Thursday, 24 April 2014

SSTO support rising skiing star

SSTO staff have teamed up to offer support to a future skiing star.

Colne's Bethany Widdup, a member of the England Alpine Ski Team, has been working with Amy Whitehead and Greg Littler as she continues her quest to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

"The support I've received from UCLan has been invaluable to me," said Bethany. "Both Amy and Greg have spent a lot of time with me, helping me through some injuries and difficult psychological patches. I met with them frequently whilst in the UK and remained in contact throughout the months I've been in Europe."

Bethany was one of 14 young Lancashire athletes to be awarded a £500 grant and support from UCLan in the latest round of the Lancashire Rising Star Fund.

The project, in association with Lancashire Sport Partnership, Lancashire County Council and UCLan, awards the grants to individuals to cover costs such as travel, training, accommodation, competition fees, and equipment.

In addition, each recipient receives a package of support from UCLan which includes strength and conditioning services, nutritional advice and support and access to UCLan sports and training facilities.

Bethany added: "Before this season I never received this kind of structural support and I can really see the benefits now. I've not been able to get this sort of thing through skiing, so I'm looking forward to continuing to work with UCLan in the future."

Friday, 11 April 2014

SSTO student takes part in Sporting Statues project

Ffion Thomas has used her PhD studies to contribute to a newly released 'world football' database. Currently studying within SSTO's International Football Institute (IFI), Ffion compiled a map of iconic sporting statues from around the world as part of 'From Pitch to Plinth: The Sporting Statues' project.

We spoke to Ffion to find out more: "I graduated from Sheffield University in 2010 and through doing some work for Dr Chris Stride during my degree, got involved in the project. What started as a bit of fun/general interest in the subject (everyone on the project is a football fan) led to compiling a list of all football statues in the UK.

"This then snowballed into four published statue databases - UK sports, world cricket, US baseball and now world football - as well as several academic papers and conference presentations which I've contributed to, along with conducting online research and interviews. Every effort is made to get each location spot on, which can be fairly time-consuming in some of the more obscure locations!

"The project and my interest in the subject contributed to my application to study in IFI where my PhD is on the use of nostalgia and heritage in the visual culture of football, of which the use of statues is one part."

Dr Stride said the erection of statues to sporting greats was a very recent occurrence: "There were just a handful, maybe four or five that had been erected before 1980 and then maybe another 10 before 1995.

"Suddenly there have been around 100 of these statues built of sports people in the last 15 years. The surge in footballers being depicted is mainly down to clubs appealing to nostalgia and basking in the reflective glory.

"Sports people are seen as celebrities, they never used to be. The sort of people who would have been statue subjects, such as politicians and people of the church and royalty are less popular now."

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

SSTO Social Media update

The School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors recently conducted an analysis of its Social Media activities.

We now have over 7,000 Twitter followers across accounts connected to SSTO, while our Facebook engagement continues to grow.

Our network of blog sites is almost complete, with Physiotherapy and Sports Therapy the latest Division to enter the blogosphere.

A new blog for Sport Exercise and Nutritional Science is currently under construction and will be launched soon. Links to all of our blog sites can be found in the right hand column. We're also developing our presence on Flickr and Instagram.

Thank you to everyone who follows and contributes to our various platforms. We hope you continue to enjoy our output and help us grow the SSTO community.