University’s Activities for Young People

The University welcomed pupils from across the country at its Next Step Basketball Camp, while students and staff at the University helped to put on enrichment activity sessions for five to 15-year-olds, focused on sport, art and literature.

Organisers of the Next Step Basketball Camp brought together players, aged 16 to 18, from various sixth forms/colleges to give them an experience of what life can be like as a student athlete at the University. Uniconnect funding supported some of the delivery costs and enabled eligible learners to benefit from the activity free of charge.

The basketball sessions included fitness testing with University staff, providing the young players with an environment that was similar to what they would see in many professional set ups. “This was a great start to the camp, you could already see the competitive nature coming out players, who were looking to beat each other’s scores on the various tests,” said Dean Blake, the University’s Basketball Development Officer. 

There were also skill stations, team-based skills and drills and coached team games in the evening.  Activities took place on campus and participants stayed in University accommodation. The Sports Therapy team also provided support to players with prehab, rehab and injuries when necessary. At the end of the camp, there were awards for good attitude or good performance.

Meanwhile, the University organised and ran further activities as part of Worcestershire County Council’s Ready Steady Worcestershire, through the Government’s Holiday Activity and Food grant. The University not only partnered on the delivery but also contributed financially.

In its first week, sessions were themed around a number of sports and involved around 90 people, then in the second week, 80 people took part in four days of art and drama activities. These sessions were run by University staff and students, and some external contributors. The children also took part in sessions at The Hive, jointly run by University and Hive staff, with one day focused on Harry Potter. Sessions were designed to be inclusive, to accommodate people of all abilities and involved pupils from all over Worcestershire, sourced through working with play schools and summer activity schools.

Val Yates, the University’s Director of Access and Inclusion who organised the enrichment activities, said: “We’re committed to making a difference in the wider community and expanding education opportunities where we can. These sessions were a great way to add to the learning that children have been doing in the classroom, hopefully inspiring them for their studies in the coming year. The sessions were also a chance for our students to get vital experience working with young people and the feedback we have had has been really positive. We’re keen to look at other opportunities to do similar events and build further on the connections we’ve made on this occasion, working together on future projects to the benefit of local children.”