Salford City College wins prestigious National Award

Staff and students at Salford City College celebrate winning a coveted “Further Education Oscar”, for Sport in the Curriculum.

Staff and students are celebrating at the news that Salford City College has been awarded the prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for Sport in the Curriculum. The college was announced as winner of the award, sponsored by 1st4sport and sports coach UK, by Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise, at the AoC Annual Conference in Birmingham on Tuesday 19 November.

Salford City College sees sport as a way of bringing together students across the breadth of provision and has invested heavily in providing sporting activities for all students of all abilities.

Led by the Sport Development Team, the college has established partnerships with a range of organisations, including the Manchester United Foundation, Steve Davie’s CueZone into Schools, Salford Red Devils, Manchester FA, Amir Khan’s Gloves Community Centre, and many more. These partnerships provide students with unique opportunities to work alongside sporting professionals and industry experts. Furthermore, the Just4Girls project, funded by Sport England and part of the overall initiative, has successfully encouraged more girls into sport.

Alongside coordinating sporting opportunities, the Sports Development Team also run an in-house Sports Reporters Academy, which sees students working alongside industry journalists, radio presenters and film-makers to develop their professional reporting skills. This aspect of their approach is so successful that the college has been invited to be involved with the reporting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Tony Dallimore, Education Director at 1st4sport, said:

“Coaching is a great way for young people to express their passion and be actively involved in sport. 1st4sport Qualifications, in partnership with sports coach UK, were delighted to be able to continue to support the awards this year. At 1st4sport we are passionate about the wide-ranging benefits of sport to young people and believe further education is an important environment in which to nurture their enthusiasm for sport; whether as participants/athletes, or as part of the workforce. Our visits to the shortlisted colleges has confirmed that the standard and diversity of their offer demonstrates a huge commitment to supporting their sport learners to achieve employability or progression to higher education (HE), through dynamic staff/student/employer engagement.”

Patsy Colvin, Coaching Network Manager at sports coach UK and one of the co-sponsors of the Award, said:

“sports coach UK recognise the value of coaching skills in the sport curriculum and the attainment of relevant industry skills to support employment or progress on to further learning. Through sponsoring the award, and visiting the shortlisted Colleges, we have been assured that there is an enthusiasm to ensure that coaching is a growing component of the FE curriculum.

Our winner has shown an excellent example of how a college can work with partners to enhance learners’ employability skills. The college strives to involve as many of the college community as possible in sporting activities and has a holistic approach to the inclusion of sport within the curriculum.”
Phil Arbelo-Dolan, Head of Sport Development at Salford City College, commented “We are delighted to have won the AoC Beacon Award. As a college, we see sport as a vehicle by which to engage all learners; irrespective of ability, sport has the potential to teach students key life values, alongside raising awareness of health and fitness.

“We have spent a number of years developing our strategic approach to Sport Development within the college and have forged many professional partnerships that, in turn, add to the unique approach we have adopted.

“This award is a reflection of all of the hard work that has been dedicated by staff and students alike and I would like to thank the AoC for their recognition.”

Vice Principal at Salford City College, Leon Dowd, commented “It is an honour to be recognised by the Association of Colleges for all the hard work we do in developing our sport engagement programmes and partnerships.

The Sports Development Team work tirelessly to ensure access to unique sporting opportunities for all our learners to enhance their development and learning, and this award is testament to this commitment. We are incredibly proud to receive such a prestigious accolade and I would like to extend my thanks to all our sporting partners for their exceptional support.”

Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, Dame Pat Bacon, said:

“As the Chair of the National Steering Group it has been a really interesting and exciting experience being involved in the selection of the AoC Beacon Award winners once again.

“The field this year was as strong as ever. It’s great to see colleges identifying the challenges that we face, and confronting them head-on in innovative and creative ways.

“The winning entries this year are all fantastic examples of the ways in which colleges are demonstrating how thoroughly they understand and respond to the needs of their learners, wider communities and employers.
I should like to congratulate all of the successful colleges and hope that they can make the most of the opportunity afforded to them through the Beacon Awards to help stimulate innovation and curriculum development across the sector”

Roger Marriott, AoC Beacon Awards Chief Assessor, said:

“I have been greatly impressed by the innovative and excellent initiatives which have been identified through the assessment process of the AoC Beacon Awards this year.

“It is a privilege to be able to see, first hand, the many imaginative and creative approaches that colleges are adopting to support their learners. The dedication and passion shown by these winning colleges to ensure that individuals are given the opportunity to realise their full potential is inspirational and I hope that the wider sector will benefit as a result of celebrating their achievements.”

Salford City College will host a local celebration event in the New Year and will be presented with its Award by Matthew Hancock MP at a national presentation ceremony due to be held at Westminster on 5 February 2014.

Source: AoC Beacon Awards
Photo shows: Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise announcing the winners of the AoC Beacon Awards.