Local college bucks national trend to become leaders in sport
With the Paralympic Games in full swing, Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) is celebrating a record-breaking year in Sport.
As the country basks in Team GB's Olympic success and the Government plans to roll out the Olympic Legacy, the College has seen a dramatic increase in the number of students choosing to study Sport. Since 2009, the number has nearly doubled with 596 students choosing to study a Sport qualification in 2011-12.
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Nationally, the number of students opting to study PE at A Level has dropped by 12.7 per cent this year. However the College has bucked this trend with the number of students taking A Level PE at NULC Sixth Form Centre more than doubling since 2009. Of those completing A Level PE this year, three quarters plan to progress to Higher Education.
Shelly Brown, Curriculum Manager for Sport at NULC said: "We've had a phenomenal year both academically and practically and the demand for Sport at NULC just keeps growing; we've now extended our offer to provide a university-level HNC course in Sport and Exercise in partnership with Staffordshire University."
Shelley added: "The sports facilities are first class and teaching staff are experienced industry professionals. One lecturer has even spent the summer at the Olympics as a member of Team GB's medical team."
Natalie Slater aged 18 from Kidsgrove, achieved an A* in A Level PE and is a member of the College's Academy of Sport. Natalie has competed in the British College Sports Championships for two years running, where she achieved a gold and silver medal in Table Tennis. Natalie also won Senior Athlete of the Year for her role in Table Tennis at the Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council Sports Council Awards this year.
Natalie said: "On occasions I have had to take time off college to attend England training camps and I also play at an international level, which involves travelling abroad to countries like Sweden to play Table Tennis.
"Luckily, my lecturers have been really supportive and offered one-to-one sessions to make sure I don't fall behind in my work; I've now achieved A*, A, A in my A Level results and I'm so grateful for the all the support from the College."
The College's A Level PE success was mirrored by success on its vocational courses, with 100 per cent of students studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise achieving High Grades. In addition, 100 per cent achievement rates have been achieved for Level 3 vocational sport courses over the past three years.
In 2009 the College launched its Academy of Sport, which provides a wide range of opportunities to full-time students, including Sports Academies, Elite Sports Performance Programme, Sport Volunteer and Leadership Academy and Recreational Sports.
The Academy of Sport allows students the chance to study and pursue their sporting interests at the same time.
The Academy has had a record breaking year in 2012 with the honours list including awards such as:
- Winner of West Midlands College of the Year in the British Colleges Sport Awards
- Basketball - Winners of West Midlands Performance League and National Cup Finalists
- Men's Volleyball - West Midlands and National Champions and National Cup Winners
- Women's Volleyball - West Midlands Champions
- Ladies Football - West Midlands Performance League Runners-up
- BCS National Championships – 23 students selected, 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal won
- Five students selected to play for National British Colleges squads in Netball, Men's and Ladies Football and Rugby
To find out more about the range of sport courses on offer at NULC visit www.nulc.ac.uk/sport or contact the Information Point on 01782 254254.