The College’s performance sport offer, Team BTC, is celebrating after being shortlisted for the TES FE Support for Learners Award.
Team BTC is an outstanding support mechanism for College students, and is split into three key areas:
- Gifted and talented athletes who represent the College and/or perform national/international duties are awarded scholarship status – a holistic package of flexible, blended learning that enables them to focus on sporting performance that can fit around their studies.
- Students on study programmes are given an opportunity to coach, lead and volunteer as Team BTC ‘Activators’, supporting academic and personal development and employability. This support function is built around the six key pillars of the BTC Advantage.
- All students can access a range of activities that improve health & wellbeing, including ‘This Girl Can’ campaigns, ‘Fit for Work’ programmes and tutorials on personal fitness and nutrition. This has also included developing confidence and wellbeing in SEN students, supporting students with high-anxiety levels and offering students moving from school to College bespoke mindfulness, wellbeing and active sessions to help them with the transition.
The Team BTC support package is effective because:
- It caters for all students regardless of academic/sporting ability.
- Links to the BTC Advantage underpin the development of strong personal and employability skills.
- It provides a sense of belonging and creates a culture of pride and mutual respect.
- Its flexibility means no missed lessons.
- It proactively tackles inactivity, contributing to health and wellbeing.
- Partnerships with employers and sporting organisations create an environment in which sporting talent can thrive.
- A community focus enables school pupils to gain the tools for a healthier lifestyle, via Team BTC-led Development Days, Gifted and Talented workshops and other activities.
Our student volunteering programme has enabled 23 students to deliver 700+ hours of sporting opportunities to 1400 non-active students, with Team BTC apprentices also engaging 1,000 female school students in footballing activity.
Team BTC Activators have facilitated the transition of ‘at-risk’ students from secondary school who have social, emotional or mental health issues, and Team BTC students on sport programmes have worked in underprivileged townships in South Africa to deliver sport, English and maths and sexual health education. Team BTC have supported two international footballers in the 2018-19 academic year to compete for Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. Both students surpassed their Value Added expectation, with their academic distance travelled being in the country’s top 25 percent.
In summary, BTC has gone far beyond setting up an elite sports academy. It has utilised sport and physical activity to support both talented sportspeople and the health and wellbeing of all students, creating resilient young people who have the skills, qualities and behaviours to thrive. Whether enhancing the performance of an elite athlete by 1% or providing a non-active student with the confidence to involve themselves in recreational activity, the benefits are clear.
In achieving this, we have developed leadership and mentoring skills among students on sports programmes, thereby also ensuring the sustainability of this initiative. Regular employer panels ensure that Team BTC remains relevant and continues to meet employer needs.
For more information on Bridgwater & Taunton College’s sport offer, including Team BTC, visit our Sport at BTC page.