“We want to be leaders in disability sport and pave the way for other schools and colleges”
The Together Trust’s very own Bridge College is the only specialist college in England to receive Sport England funding!
Their new recruits Chloe and Julie are already busy getting students moving more and having fun while they do it. Jade Cole, a communications assistant at Bridge College, sat down with them to find out more.
Please can you tell us a bit about your new roles?
Julie: My new role is sport and community manager, which I was recently appointed to - I’m very excited about it.
Chloe: My new role is a sports coach and again I’m really excited about it!
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Chloe: I think to bring new ideas forward. Especially starting up the breakfast and lunch clubs again. These will involve putting on a range of sporting activities for the students to take part in.
Julie: Since I’ve been here my goal has been getting as many students as active as possible. We’re currently doing this through our sports and motor activity training programme sessions. We’d like to broaden that out, initially for our students in college and then progressing to activities outside college hours. Then hopefully we’ll develop that again to work within the community.
For example, people from different sports clubs could join in with our learners, we could access different sport settings and in return, they could access Bridge College in the evenings. There’s so much scope in the project, Chloe and I have to narrow it down and work out what our first step is. As we’ve only recently been appointed in the last week, we’re in the very early stages of development.
Chloe and Julie: We want to reach out to people working in the Together Trust and the college! If you have any ideas or want to get involved do get in touch. We’ve already spoken to the occupational therapists here and they’re keen to play a part in getting the students active. The physiotherapists also want to get involved – it’s not just the Julie and Chloe project, it’s college-wide!
Chloe: I officially started at the end of January and have been running the breakfast and lunch clubs. I’ll be running some of the PE sessions which is very exciting. I’ve coached before but teaching will be new.
Please tell us about a memorable, ‘wow’ moment you’ve had with the students.
Julie: One, in particular, stands out. There was a large number of employees who got sick with a virus a couple of weeks ago. This impacted on our sports session because two classes were combined - it was absolutely fantastic to see all the students engaged! The support workers in the session were fantastic. They ensured all the students were involved and it was amazing to see all the learning taking place, and how each student was focused on their activity.
Chloe: A student who we’ve been working with is now accessing swimming in the hydro pool. The ultimate goal is to get her to access swimming with her sports class out in the community.
It’s a huge step because not only is she allowing other people to work with her, she’s getting in and out of the pool as requested. The main barrier for her was that she loves swimming so much she wouldn’t get out of the pool. This is why we are swimming here at college before I take her out and about.
The progress she’s made is fantastic.
Any final thoughts?
Julie: We are both just so thankful and excited to be given this opportunity. As we said previously, we really want everyone to get on board with the project.
Chloe: I really want to get across to everyone that it’s Sport England who has funded this project. We are the only college in the country that received funding! We want to be leaders in disability sport and pave the way for other schools and colleges.
Julie: We also want to say thanks to Jeremy Swinn for spending a lot of time ensuring we received the funding. Looking to the future we want to work with learners who have left the college. We want to provide clubs and activities so that former students can come back to the college in the evening and still participate.
We can't wait to see what Julie, Chloe and the rest of Bridge College do with this fantastic opportunity.