University Presents Award-Winning Community Initiative in China

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The University of Worcester’s award-winning, community driven sporting initiative, Learning Through Sport, was earlier this month highlighted as a great example of a community partnership practice at a prestigious Chinese university conference.

Mick Donovan, Head of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester, was invited to speak at the President’s Forum at Wuhan Sports University, China, which celebrated the institution’s 60th anniversary by gathering some of the best sports academics and leaders in the world to share visions of the future of sport and higher education.

Mr Donovan presented his paper, ‘Learning Through Sport: Developing a True Partnership between Higher Education and the Community’, and discussed the impact of the Learning Through Sport project.

Talking about his participation at the global forum, he said: “The aim of the presentation was to highlight the meaningful impact that students can make to the community whilst studying at University, alongside developing key skills and experiences that will help them later in life.”

The Learning Through Sport initiative was launched by the University of Worcester over ten years ago as a community project designed to bridge the gap between higher education and young people, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds or children with disabilities.

Since then, the project has grown significantly, has enjoyed national and international success, and last year was Highly Commended by the World Leisure International Innovation Prize.

Mr Donovan continued: “Whilst many still believe that Higher Education institutions remain isolated from their communities, we are doing creative and innovative things at the University of Worcester to break down barriers and develop positive life skills in young people.

“The Forum presented a great opportunity to share this with our world peers.”

Earlier this year, the annual Learning Through Sport Day was held at the brand new University of Worcester Arena, where more than 200 pupils from schools across the county took part in the action packed day of sport and education.

The children’s activities were led by University of Worcester lecturers and students together with coaches and players from the Worcester Warriors Rugby, Worcestershire County Cricket and Worcester Wolves Basketball Clubs.