What was the issue?
Fitness classes came about as a result of student comments at an Additional Support for Learning (ASL) class rep meeting where some students felt isolated at home and had no social activities.
The need for these sessions became known via Glasgow Clyde College Student Association (GCCSA) and ASL connecting via the class rep process; however, the idea could not have come to life without input from the sports department staff and, more importantly, the sports students who gave up their time. This is a great example of partnership working between college departments
How was it solved?
GCCSA and ASL worked with the Sports, Hospitality and Tourism department to develop a leisure type fitness-from-home class that ASL students could access digitally at lunchtime. Classes started in February 2021 and ran until April 2021 online. The classes restarted in May 2021 after a break and have been again running since.
HNC sport students ran these sessions twice a week. This project allowed these students to gain valuable skills and experience which they may have missed gaining due to not being on campus for their course this academic year. Adding not just practical experience but experience of adapting fitness sessions for ASL students and also fitness sessions that could take place in a home space due to the online nature.
The average number of student participants on each session was 12-15. In addition to students, some of the ASL staff and GCCSA student officers joined and participated which was fantastic for engagement and creating a sense of belonging.
Some ASL students will be using their participation to achieve a Learning Outcome for their units as part of their course. These sessions also had a British Sign Language signer in attendance for a deaf student. For the sports students, these partnership sessions have been invaluable. Confidence, leadership, patience and empathy are just a few of the attributes they have gained from delivering this programme of physical activity sessions. It also created a ‘live’ coaching environment for sports students to be assessed; otherwise, they would have been assessed in a ‘simulated’ environment. The benefits of working with live clients heavily outweigh any simulated setting.
I am immensely proud of the partnership programme. Our sports students have led and coached physical activity sessions to our ALS students which has undoubtedly helped them achieve formal qualifications but has also made them more confident, caring and employable coaches.
Quote from Kirstie Barton (Head of Curriculum - Sport, Hospitality and Tourism)
The sessions were a great opportunity and I really enjoyed coaching them. It was a new experience for us all, but with the correct planning and mindset, the sessions were a huge success.
A quote from a student who ran the sessions
I have really enjoyed the Monday and Thursday exercise classes. They have kept me fit and active during lockdown.
Quote from a student who took part
What comes next?
Online fitness classes by sports students for ASL students was not something that the college ran before. This initiative has shown us as a college, the opportunities that are open to us. It provided a great learning experience for the sports students and provided a brilliant social opportunity to the ASL students during lockdown.
Since the changes to lockdown, we have now been able to offer some on-campus classes at one of our campuses, which has allowed students to meet face-to-face.
This project has been a great opportunity for partnership working throughout the college during a difficult time but has also shown us the opportunities we can continue to look into going forward even as things start to change and return to ‘normal’.