Sport plays a vital role in the lives of many HSDC students and staff. It provides a balance to academic study and keeps them healthy, focused and re-energised. Many students compete for local teams and some at a high level, including for their national squad.
As part of a new series, we will explore how our students and staff participate in sport and, for the students, how they keep the balance between their academic and sporting lives. This time our focus is on hockey.
We posed a series of questions to four hockey-playing HSDC students and three staff (Abi Green, Ben Morgan, Danni Frances, Morgan Sturt, Kirsty Harley, Vicky Small and Katie Spooner).
Both students and staff represent the three different campuses, with the students learning a variety of subjects: A Level Biology, History, Chemistry, Geography, Psychology, Business and PE and BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sports Development, Coaching and Fitness.
Some started playing when they were young (Abi – 12; Ben – 8; Vicky – 7) and several because a sibling was playing. Their advice for someone wanting to get into hockey – ‘go to a local club, give it a go and have some fun!’
All were asked a series of questions. Below is a selection of their responses:
What are your plans for the future?
Ben: Once I finish my A Levels I hope to go to university. I’ve really enjoyed psychology at College, so combining that with Sport Science is my goal at the moment. I would also like to carry on playing for Wales and make the senior squad while I am at university, so I hope to go to a university that plays hockey to a high standard.
Danni: In the future, I hope to go into disability sport to allow everyone the chance of taking part in sport and making sport more inclusive.
How do you manage studying and training/participating in your sport at the same time?
Abi: I do find it tricky to manage studying and training, especially when often the training isn’t local, and it can take out a big part of the day. However, the timings at College have really helped me as it allows me to do my gym training and at least an hour of studying every day before College which I have been doing throughout my time at College so far. I also like to recap the topics we learnt in a lesson that same day or a few days after the lesson just because I don’t have time to cram in lots of revision at the last minute. Also, when I’m travelling long distances to get to training/on game days, I will take one of the revision books for one of the subjects to read in the car, and so I can get others to test me on it.
Morgan: I have a timetable which makes sure I keep on track of both my studying and hockey, and when I have any free time, I am not wasting it.
What do you feel HSDC has been able to offer you to help with your sport?
Danni: On Wednesdays, College sport takes place where you can compete with lots of different colleges across the south; this has allowed me to get more experience playing hockey with different people. Also, HSDC has a gym which you can go to, to train for your particular sport.
Morgan: They have offered me time off to compete and opportunities to trial for different teams, in particular, allowing me to play for England Colleges. They also allow me to train and practice on a good quality pitch.
We also asked our own staff – What do you feel HSDC has been able to offer you to help with your sport?
Katie: I love coaching the college team as the playing ability of students is so diverse from absolute beginner to 1 student getting into the England colleges squad this year. So it definitely keeps me on my toes in how to adapt coaching, so everyone develops and has fun!
Vicky: Being able to use my coaching qualification is brilliant. I took the course to help out coaching at the Club, but being able to use it elsewhere makes it all the more worthwhile. It also allows me to interact more closely with the students. Working in Marketing means we aren’t in touch with students every day like curriculum staff, so it is an excellent chance for me to interact. Although I haven’t been able to play for the past year, leading College hockey has allowed me to remain closely involved with the sport.
Kirsty: HSDC offers loads of opportunities for me to develop as a player, through access to coaches, gym, nutrition advice and also the sports massage clinic run by out PT students.