Working in the sports industry is a job sought after by many. Despite the increased professionalism of many sports over the last 5-10 years matched by an exponential growth of jobs in the sports sector, high numbers of sport and exercise science students graduating each year means the jobs market is very competitive. Employers today are not just looking for students with degrees but those who also have applied practical experience in the field. To help bridge this gap and ensure UL students are highly sought after by employers – the Student Extra Curricular Engagement programme has been in place in PESS for a number of years.
The main aim of this programme is to provide work experience and continuous professional development opportunities for students’ outside of the lecture hall. The programme is open to all Sport & Exercise Science Students from 1st to 4th year. Students are able to select what they would like to get involved in – so in essence they are responsible for shaping their own career path. Students who undertake these work opportunities can be involved in independent pieces of work or alternatively are mentored by an accredited sports science practitioner who gives them onsite training and an introduction into what it’s like to work in a professional sports setting. As well as developing the students’ technical competencies, knowledge, creativity, students are able to network and learn from coaches and other support staff in the multidisciplinary high performance team. Below are images of some of the work we have been involved with on campus and some of the undergraduate students who have availed of the work experience opportunities. The kind of work we have been involved in to date has varied greatly and has ranged from VO2max testing, heart rate & lactate profiling, hydration testing, velocity based profiling, speed & jump profiling, hurdle kinematic analysis, talent identification, coaching and nutritional support for athletes.
Unfortunately with the current situation of Coronavirus many of our applied services have been somewhat restricted however it has been a good time to reflect on our work and devise new services that we hope to roll out in the next academic year.