Despite our name, we are not here to just support students and staff in pursuing competitive sport. In fact, we offer a huge range of activities, events, classes and opportunities for all of our community. Keeping active plays a key part in helping you maintain a healthy, happy life at university and there are more ways than you might think to get involved! In this blog post we’ll be sharing some of these.
Did you know that the Sport, Exercise and Health Division at the University of Bristol has more to offer than just competitive sport? We know that Sport isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so here are 10 ways that you can get involved in active life at Bristol, without a referee or score-board in sight!
1. The Gym
The University of Bristol gym is located in the Indoor Sports Centre on Tyndall Avenue – right in the heart of campus. There is a range of cardio machines and an extensive free-weights zone, as well as a functional fitness and stretching areas located over two floors. Whatever your health and fitness goal, you’ll find everything you need.
2. Fitness classes
In the same building as the Gym, we have a number of fitness studios which are home to our gym-based fitness classes. We have over 100 in-person and virtual classes to choose from every week from ZUMBA and Aerobics, to Hatha Yoga and HIIT Pilates. As a Les Mills partner, you can join instructor-led and virtual classes from their popular catalogue including GRIT, RPM, Body Balance and Body Balance. Get unlimited access to classes with a membership, or PAYG for your favourite.
B:Active is our non-competitive, low-cost and beginner-friendly fitness and activity programme exclusive for students. Split across two timetables, B:Active Campus and B:Active Residences, you can take part in as many classes as you like each week, no commitment needed.
The University of Bristol Swimming Pool is located in the basement of the Richmond Building (Bristol SU building) and has over 100 hours available per week for casual and/or lane swimming. The Pool has six lanes, at full length is 32 meters long, and is 3.8m at it’s deepest point. If you’re looking for a low-impact, full-body conditioning activity, swimming might be the one for you!
5. Treat an injury
If you’re finding yourself sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, or you’re suffering an existing injury that’s keeping you from your favourite activity, get in touch with our Sports Medicine Clinic and speak to one of our expert physiotherapists. Book yourself and 10-15 minute (virtual) initial appointment for FREE for some advice on next steps and put yourself back on the path to peak physical condition.
6. Sign up to an event
In-person or virtual, events are a great way to join our #WeAreBristol active community and feel a part of something bigger – last year we had over 700 Bristol Uni students, staff and alumni sign up to the Great Bristol 10k. Events may be looking a little different for 2020/21 but keep an eye out for virtual event opportunities coming this year!
7. Learn or develop a skill
Book yourself a coached session to boost your skills and confidence! Our Tennis Coaches, Swim Teachers and Personal Trainers all offer 1:1 or small group coaching sessions to help support you in reaching your activity goals, whether that’s learning something completely new, or building on previous experience. It’s never too late, and you’re never too old!
8. Work with us
Student Activators form a valuable part of the S.E.H Team and help us to connect with students, run events and communicate all things active online! Student Activators are paid student staff, and can be a great CV-boosting role – as well as connecting you with other like-minded students. Keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved as a Student Activator during your time at Bristol by following @bristolunibactive and @bristolunisport on social media.
As well as paid opportunities, you can learn new skills and enhance your CV by taking part in our Sport Leadership and Volunteer programme, Game Changers. The programme runs continuously throughout the year to fit flexibly around student studies, and provides students with online and in-person training and qualifications to enable them to volunteer in a range of areas, including; coaching, officiating and community outreach.
10. Have your say
Join a committee, attend Bristol SU meetings or join student networks and groups that can have an impact on shaping the student experience around Sport and Physical Activity! Could you nominate yourself for a position on the University of Bristol Sports Network? If you’d like to see something done differently, you need to get involved and have your say – check our the Bristol SU website for opportunities and who to contact!
Game Changers is our Sport, Leadership & Volunteering programme, led by the University of Bristol Sport, Exercise and Health Division. The programme provides students on campus with the opportunity to gain valuable leadership and coaching experience, by volunteering in a Sports environment alongside our Sporting community partners. Throughout the free programme, students have widen their skill set through taking on specific training modules, workshops, and qualifications.
This year, as with many of our Sports programmes, our Game Changers were interrupted by UK lockdown. However, with help from the staff behind the programme, and flexibility and motivation of our students, we have been able to work with our community partners to continue the programme.
Over the past 12 weeks, our Game Changer volunteers and leaders have been working to deliver training and volunteering opportunities online. Below are some examples of how our Game Changers completed their award during lockdown…
Meet our Game Changers
What year of study are you in? I am a 2nd Year Film and Television student
How did you hear about Game Changers? I heard about Game Changers through the Bristol Plus Award as I wanted to find an opportunity to volunteer whilst learning new skills.
What volunteering opportunities have you taken part in as part of the Game Changers programme? Before lockdown I planned to help with the Student-led Walking Tours – specifically I was going to lead a group to Mill Farm in Bristol, but unfortunately the walk was cancelled due to COVID-19. To lead this group I took part in an Event Management workshop as part of my training.
As a result of lockdown, I contacted Access Sport regarding a videography opportunity. Since then I have created an online awards platform for them, which digitally promoted their annual awards. In addition I used archive footage to compile a promotional video to for their initiatives. I have found this opportunity really beneficial as it has allowed me to develop my technical skills whilst supporting an important charity.
I hope to continue my volunteering for another 10 hours so that I can achieve the Advanced Game Changers award.
What year of study are you in? I’m currently in my 2nd year, studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
How did you hear about Game Changers? I heard about Game Changers while undertaking the Bristol PLUS Award. I found out about the Sport, Health and Exercise volunteering opportunities available, and I was particularly drawn to how you don’t have to be ‘sporty’ to take part in community outreach activities.
What volunteering opportunities have you taken part in as part of the Game Changers programme? Before lockdown, I participated in a Disability Inclusion workshop with Access Sport. This gave me an introduction to adapting physical activity to make it more inclusive. I found it an informative and engaging session about working with disadvantaged groups.
However, since the lockdown began, I have taken on some online volunteering for Zooniverse and helped find homes in Uganda to provide electricity. I have really appreciate how the Award was been adapted to enable me to still help and make a difference from my home.
What year of study are you in? I’m currently in my 2nd year of a degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
How did you hear about Game Changers? I first heard about Game Changers from a friend who was in the process of completing the award. This encouraged me to find out more about the program online. The structure of the Game Changers award was also explained as part of a Bristol Plus talk that I attended.
What volunteering opportunities have you taken part in as part of the Game Changers programme? Before lockdown, I attended a workshop organised by Access Sport. This provided training to volunteer at Bristol Children’s Hospital, leading fun sports sessions with current inpatients. The workshop was super fun and gave me valuable insight into sports leadership, disability inclusion and the need to adapt activities. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to run any sessions at the hospital before lockdown began.
Since lockdown, I have started volunteering with the Coronavirus Tutoring Initiative. This is a tutoring platform that offers completely free tuition for those who might otherwise be unable to access tutoring. The aim is to reduce the educational inequalities which may be exacerbated during COVID-19 and learning at home. Seeing my ‘tutees’ progress and grow in confidence has been incredibly rewarding and it is fulfilling to know that I am supporting an initiative that is tackling important social issues.
I look forward to continuing to be a volunteer tutor during lockdown and possibly beyond!
I would definitely recommend this opportunity and Game Changers – it is really easy to start volunteering. I find it a rewarding way to spend time and remain connected with others during lockdown.
Find out more
If you are interested in taking part in the Game Changers programme next year (2020/21) you can find out more information on our website.
You can also email the Game Changers team to ask any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to follow University of Bristol Sport, Exercise and Health on Facebook and Instagram for updates on when new Game Changers programmes will be starting, including pre-registration information evenings.