South Devon College shortlisted for National Award
SOUTH DEVON COLLEGE has been shortlisted for a National Association of College's (AoC) Beacon Award in Sport, in recognition of their work with Sport in the Curriculum and the Community.
No doubt inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games, it is the first time there has been a National Beacon Award specifically for sport, and puts South Devon College in the final few shortlisted colleges from 385 Further Education Institutes nationally. The winner will be announced on 20th November, during the AoC's Annual Conference.
The college were recently assessed by Penny Silvester (AoC), Tony Dallimore (1st4Sport) and Patsy Colvin (Sports Coach UK) when they spent a day there witnessing the innovative sports developments at the college and its work with community partners, employers, community clubs, national governing bodies, the county sports partnership and local schools. The assessors interviewed students, local employers, community partners, parents and ex-students, in addition to observing students coaching and taking part in vocational lessons.
This year the college has held various events based around the Olympic theme, such as their 'Special Inspiration Games' for South West learners with learning difficulties; the Olympic sports makers volunteering programme; and an Olympic-themed staff celebration day. A number of local torch bearers have also visited the college to inspire local students to take up a sporting activity, and many college students volunteered to marshall the route of the torch relay when it visited Devon.
"I'm exceptionally proud that the College's sport provision is being recognised in this way," said Matt Burrows, Senior Section Head for Sport & Adventure, "To get this far is testimony to all the efforts from our students, staff and partners in the community with whom we work. We pride ourselves on the best use of innovative teaching and this is reflected in our learners' outstanding success rates. The assessment day was a chance for us to reflect on our practice, and it was particularly rewarding for me to listen to parents and ex-students sharing their very positive experiences with us. The assessors really seemed to like how we offer our learners a wide range of industry recognised qualifications such as coaching awards, pool lifeguarding, first aid and gym instructor qualifications. I am very grateful to our community partners and employers who gave up their time for the assessment, and who continue to support us by giving opportunities to our learners."
The Sports Department have recently launched a successful apprenticeship programme, new sports academies in Basketball, Netball and Rugby, and is establishing links with Redland Community College in the USA. In May 2012 South Devon College received the Olympic "Podium" Award for Outstanding Sporting Project in 2012, recognising the Special Inspiration Games. They offer a variety of courses in sport and adventure, including Sports Academies and Elite Sporting Champion programmes for talented athletes.