Ageing, Physical Activity, Recreation and Well Being' Conference, the conference will run again with a new theme 'Reaching diverse communities' on 11th June 2015.

Last year's conference was held in the Gateway Building and attracted around 200 visitors. This multi-disciplinary conference  was hosted by Bucks New University, 'Movers & Shakers' and the Institute for Sport, Exercise, Recreation and Well-being.

The conference was held to raise awareness between policy-makers, the public and many older people who do not always fully appreciate either the importance of physical activity and recreation in elders' lives or the options available to deal with the process of ageing and wellbeing. There is an emerging body of knowledge available that suggests it is paramount to maintain an active lifestyle to avoid medical conditions and counteract the effects of ageing.

Currently, 23% of the population in Buckinghamshire are 60 years and over and this percentage is expected to rise to 40% by 2026. In every continent people are living longer lives in the 21st century. Older people are predicted to make up 22% of the world population with an increase in each major sector of the globe by 2050.

As part of the conference activities, Movers & Shakers demonstrated initiatives and welcomed all members of the community - in particular older people who were wanting to find out more about ageing well and the Movers & Shakers health and wellbeing initiative.

Following the conference the organisers were invited by a publishing company (Cambridge Scholars) to compile the conference papers into an edited book with title 'Ageing, Physical Activity and Well Being'. The book will be available to the public in 2016.

Pictured in the photo from left: Professor Carol Cutler-Riddick (keynote speaker, Gallaudet University, USA), Professor Barbara Humberstone (conference organiser - BNU), Dr Cassandra Phoenix (keynote speaker, Exeter University), Dr Maria Konstantaki (conference organiser - BNU) and Olga McBarnett (Bucks County Council Community Lead & Movers and Shakers).

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Bucks New University Sports Department gains British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) Endorsement

Department gains British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) Endorsement

Last week, the sport & exercise science team within the Department gained well deserved BASES endorsement for the B.Sc. (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science degree.  Essentially, BASES endorsement indicates that the programme is recognised by the leading UK professional body in sport and exercise sciences.

There are many benefits of BASES endorsement including the following information for students: 

Benefits of BASES endorsement

For students, the BASES undergraduate endorsement scheme (BUES) provides a reliable list of meticulously tested courses and ensures that students' investments are rewarded with a high standard of education:
  • Studying the three disciplinary areas – Biomechanics, Physiology and Psychology
  • Exposure to the interdisciplinary study of sport and exercise science
  • Development of skills in experimental design, data analysis and other aspects of research methods
  • A major piece of independent study in the form of a research project or similar in the field of sport and exercise science.
  • Develop practical/laboratory experience, across Biomechanics, Physiology and Psychology
  • Taught by staff with current professional experience - the programme team must comprise at least two BASES accredited sport and exercise scientists.
Individuals who have a BUES endorsed undergraduate degree and who complete a relevant postgraduate degree will be considered as having the required level of underpinning technical knowledge and understanding for BASES accreditation. BASES accreditation is awarded to those practitioners who are deemed by the Association to have the minimum knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to be safe and fit to practice as a sport and exercise scientist.
Applications to join Supervised Experience (the training route, and most common route to BASES accreditation) or apply directly for BASES accreditation are simplified for those who have completed an endorsed course as the content has already been approved as meeting the standards required. 
Employers looking to acquire the best sport and exercise scientists know that graduates of BASES endorsed programmes have received an appropriate curriculum, resources and opportunities that undergraduate courses offer for training sport and exercise scientists.
Endorsement gives university departments credibility and status evidence. The course will be endorsed by the widely recognised leading UK professional body in sport and exercise sciences, which has obvious marketing benefits. More importantly, graduating students will be better evidence prepared to enter into related professions. BUES will also be an invaluable resource, in addition to QAA subject benchmark statements, for departments who are validating, revalidating or reviewing sport and exercise science related courses.
At Buckinghamshire New University, we are delighted that our BSc Sport and Exercise Science course is now endorsed by BASES, the leading professional sports governing body in the UK. We anticipate that our students will be also privileged to graduate  with a BASES endorsed degree and that they will take advantage of the routes available to them.