As part of their commitment to the health and wellbeing of its students, SERC have become the first college in Northern Ireland to become Clean Sport Accredited.
Last week the college held a signing ceremony where SERC principal and chief executive Ken Webb and Deputy head of school for applied science and sport Colin Atkinson, signed a Clean Sport Commitment Statement in conjunction with the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and Sport NI’s Pure Winner programme.
UKAD is an organisation responsible for making sure that all athletes who take part in sport are clean. Through education, athletes not only learn, but understand what substances they can and can’t take.
All academic institutions play a crucial role by promoting sport as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle and providing a platform for sporting development and achievement within the next generation of young athletes.
SERC will join some of the UK’s top sporting universities including Loughborough University and Bath University in providing the highest level of Clean Sport education to their students and staff ensuring that future athletes and athlete support personnel are aware of their commitments to compete clean.
The Clean Sport programme is an integral part of SERC’s sporting strategy with Clean Sport ethics and values embedded into both Further and Higher Education academic programmes and services. This message is emphasised throughout the student experience from point of enrolment and induction, through workshops, outreach sessions and via SERC’s Clean Sport Ambassador programme. The students’ commitment to Clean Sport is further emphasised through their own guided involvement in extending SERC’s Clean Sport message into the wider community via education sessions in local schools and sports clubs.
SERC has a proud tradition of supporting student-athletes in their sporting and academic pursuits, including Rhys McClenaghan took home Gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for his sensational pommel horse performance. Former student Kevin Seaward also finished an impressive fourth place at the Games in the Men's Marathon. In 2012 student Chloe Brown got the once in a lifetime opportunity to accompany David Beckham and four other young athletes to attend the Olympic Flame Handover in Athens. In 2016 Bethany Firth won four medals — three gold and one silver — at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
SERC affirmed their commitment to supporting their student-athletes a few years ago when former Ulster and Irish rugby legend Stephen Ferris launched their Elite Athlete Programme, designed to provide aspiring elite athletes with the support they need to achieve both academic and sporting excellence.