Hartpury College’s sport department has become one of the first centres to be named a Leadership Skills Foundation Centre of Excellence, after a panel concluded that Hartpury ‘encapsulated the essence of the leadership programme’. This outstanding achievement places Hartpury among the top 2% of 2,500 centres nationwide.
The status recognises that Hartpury is going above and beyond with the implementation of leadership, empowering its students to believe, lead and succeed. The Centre of Excellence is only awarded to centres that deliver high-quality leadership programmes and celebrates the wide-ranging impact that volunteering has in local communities.
Volunteering opportunities play an important role in life at Hartpury, adding valuable work and life skills to the students’ academic studies. Opportunities to get involved with volunteering exist right across campus including at the annual equestrian events, sports matches and through the running of student-led initiatives. Students also study the Hartpury College Certificate alongside their course, providing further volunteering and work experience opportunities and equipping students with practical and transferable skills for the workplace.
Off-campus events include the annual Big Health Day held at Oxstalls Sports Park in Gloucester each June. At this year’s event, 104 students studying Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport (Physical Education and Coaching) volunteered to showcase a range of ways to stay healthy and active, giving attendees the chance to try trampolining, boccia, golf, powerchair football and spike ball to name a few inclusive sports. Students also support events including the Panathlon Challenge that provides competitions and training days for young people with disabilities and special educational needs, as well as the Forest of Dean School Games and Newent Give it a Go Day.
Laura Hill, Subject Leader of General Sport at Hartpury College said: “Hartpury College and The Leadership Skills Foundation have worked together for over 10 years providing thousands of students with sport leadership qualifications. These qualifications enhance CVs, further develop soft skills, and provide additional UCAS points as well as giving hands-on experience to students.
“The Centre of Excellence status highlights that we deliver high-quality leadership programmes and celebrates the wide-ranging impact that our volunteering has in the local community. Within the General Sport department, we have a number of industry specialist partnerships, which ensures our curriculum intent aligns with local and national employer requirements, supports the delivery of work experience, offers students valuable opportunities to engage with industry specialists, and keeps the department connected and relevant to the labour market.”
Hartpury College’s industry links and opportunities like these have resulted in a 97% progression rate of college students into employment, university or further study (Hartpury College 2023).
Richard Norman, Chief Executive at the Leadership Skills Foundation said: “We’re always inspired by Hartpury’s hard work to provide so many leadership opportunities for young people and how they have embedded this into their culture and the experiences they provide for so many. Hartpury College stood out against all other applicants for how their programme engages so positively with primary schools and delivers events in the local community as well as how they have helped students overcome personal barriers and positively impacted their futures.”
Professor Andy Collop, Principal of Hartpury College said: “We’re immensely proud to receive the Leadership Skills Foundation Centre of Excellence status. Hartpury College is a strong advocate of developing leadership skills in young people, preparing them for the challenges they’ll face as future leaders across all our specialist industries.
“I want to congratulate our sports department for their efforts in providing students with invaluable community engagement and volunteering opportunities, as well as creating an empowering environment where they can learn and grow as leaders.”