Ayr campus building facilities

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The first cohort of students to begin their sporting career at Ayrshire College’s new Skills Centre of Excellence in Irvine are off to a great start.

They took part in a Rugby Ready training course this week at Irvine Sports Club.

Around 40 sports students, who will be based at the new sports campus at Irvine Royal Academy, have been developing their rugby skills and gaining a Rugby Ready qualification that is a pre-requisite qualification that will enable them to receive paid employment when coaching rugby in local schools and clubs.

The students took part in a Rugby Festival organised for schools.

Linking with the Scottish Rugby Union, this was a great chance for the students to put their coaching skills into action.

Jamie Miller, aged 17 from Dalry who is studying Sport and Leisure, said: “I’ve really enjoyed my first week at college learning new rugby techniques and developing my skills.

“My understanding of the game has definitely improved. It’s been great to work with the school pupils to pass on this knowledge.

“I want to work as a development officer in the future so this is a great way to get experience.”

Shannon Goldie (20) from Irvine who is also on the Sport and Leisure class said, “Coaching is something I am hoping to do in the future and the Rugby Festival has given us a taste of what this will be like. I would encourage more women to get involved in this sport and college is a great place to start. I plan to go to university to get my degree and then either teach sport or become a coach. ”

James Adams, Head of Learning and Skills for Sport and Social Science, said: “Sport has the capacity to change lives, and for our students a rewarding career lies ahead.

“We have designed our courses so that they are as practical as possible to inspire students to work hard at developing new skills and develop a passion for training.

“The Rugby Ready course has enabled our students to begin their community work right from the start of their course and this will continue throughout the year as they volunteer in local rugby clubs.

“I would like to thank the Asda and Sainsbury stores in Irvine for kindly sponsoring the event and providing refreshments.”

The Skills Centre of Excellence, based at Irvine Royal Academy, will build a closer relationship between subjects taught at school, college courses and employability programmes. There are still a few places available on the following courses at the Skills Centre of Excellence in Irvine: Sports and Fitness Level 4, 5 and 6; and HNC Coaching and Developing Sport. To apply visit www.ayrshire.ac.uk or call 0300 303 0300

From October 2013, Ayrshire College will be working with The Open University to offer a part-time route to a degree with continued access to all the college study, IT and library facilities. Every year The Open University helps thousands of college students turn their existing HNC or HND into full degrees.