[Mercedes Brazier | Sports Sub Editor]
UniVerse meets sports Activator Luke Trevillion to find out more about the role and other sporting activities available at the university.
UniVerse: What made you interested in becoming an Activator?
Luke Trevillion: A career in Sports Development is what I want to pursue, and being an activator gives me direct experience for this. It also teaches leadership, which could also be seen as coaching, and this is something I have a lot of experience in and wanted to expand. Also the initiative is one that I am proud to be involved in, as it can potentially change lives, and as one of the faces for active students it makes me happy to be helping give others great sport sessions free of cost.
UV: Have you taken part in sport from a young age?
LT: I’ve not always been a great admirer of sport, I was more arty. I didn’t get that enthusiasm for it until I was in around year 9, but even then I hated my P.E. lessons!
UV: Do you have to have any past experience in teaching sports?
LT: I’ve had a lot of experience in voluntary coaching (over 150 hours), including coaching my secondary school year 7 and 8 football team for a term. I also was a teaching assistant for a bit which was a fantastic experience as coaching P.E. lessons are different to usual coaching.
UV: What do you enjoy most?
LT: I really enjoy working one on one with individuals when they need a bit of help with certain skills, but also I like the happiness of students when they learn something and they are proud with themselves! If there is a student whom you feel isn’t too confident in their ability and they are really getting into the sport and it’s helping their confidence, I think that is the best thing ever.
UV: Do you get a chance to take part in some of the sessions as a normal student?
LT: Yes, some of the sessions have specialist coaches and I enjoy learning new techniques such as Olympic lifting; I’ve never done it before!
UV: Have you taught any sessions that you have never done before?
LT: Although I have a level 1 coaching qualification in Basketball, I do not have any experience in Basketball, and this is one of my sessions.
UV: Was it difficult teaching something new?
LT: The Basketball session involves a lot of man-management, and some leadership, but I seem to be doing fine in this. It’s not the sport that’ s the difficult part, but with new and unfamiliar faces it’s a little harder to get off to an effective start, but after a few sessions it settles down and I’m getting to know the group in general.
UV: What do you hope to get out of being an activator?
LT: Experience. Being an activator is not just about leading a group, but also involves different aspects such as marketing, time-management and some general creativity so it can offer a lot of skill enhancements. Also the contacts that can be made by liaising and meeting with different people can be very good for future career developments.
UV: What would be your dream sport/activity to put on?
LT: Roller Hockey. Even though we already offer this within our roller skating session. I absolutely love it! I learnt how to roller skate through playing roller hockey through Active Students two years ago, and now I am the activator for it. My second choice would be field hockey though.
UV: Does it interfere with your studies?
LT: It’s very flexible so I choose the sessions that I would be able to do. If there is a time we cannot do a session, then someone else could potentially cover it, so it does not interfere at all.
UV: Are you a member of an AU team?
LT: Hockey! I am also the Hockey 2’s captain.
UV: Do you see the same faces at every session? Or new ones?
LT: It depends on the session. Ones such as basketball we would usually get the same faces, but at football and Olympic lifting, we do get a high turnover of different faces.
UV: Are the sessions you put on have the same routines and techniques, or do you change them around?
LT: Basketball keeps to the same routine, as it’s what the students want, and if we tried to change it then they wouldn’t be happy. But for football the session is usually different depending on who turns up, but I try and keep it fresh and change it up once in a while. What I learnt through coaching is to cater for the group not yourself.
UV: Do you take part in any other activities/volunteering outside of Active Students and your studies?
LT: I am the project leader of a volunteer group called BeIn Sport which is about getting students opportunities to volunteer within local sports clubs, but also giving them rewards for volunteering through our funding. We have tried to copy Active Students in a way, by not just being a project, but trying to create our own brand to stand out from the crowd and be recognised a bit more.
What would you like to know about Sports Activators? Let us know and we can find out!