May 16, 2016, by Laura Estrop

BDLA Student Sports Leader of the Year nomination – Emily Watts

Leadership is one of the key elements that creates a successful sports team. British Colleges University Sports (BUCS) in partnership with Deloitte established the BDLA (BUCS Deloitte Leadership Academy) in 2013, in order to inspire and develop those essential leadership skills of students involved in sport at university. Since its launch three years ago, over 650 students have been through the academy, this year BUCS broke records by expanding to offer to over 480 students.

To recognise the developments and achievements this opportunity has had on students who have taken part BUCS launched an award this year. The short-list for the 2016 BDLA Student Sports Leader of the Year was released last week. UoN Sport’s very own Emily Watts, Vice President/ Development Squad Coach for Women’s Basketball was one of 10 students to be short-listed for the prestigious award. We caught up with Emily to see how she’s feeling after receiving the fantastic news.

How do you feel about this nomination?

“To be honest, my first reaction was complete shock that I’d been short-listed. There was fierce competition to obtain a place on the BDLA course, and everyone who attended (480 students across six events) presented themselves as a strong, successful and motivated leader within their own sport and University. My second reaction was absolute delight that the course leaders felt I was deserving of a place within their final 10.”

Emily after her BUCS Big Wednesday win

Emily accepting her medal after Women’s Basketball Trophy win at BUCS Big Wednesday

What leadership skills have you gained?

“Several! Attending BDLA taught me the importance of good communication with every member of your team, no matter how big or small that team is, both on and off the court. As a leader, you don’t always have to have the best ideas yourself, but you do need to be able to recognise the best idea when it’s put forward, and then work to get the whole team on board with it, something else I learnt.”

Emily during BUCS Big Wednesday match

Emily during Women’s Basketball Trophy final at BUCS Big Wednesday

What effect has the BDLA had on your team?

“Our coach, Andrea Congreaves, always says that we’re a team because “together everyone achieves more” and I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Without the support of my committee, my BUCS team and the club as whole, I wouldn’t be where I am now. We all support and motivate each other, and I think that’s why we’ve been so successful over the last few years. On a personal level, attending the BDLA gave me more confidence in my abilities and promotion of ideas, both on and off the court, and renewed my drive to help UoNWB to become as strong a club as we can be.”

Emily after the Women's Basketball win at the 2016 Varsity

Emily after Women’s Basketball win at Varsity 2016

What would I say to someone who wants to develop their leadership skills?

“Put yourself out there! I applied for the BDLA because it looked a really fun and valuable course, I wasn’t really expecting to get a place – and now I’m in the running for a Leadership Award. The best thing about sport at the University of Nottingham is that there’s always someone there to help you out, so take that leap, you might be surprised by how far it takes you!”

If you would like to find out more information about the BDLA, visit the BUCS website. Don’t forget that you can develop your leadership skills at any time while you are here; join our Leadership Academy to find out more. 

Image credit: Alex Wilkinson Photography

Posted in AchievementBUCSNewsStudents