This year, as in the previous two years' visits to Jaipur, students delivered sport activities both for the schoolchildren of Neerja Modi but also providing fun and developmental sessions for local children from deprived backgrounds. This was a fulfilling and challenging opportunity for students from a range of sport courses to develop their skills, build their own confidence and apply skills and knowledge gained from their respective courses.
Students, accompanied by Zsuzsa Galloway, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching, planned the two week camp, based on a range of developmental objectives, engaging a range of sporting activities and specifically aiming to build on the specific schoolchildren's needs. Many activities were centred around specific sports, but also included fun activities and challenges more loosely associated with recognised sports. Students were also encouraged to reflect - individually and collectively - on their experiences to glean further learning opportunities, and this is being linked to a research project that is part of the Institute of Sport & Human Science's 'Learning Lab' concept.
Neerja Modi School were keen to spread this opportunity to a 'sister' school in Chittorgarh, and so students had the chance to visit another city to uitlise their skills. This also presented an opportunity to see more of the country. We are looking to develop our collaboration with the school to offer potential longer placements or sandwich year opportunities - we have had one longer term sport placement in swimming coaching already.
The benefits to our students are plain to see - developing their confidence to deliver sports programmes, working in a new and unfamiliar environment and culture, a chance to see a new and exciting part of the world, developing ideas about future careers. We have every intention of continuing and growing this opportunity.
Dr Chris Sellars, Deputy Director, Institute of Sport & Human Science, said: "Sport students have benefitted for the third year from a two week sports camp in Jaipur, India. This is a camp hosted by a local school and aimed at providing sport and learning opportunities for both the residential school pupils and the day students from the local disadvantaged communities. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to plan and deliver a fortnight’s activities that introduce and extend children’s sports experience, but as importantly develops their confidence and leadership skills through sport.
"It also consolidates sport students’ learning on their respective courses, allowing them to put into practice skills learned on their modules. They also get to visit historic sites, including the Taj Mahal, and further develop their cultural awareness. Feedback from our students suggests they greatly enjoy and benefit from this experience and that it really helps them extend their career options."