Placement overview

Name: Emma Tustin
Role: Adult Education lead (Sports, Fitness & Inclusive studies)
College: South Gloucestershire & Stroud (SGS) College
Location: St Lucia
  • They had the chance to observe the national elite team set up, and understand the ways these organisations operate, which was amazing. You wouldn’t get a chance to have this access at an elite level in the UK.

    Emma Tustin, Sports Tutor, SGS College

The placement

Participants were allocated to two different placements based on their interests or preferred sports. It really pushed them out of their comfort zone. They were responsible for designing small, inclusive games, and leading sessions.

The sessions with children focussed on games and competitive fun rather than drills. They were looking at fundamental physical literacy – balance, coordination, communication skills, trying to embed as many different elements as possible into each game.

Unique opportunities

Students were able to engage with competitive larger scale sports across the island. Once a week, there were different opportunities to observe national teams practicing.

They had the chance to observe the national elite team set up, and understand the ways these organisations operate, which was amazing. You wouldn’t get a chance to have this access at an elite level in the UK.

There were a diverse range of placements. Joel (country director of the programme in St Lucia) has unique access to different organisations and networks. It was an opportunity to gain first hand coaching experience as well as the experience of being involved with elite teams.

The national rugby team was preparing for upcoming tournaments. The SGS group were invited to train against them each week. They played a mixture of games against the under 18, male and female national squads.

Local partner support

This was the College’s first trip to St Lucia, parents were initially anxious about safety and different culture. They were reassured that there were staff in place to support with different issues and it really helped for them to see photos of what the group were up to each day. 

Joel (Director of United Through Sports in St Lucia) is a former student at SGS College. He has a good understanding of what students are going through and the day to day life at the College. His unique understanding of both the UK and St Lucia cultures and context meant he was able to anticipate some of the challenges that could come up, in terms of cultural differences, and guide participants through these.

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The impact

It really helped build confidence amongst the participants. They were miles away from home and didn’t know each other well before they came on the trip. They worked well together to plan and lead the sessions, collaborating with other local colleagues as well. 

Being away has given participants time to reflect on what they want to do next and how they might use their experience. They now have the confidence to put themselves forward for different opportunities that arise.

Participants are hoping to progress into either further training in nursing/physio, or sport therapy or coaching roles in the industry. This has unique experience has undoubtedly supported them on their paths into further training and employment.

Outcomes

  • Developing fundamental physical literacy
  • Exposure to cultural experience
  • Confidence building
  • Improved people skills
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Collaboration and partnership is at the heart of what we do.

If you would like to find out more about the way we work, get in touch.