strangequestionbut · 14/03/2018 18:45
My DS is very sporty - he currently plays two sports in local teams that are top of their respective national premiership leagues - so looking a little into the future I'm wondering generally how university sport works. I've looked at the British Universities & College Sport website, so I know that there are university leagues, including premiership leagues, which is great, but I have a few questions.
Do universities employ professional coaches, or do the students self-organise, either to coach themselves or club together to pay a coach?
Do certain universities have reputations for being particularly good at certain sports (implying that they have a particularly good coaching structure in place)? In other words, if I keep an eye on certain leagues over the next couple of years to see which university teams are consistently doing well, is it reasonable to assume they take that particular sport seriously and have a strong professional coach in place? (That may influence his choice of where to apply).
Also, if he's applying to study e.g. maths, then all things being equal academically would the maths department know or care that he was particularly good at sport X which that university took particularly seriously? i.e. Do the university sport organisers let the faculties know what type of talent they're looking for in case it can be a deciding factor in making offers?
purplegreen99 · 14/03/2018 19:26
Have a look at unis offering sports scholarships for talented students. They don't have to be studying a sports-related degree. I don't have personal experience of this, but have a friend whose son was in a national sports squad and applied for these a few years ago. I think Bath, Brunel and Loughborough all offer sports scholarships & professional coaching, but there are probably others.
Leeds2 · 14/03/2018 21:16
Bath and Loughborough have strong swimming teams. I think Bath is better for short distance, Loughborough for longer distance but I am happy to be corrected!
I have heard whilst watching athletics on TV that several athletes are, or were, students at Loughborough. Seems to be a recurring thing.
Your DS may also want to consider applying for a scholarship to a US uni. Plenty offer 100% scholarships to talented athletes, and they are expected to produce the goods on the pitch/track!
EduCated · 14/03/2018 22:17
Lots of universities will offer sports scholarships. Hear may or may not have conditions attached around participation.
Usually the first teams in main sports in large universities will have some level of coaching. This may extend to second and third teams in some cases. There will also then be more recreational and self-organised teams.
It’s worth keeping an eye on BUCS, but also bear in mind that the teams naturally change as students graduate and move on, so they may not be so stable. A good performance over a couple of years might be a particularly strong cohort, though if it’s a more consistent performance over say 5-6 years then it may be more indicative of a good set up for that sport.
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