From the moment I stepped onto campus on my first day of UNI in 2010, the first thing I did was head to the sports stalls on the green at University Square. I started UEL in 2010 aiming to complete a degree in Education and Community Development with Sports Development, but also join the Women’s Football team and get the most out of being as UEL as possible. The first thing I did when I stepped on campus was to sign up to the Women’s Football Team. I have played football since I was 5 and I definitely wanted to continue playing at UNI so that I could make some new friends. Not knowing anyone when I arrived at UEL was daunting but I knew that the more I got involved in Sport at University the more friends I would make.
In my first year I was only involved in the football team however in my 2nd year I began a more active member of UELSports. I took over the football team at the start of Freshers week and decided that I wanted to become more involved in other sports, so signed up to become a SportsRep. This gave me opportunities to get more involved within other sports and meet SportsReps from other sports in the University. Through working as a SportsRep I became more involved in UELSports where I was given the opportunity to volunteer my time in the office as an admin assistant. My hard work as a volunteer paid off and I was employed as a part time member of staff. Working in the UELSports office gave me valuable experience in working in sport and the type of tasks that were required on a daily basis for UELSports to function effectively.
Working for UELSports in my second and third year of UNI gave me something else to focus my mind on and allowed me to get first hand experience in the roles which I would be looking at doing on the completion of my degree. My involvement in UELSports as a participant, leader, SportsRep and member of staff allowed me to get as much experience as possible whilst still being a student. During this time I continued to play football with the Women’s Football Team and ran the club for a successful two years finishing in 4th place in both years. The team gave me the opportunity to make some brilliant friends who I am still in contact with a year on from graduating, also helped me to overcome some personal challenges that arose over the years. In summer of 2013 I was appointed a student placement position at UELSports, my title being; “Participation and Outreach Officer”. Working for UELSports as a full time member of staff was one of the best experiences I had during my time at UEL. The people who work for UELSports are a brilliant group of people who help and support each other every step of the way to ensure that UELSports continues to grow from strength to strength, for me to say that I was a part of this grown is a great feeling.
Becoming a full time member of staff allowed me to experience even more sports through the Try a Sport programme. In September I tried my hand at Archery and Trampolining, both sports I had not done since I was at school; even then I had only taken part for very short periods. The Archery sessions proved extremely popular with our students and so I left the session down to them, allowing more space for another student. I did however continue Trampolining. I never thought that I would have taken up a sport, such as Trampolining, however it has now become a hobby of mine and I attend every week without fail. Part of this reason is due to the people who are members of the club, they have encouraged me every step of the way and welcomed me to be a part of their team.
I will never forget the opportunities I have had at UELSports and I think that any student would be amazed at how many things they can get involved with. I would encourage all students coming to UEL to get involved in Sport, whether it is joining a club, going to the gym or taking part in one off tournaments, they are all great experiences that no one should miss out on. I have now left UELSports and have been given a job at London Sport, this is a huge opportunity for me to work with a big Sporting organisation and I am really looking forward to taking on the challenges of a new working environment.
My time at UEL was brilliant and I would like to say a special thank you to the following people; David Cosford, James Kilden, Claire Smith, Shannon Cawston, Cienna Smyth, Yassin Abidou, Katy Hollands, Victoria Irving, Lucie Smith, Caroline Morrison, Lucy Fordham and Sade Ottley. You all made my time at UELSports extremely enjoyable and I am very grateful.
by Emma Marlow