BLOG: Reflections on the 2018/19 year

The summer holidays provide an opportunity to look back at the successes over the last 12 months as well as look forward to the year ahead.

AoC Sport Managing Director Marcus Kingwell reflects back on a successful year for AoC Sport.

There have been many highlights during 2018/19 but there are a few that I am particularly proud of:

Thanks to significant investment by The FA, the Women’s Football Apprentice programme and the College Grassroots Hubs networks continue to drive forward football and futsal participation, which in turn help us to deliver the ECFA vision of ‘FE communities inspired to be active and reach their potential through football’.

Secondly, thanks to continued investment by Sport England, our This Girl Can Ambassadors programme has gone from strength to strength. In case you don’t know, the ambassadors are recruited, trained and supported to promote and inspire other girls in their colleges to be physically active through a varied and inspiring programme of action.

This year, there are 168 ambassadors across 61 colleges and they’ve engaged over 2000 females – half of whom were inactive, a quarter were from BAME backgrounds and 10% were disabled – in 475 different sessions.

Third, the British Active Student Survey has given us solid evidence to back up our claim that sport and physical activity is good for students education, employability and health.

Do have a read if you’ve not seen it already. It says that FE students who are physically active typically have:

  • Higher expectations for grades
  • Much more confidence in finding a job within six months of leaving colleges
  • Higher scores for mental wellbeing and social trust
  • And lower scores for loneliness.

Looking forward to the year ahead, there is plenty of exciting work coming up.

We’re planning to deliver new interventions around student safety and knife crime – a problem which is affected many of our city-based colleges. Sport England have earmarked additional funding for this work.

We’re also excited by the launch of the ECFA National Futsal League and the creation of a futsal pathway in FE.

We’re also pleased to be working on the FE football academy landscape, in collaboration with the AoC policy team, The FA and government, in order to drive positive change.

Finally, there has been some great progress with linking sport and physical activity into The Education Inspection Framework 2019, which will apply from this September.

It says, ‘Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of learners by evaluating the extent to which the curriculum extends beyond the academic, technical or vocational and provides for learners’ broader development, enabling them to develop and discover their interests and talents….and their character – including resilience, confidence and independence – and help them to keep physically and mentally healthy.’

It’s pretty obvious that sport and physical activity ticks a lot of these boxes. Let’s make sure we demonstrate this clearly by aligning our sport and physical activity programmes with the outcomes that Ofsted is looking for.

Read the blog by AoC Sport Policy Manager Matt Rhodes


Related Articles:

New football Super Hubs announced National Apprenticeship Week: “To be able to engage girls to play football for a living is a dream” Active students enjoy better mental health and are less likely to feel lonely, according to new research