The Inclusion Ambassador programme will return for the 2021/22 academic year. The Inclusion Ambassador programme will integrate student volunteers into disability specific sport and physical activity as well as inclusive activity.
According to Activity Alliance research, two thirds of disabled people would prefer to take part in sport and physical activity with non-disabled people. Using this research, the Inclusion Ambassadors will be used as the voice of young people to champion not only disability specific activity but also inclusive activity.
The Inclusion Ambassador programme is intended not just for disabled students who are looking to pursue a career in coaching but also for non-disabled students who are looking for roles within the disability sector. The ambassadors will be used as a sounding board within their colleges to check and challenge ideas to ensuring disabled students are included in all activity.
Students who were part of the Inclusion Ambassador programme in 2022/23 can sign up to a new Mentor role, supporting them to build on their leadership skills by mentoring new Ambassadors at their college. Mentors will have access to a new e-learning module to help them in their role.
Colleges may recruit a maximum of three Inclusion Ambassadors and two Ambassador Mentors who would be most suited to the role. Larger colleges or colleges with numerous campuses can request further Ambassadors. Each individual student can only be involved in one of our Ambassador programmes in 2022/23.
To successfully fulfil the role students should be able to commit to the following:
- Promote and inspire other disabled students in their college to take part in sport and physical activity
- Complete e-learning training modules online
- Work with staff members at college to monitor any participants engaged in existing or new session that they have promoted
- Complete a personal development form before May 2023
- Use their college social media to post about activities and campaigns
Benefits for Ambassadors
- Online and a regional training event to provide you with the knowledge and confidence needed to be an Inclusion Ambassador
- Support to create their own action plan
- Develop key personal and employability skills such as verbal communication and leadership
- Discounted prices on NGB qualifications (TBC subject to qualification).
- Ongoing support from AoC Sport Disability Development Officer
Benefits for colleges
- Develop a volunteer workforce to better promote provision for disabled students
- Improved promotion of physical activity sessions to students
- Personal and employability skills developed in ambassadors
How to get involved
- Step 1 – To be involved colleges must be signed up to the AoC Sport Leadership Academy. To register your college, please complete this sign-up form.
- Step 2 – Colleges identify which Ambassador programmes they would like to be involved in (colleges can access multiple programmes)
- Step 3 – Colleges select up to three Ambassadors and two Mentors. The Ambassador application window will open on 13 September 2022. (Larger colleges or colleges with numerous campuses can request further Ambassadors).
- Step 4 – College staff share registration form with successful Ambassadors
- Step 5 – Students register to the Inclusion Ambassador programme using the link provided by their college staff member. Registration for Ambassadors closes on 22 October 2022.
- Step 6 – Colleges confirm the names of their Ambassadors by 22 October 2022 by completing the form sent by AoC Sport staff.
- Step 7 – AoC Sport will contact colleges and students confirming Ambassadors and the next steps.
To find out more about the programme please contact Shannon Howarth, Development Officer – Diversity and Inclusion
Being an ambassador during the COVID-19 pandemic
According to a recent MIND survey, 68% of children and young people said their mental health has got worse during the COVID-19 outbreak and more than half of them thought it was because they couldn’t play sport or exercise as they normally would.
Therefore, programmes like the This Girl Can Ambassador scheme are more important than ever to support young people and promote physical activity as a key tool to improve their wellbeing.
We do of course recognise that the restrictions in place in colleges and communities will alter how an ambassador might plan a suitable awareness campaign and interact with their peers.
Students may not be able to mix outside their bubbles, physical activity sessions at college may be operating in a reduced way and students and staff may find themselves affected by further local lockdown conditions.
Many of the adjustments that college staff are making during the pandemic response are suitable methods for this programme, including the use of online meetings and sessions, the use of social distancing and the reduction in face-to-face delivery.
This topic will be discussed in the ambassador training to ensure that they have the confidence to carry out their roles and be effective.