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Students turn Superstars to help bring sport to all

John Freeman
Andrew Ashworth teaching
young children
University of Cumbria students have been given valuable employment experience through a sports company set up by a former graduate.

Steven Watson, a former sports studies student at the university’s Lancaster St. Martins campus, graduated more than seven years ago and set up Superstars Coaching soon afterwards.

The company offers a range of sport and exercise services from fundamentals with three year olds, including running and jumping, to rehabilitation with 103 year olds.

Bolton born Steven, 28, is now using his experience to support other University of Cumbria students and graduates by offering them work placements.

“We have offered work to a number of students and graduates and I expect more opportunities to arise for them in the future” said Steven.

“Superstars Coaching has really taken off in the last couple of years and I am keen to support students and give them the opportunity to get some experience and give them a taste of working life.

“Amongst our most successful coaches were Ali Lippok, who used the experience to go on to become a teacher and Dan Ford. 'Sports Man Dan' as the nursery children referred to him, worked with us for three years and will not be forgotten in a hurry. And as we offer such a wide range of services, there is never a dull moment for the new recruits!”

University of Cumbria sport lecturer Mark Christie is full of praise for Steven and the opportunities he is offering. Mark said: “It’s wonderful to see how our graduates make their mark within the industry, but even more special when they come back and offer current graduates a job! Steven clearly demonstrates a passion for his own business model and has diversified from school sport contracts into wider physical activity spheres and population groups. He is a real success story.”

Steven is confident that the partnership is proving to be fruitful for everybody involved. He said: “There are mutual benefits through this partnership. We are able to utilise the skills and fresh ideas of enthusiastic young coaches while they benefit from the range of experiences we can offer and they are paid too. It also supports the university and the opportunities it can offer.”

Steven also runs Exersci, a training provider to bridge the gap between sports science theory and coaching practice. The company provides a team of experts in specific aspects of sports science with plans for rapid expansion.

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