Worcester Graduate Making Waves in Disability Sport

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From volunteering at the Paralympics to working within one of the fastest growing disability sports, Oliver Mitchell has packed a lot in to the last two years.

Oli graduated from the University of Worcester in 2012 with a degree in Sports Studies. While studying for his degree, he volunteered at a number of sporting events, including the 2010 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Birmingham. So when the opportunity arose to volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Oli jumped at the chance.

I got involved in all sorts of volunteering at London 2012, including security checks, preparing changing rooms, and escorting athletes around the buildings, said the 23-year-old, from Lichfield. It was a fantastic experience and one that Im sure helped me to get my current job.

Oli, a former pupil of Nether Stowe High School, is the Education Development Officer at British Wheelchair Basketball, working with schools, colleges and universities to promote the sport and develop a workforce around it.

Its a really great job, he said. I get to meet loads of different people and if I have an idea I have the freedom to develop it. Its great to know that the work I am involved in can make a real difference to peoples lives.

Olis role brings him back in regular contact with the University of Worcester, the training base of the GB British Wheelchair Basketball teams.

I organise the Inclusive Zone Basketball (IZB) Championship finals, for schools and colleges, which take place at the University of Worcester Arena, and Im also involved in other events and programmes that we work on with the University, he said. Its great to be able to come back to the University and to now work alongside many of the people who taught me. Im putting in to practice many of things that I learned on my degree.

Worcester was one of the few universities that offered Sports Studies when I was looking, he added. At that time I knew I wanted to work in sport but had no idea what I wanted to do so this course was great to give me a general grounding and to channel my interests. It opened my eyes to disability sport and made me realise that this was an area I would really like to work in.

During his degree, Oli volunteered with The Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, where he also worked for a year as a Sports Development Assistant between finishing his degree and gaining the job at British Wheelchair Basketball.

For information on courses at University of Worcester come along to the Open Day on Sunday, November 30.