Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2010
Youth sport trust Fellow
Update March 2011
The last six months have been challenging in the context of all the changes made to the funding and future of School Sport Partnerships. This has delayed plans for my secondment, but partnership based activity has progressed positively in terms of forging links with local charities and voluntary groups. Young people led working groups have been established at school level in order to develop ‘community cohesion’ projects and exciting work is being conducted through these. Currently I am working with local charities in order to support them with their involvement in ‘The Gold Challenge’ and this commitment will progress and develop over the coming months.
In the autumn I completed an advanced facilitation training course, which proved to be extremely useful. I hope to access further training opportunities over the next few months. My coaching sessions have proved helpful in supporting me through the necessary transitions at work and in addressing the next steps in my career.
My research on the ‘Power of Sport’ continues, although I have recently revised the focus of the work slightly in order to focus on ‘educational disadvantage’ and how this influences access to sport and physical activity opportunities. Conversations are currently being had with national charities who address this through their work and it is hoped that further case studies can be conducted by working in partnership. What has become very evident and proving very exciting, is how powerful the partnership between ‘sport’ and ‘charities’ can be and I am exploring this concept further.
Update - September 2011
The past few months have both challenged and inspired me. The realisation that my current role as Partnership Development Manager would come to an end as of 31stAugust 2011 forced me into a very sudden re-think of my next career path. Through my Fellowship journey I have been able to reflect on my own leadership skills and explore wider insights into handling difficult leadership challenges. This has enabled me to develop an understanding of how leadership skills are transferable across different organisations and sectors and this concept is helping me identify my next leadership role.
In some ways I have gone full circle and I have found myself returning to my key learning outcome from the January 2010 residential where we looked at ‘Emotional Intelligence and Wellbeing’. This is an area where I have invested a great deal of personal reflection time and my coaching sessions have supported me in this.
A key personal insight for me has been the importance of ‘authenticity’ in leadership and remaining true to your core values. I have been able to explore this further through the Winsdor Leadership Trust Programme which I have accessed through my Fellowship tuition budget. I am looking forward to undertaking Part 2 of the programme in November.
Following the end of my current work contract I aim to focus purely on completing my Fellowship. I have arranged to undertake a 4 month secondment involving the setting up a new Social Enterprise which will focus on ‘Social Inclusion’ through sport. This links nicely to the research that I have conducted on ‘The Power of Sport’ where specific focus has been on community and educational disadvantage, and special educational needs and disability. I intend to conclude and write up my research findings during the seconded period. I will also establish a personal mentor to support me within my role as a founder of a new social enterprise.
And so, as one leadership journey ends, another one starts…
Current principal role: Senior Lecturer in Sport Policy
Current principal organisation: Southampton Solent University
Other leadership role 1: Unit Leader
Other organisation 1: Southampton Solent University
Research: The Power of Sport
Research topics: Community development; Equality; Sports; Young people;
Secondment host: Sport4Schools