June 17, 2020, by Kate Rothery

Taking your sports leadership journey online

The University of Nottingham Sport Leadership Academy offers a range of opportunities for our students to develop their leadership skills through sport and gain real experience. Programmes include working in local schools, coaching your peers and volunteering at major sporting events on campus.

Last academic year our student leaders delivered over 3,500 voluntary hours in their local community.

Whilst all in-person delivery is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to prepare for a return to activity as well as supporting our students to develop their skills and experience virtually.

As part of our online Health and Wellbeing Home, Leadership Academy ambassador Emily Richardson reflects on her leadership journey, why those transferable skills are so important and where you can find resources online.

“I’m currently in my fourth year at University of Nottingham studying for a Masters in the School of Geography. I’ve been involved in the Leadership Academy for three years, firstly as a volunteer and then as a student ambassador. Before I started I had no experience in leadership at all!

I started by visiting schools to offer fun active sessions. Then with my handball club, I helped design and run a six-week handball programme for schoolchildren. Last year I joined the Leadership Academy team as an ambassador and so got involved with more events like Discovery Days and supporting the Qualification fund programme.

I’ve loved my time volunteering. I’ve bonded with my teammates in the Handball club, met new people and colleagues and learnt so many transferable skills for my future career. I’ve been put in positions of responsibility regularly and I’m now a confident public speaker and can manage my time and planning really well. Now I look back I can see how I’ve developed and I really can’t recommend it enough!

Until we can restart delivery, there’s lots of free online courses perfect for students who wish to learn about the key principles of sports leadership. These courses cover working with young people, wellbeing in sport and mental health awareness.”

Have you got any recommendations of online courses you’ve enjoyed and found useful?

We’d love to hear from you with any suggestions and how you’re getting on– get in touch by emailing our Sports Volunteering Officer Jo Turner at joanne.turner@nottingham.ac.uk.


Working with young people in sport and exercise – Open University

This free online course examines the special considerations of coaching or instructing young people in sport and exercise. You’ll consider the physiological differences between children and adults as well as the practical implications of coaching young people.

Ideal for students taking part in or interested in joining one of our Leadership Academy schools programmes or those considering a future career in education.

Find out more

Young people’s wellbeing – Open University

This free online course looks at what we mean by ‘wellbeing’ for young people, how this is shaped by social differences and inequality and how we can improve young people’s physical and mental health. You’ll examine the range of factors affecting young people’s wellbeing, including obesity, depression and behavioural problems.

Ideal for students taking part in or interested in joining one of our Leadership Academy schools programmes or those considering a future career in education and /or psychology.

Find out more

Mental health awareness for sport and physical activity – UK Coaching

This online course aims to increase your understanding of mental health, how to better support those living with mental health problems and how to create a positive environment to ensure they enjoy the benefits of staying active.

The four module programme is currently free until 31 August 2020 and also awards 3 recognised CPD points for the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical activity (CIMSPA).

Ideal for students taking part or interested in joining any of our Leadership Academy programmes and particularly for those developing as coaches within their sports.

Find out more

Nottingham Advantage Award

The Nottingham Advantage Award team have created a new module to support all University of Nottingham students volunteering or working in response to Covid-19.

Find out more


For more information on University of Nottingham Sport’s Leadership Academy programmes, training and support please visit our webpages here.

Our online Health and Wellbeing Home offers a range of resources to support you from home including workouts, challenges and blogs. Visit the Health and Wellbeing Home here.


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