Sports Buddy Scheme
The aim of the Sports Buddy Scheme is to provide non-disabled and disabled students who find it difficult to make friends and access sport with the opportunity to get involved, get fit and have some fun.
Whether you want to work out in the gym; go running, swimming or to a fitness class; or train in the strength and conditioning room, this scheme could be just the thing for you.
If you're interested in being paired up with a buddy or being a buddy yourself please contact the Disability Sport Officer for more information.
How do I get a buddy?
The aim of the Sports Buddy Scheme is to pair you up with a buddy who enjoys similar sports and activities to you. The steps that you’ll need to follow are:
1. If you would like to request a buddy, please contact the Disability Sport Officer (DSO) for a buddy application form. Once you have received this, you will just need to complete it and send it back to the Disability Sport Officer.
You will also receive a form providing you with an overview of the buddy's role and protocol which we would ask that you both try to follow.
2. Once we have received your completed buddy request form we will do our best to pair you up with a suitable buddy.
3. We will help to set up an initial meeting with your buddy and providing that it is a good match, we will then leave it up to the two of you to coordinate and manage your sporting activities.
4. You will then either start accessing sport with your buddy or request a new sports buddy match.
5. If you have any questions, please contact the Disability Sport Officer via email and she'll do her best to help.
How can I be a buddy?
Your role as a sports buddy will involve helping to get students engaged in sport and recreational activities.
There will also be a buddy training session, which is compulsory at the start of this term, in addition to possible coaching and leadership courses.
We will be looking at a commitment of between two to three hours per week and will need each buddy to complete and submit a monthly feedback form. You can find out more about what it's like to be a buddy by reading about the experiences of former sports buddies below.
The scheme is also a module of the Nottingham Advantage Award, which you have the option of linking in with.
The steps that you will need to follow to become a sports buddy are:
1. Complete an Sports Buddy Scheme application form (available from the Disability Sport Officer);
2. Register with the Student Volunteer Centre (optional);
3. Meet with the DSO;
4. Undertake sports leaders training;
5. Buddy meeting with a student looking for a buddy;
6. Begin buddying if the meeting is successful;
7. Complete your monthly update sheets and journal.
As a sports buddy you will effectively become an Disability Sport Champion and could play a big part in helping to make The University of Nottingham a happier and healthier place to be, for everybody.
For further information about the scheme please contact either the Disability Sport Officer or the Student Volunteer Centre.
Sports Buddy Case Studies
Some of the scheme’s fantastic sports buddies have taken time out to provide us with some feedback on their experiences.
Amy Shuttleworth 2012-14
Amy was buddied up with a first-year student who wanted to get fit, but found it difficult to access opportunities on his own. Amy did a brilliant job and regularly committed two to three hours per week to sports buddying with him over a two year period.
Here's what Amy thought of the scheme:
"I think the Any-Buddy Scheme is one of the most beneficial schemes the University offers.
It allows buddy volunteers to be creative in their approach to sport and encourages them to find different ways to keep the exercises interesting.
The scheme is also dependent on good organisation skills and effective communication skills, both of which are relevant in all walks of life. The Any-Buddy Scheme strengthens these skills considerably.
Finally, the Any-Buddy Scheme allows enthusiastic people who enjoy sport to socialise with like-minded people who want to exercise and who want to improve, making the whole experience far more enjoyable for everyone involved."
Tom Jervis 2012-13
Tom buddied sports scholar Thomas Green for a year. Tom supported Thomas in his gym and strength and conditioning sessions twice a week. In recognition of his commitment he received an "Outstanding Volunteer Award" from the Student Volunteer Centre in 2013.
You can also hear Tom speak about his experiences in this promotional video featuring Thomas Green.
Gabby Bunn 2010-11
Gabby buddied up with Susan, a disabled member of staff, in the first year that the buddy scheme ran. She introduced Susan to a wide varity of different sports and activities, fostering a longer-term enjoyment for playing squash!
Here's what Gabby got out of the scheme;
"The buddy scheme is a fun and active way of volunteering, which benefits the buddy as much as the person who they are buddied with.
I really enjoyed getting to know Susan and trying new sports. I also really felt like my assistance made a difference.
The volunteering could be hard at times, but I feel that I gained some useful skills, such as communication and problem solving, which can be easily transferred to the workplace.
I'd definitely recommend this scheme to anyone interested in sport and buddying. It's well worth the effort!"