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Staff in the Spotlight: Female Sport & Public Services Staff at South Downs

March 8, 2021

At HSDC we have a number of highly-skilled, dedicated and passionate staff.

They go above and beyond to help our students reach their full potential. We want to shout about these integral members of our HSDC community who are fulfilling strong roles within their departments and are behind our teaching excellence.

Today, as part of International Women’s Day, we are featuring the female Sport & Public Services Department staff at our South Downs Campus.


Bonnie Emery: I have been teaching in FE for over 10 years. I have also worked within the Sports Therapy industry at a Sports Injury Clinic and as a club Sports Therapist within a non-league football team. Initially, after graduating I worked within the NHS on the orthopaedic wards providing post-surgery rehabilitation. My practical experience ranges from acute injury management to assessing and diagnosing chronic injuries.


Claire Kerley: In my free time I coach acro gymnastics, tumbling and pre-school gymnastics at a club in Locks Heath. I also enjoy working out and participating in fitness classes.




Gemma Joyce: I absolutely love and look forward to taking our students to Club La Santa, Lanzarote, for a week-long residential. It is always a huge success. Our students have the opportunity to participate in exciting and different activities that many of them have not done before. Another big highlight is A level results day. Seeing the students open their envelopes knowing their hard work has paid off and that they are onto the next step of their journey is pretty special and I feel proud to have been part of it.


Gemma Sexton: After studying A Level Sport and BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at University of Chichester, I spent time travelling and working in Australia as a Sports Coach before starting work at HSDC. In my free time, I spend time running and training and love being outdoors! The best thing about working at HSDC is spending time with students exploring new concepts and developing new skills.


Jade Widdows: I currently play for Portsmouth FC which takes up the majority of my spare time! I love going for early morning walks with my dog Freddie and exploring new places. I play squash at my local gym every week and do the odd bit of baking when time allows. This can sometimes be tricky to fit in when juggling my football commitments. I wish we had more days in the week to fit all the fun activities.


Jaz Course: I’ve taught for many different areas of the College over the years and joined Public Services from Business and Travel & Tourism as a female was needed to assist walking with a group in the Brecon Beacons. I love teaching (and learning) about anatomy and physiology. All a bit different to the business, hospitality and IT teaching I started off doing! At HSDC, the highlight is the people. Every day someone will brighten my day, whether that be a student, lecturer, ALSA or the wonderful support team all working together to provide the best outcomes for the students.


Katie Spooner: I love the passion, the banter and teamwork involved within FE, it is just great fun and so rewarding. I keep myself entertained with exercise and socialising. My main sport is hockey, where I currently play for Portsmouth Hockey Club and represent the National Ladies Squad for the charity Hockey for Heroes.


Kim Dobson: In 2015 I was tutor and course manager for the BTEC Sports Coaching Golf Academy. The students reached the final of the British Schools golf tournament. HSDC enabled the students to fly up to Scotland and play in the final at St Andrews. Unfortunately we did not win but what an experience it was for the students


Kirsty Harley: I was a student at HSDC South Downs from 2006-2008, where I studied A levels. Some of the female staff in this profile were my lecturers! I left college and went to work in the outdoor industry. In 2015 I joined HSDC as the College Sport Maker where I have been given many opportunities to develop my own practice as well as become a qualified teacher.


Lauren Clark: I studied at HSDC South Downs from 2011-13 on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport, Development and Fitness. I loved every minute at College and made great friendships with peers and teachers. At the end of my second year, I decided to move to the US to study at university on a football (soccer) scholarship. This was an amazing opportunity and the experience I gained was second to none. After three and a half years I returned with a degree in Health and Human Performance, knowing that I wanted to continue my education to become a sport teacher. I am now a fully qualified teacher and enjoying every minute of teaching young adults and learning new things along the way.


Lucy Howell: My favourite thing to do in my free time is to go surfing. I have enjoyed surfing my whole life and spent many years in Cornwall and Devon surfing and competing. Living on the south coast of England I do battle with having good conditions on a regular basis, so in my free time I also enjoy running, mountain biking, hiking and downtime activities of reading and cooking! I also get hungry to learn new things: this year’s new activity is learning golf!



Vicki Wise: I became a teacher as I am passionate to see young people achieve their full potential. In my spare time I like to go walking with family and friends, reading and days out. HSDC highlights: seeing students grow, move on and succeed with their future dreams.