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02 September 2020 | in FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy, NUSF News

British Universities and Colleges Sport support FVLA and Ambassador Programmes

Following the first online session of the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy (FVLA) in June, we spoke to British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), whose representatives have always supported the development of FVLA and the FISU Student Ambassador Programme over the past few years.

Kazan Universiade

Since 2018, BUCS has increased its support for both, the FVLA and Student Ambassador Programme, by offering its expertise and supporting its representatives involved in the development of the FVLA and Student Ambassador Programme.


Former BUCS National Student Officer and now FISU Gender Equality Committee Vice Chair, Adam Pratchett, has worked closely in collaboration with FISU staff and FISU Committee members on both programmes. This includes working with Student Committee member Joshua Miethke to develop the FISU Ambassador Education Programme for the 2020 FVLA.


"When I first took part in FVLA 2018, I recognised the programme had the potential to be one of the best leadership development programmes for young sports professionals in the world," says Adam Pratchett. "Whilst there were a number of initial challenges, I was keen to work with FISU and Academy participants to drive forward change and ensure both the Academy and Ambassador programmes were as innovative as they could be.”


In 2019, BUCS sent Sheffield Hallam University Sports and Physical Activity Officer Ellis Clark, to take part in the FVLA. Ellis, who was also a stand out participant at the FVLA, was recently appointed as a FISU Student Committee member.  She says: “There’s no doubt my experience at the Academy and introduction to FISU supported my Student Committee candidacy. I’ve enjoyed supporting the development of the Academy and establishing a network of student representatives from across the world”.


Vince MayneBUCS CEO Vince Mayne greets BUCS Patron, HRH The Princess RoyalThis year BUCS is one of few NUSFs to nominate three student delegates for the FVLA, following FISU's decision to allow NUSFs to nominate up to three delegates for the online version of the Academy. 


BUCS CEO Vince Mayne says, “As an organisation, we are committed to supporting the development of future leaders in sport and the opportunity to send additional delegates to the Academy was one we couldn’t refuse."


"Regarding our FISU Student Ambassadors in Adam and Ellis, through our International Advisory Group we’ve provided mentoring and organisational support to them, to make sure they’re able to get the most out of their roles.”


“Following Adam’s and Ellis’ success, we are reviewing how we support future UK FISU Student Ambassadors to ensure they can be even more effective in their roles and we can provide them with as many relevant opportunities as possible. “


GB Delegates 2020 FVLA 2UK 2020 FVLA Delegates (L-R): Elena Mekushina, Veronika Marova and Peter Boyes.2020 FVLA participants and hopeful future UK FISU Student Ambassadors Elena Mekushina, Veronika Marova and Peter Boyes were nominated by BUCS following a rigorous selection process, based on their significant experience and involvement in university sport in the UK.


Speaking to FISU about her expectations and hopes for the Academy, Elena says “I am really excited that I will have the opportunity to study and develop in such a diverse and positive environment. It’s a once in a lifetime experience because we are all aiming for similar goals but each of us has different perspectives and ideas about sports and wellbeing."


This year, in collaboration with FISU, BUCS has also supported Students’ Union President and Master’s Student at Loughborough University London, Mirinda Kidman, to undertake her collaborative thesis project about the FVLA and Ambassador Programme.


"My thesis aims to review the FVLA and Ambassador Programmes from a new perspective and in particular provide a number of recommendations to FISU to support the development of sustainable leadership in academy participants," says Mirinda Kidman. "This research will also assist these students in their future role as a FISU Student Ambassador."


"We’re incredibly proud of all of our representatives involved in FISU’s activities," adds Vince Mayne. "Especially our future leaders who are only at the beginning of their careers in international sport, but are nonetheless having a significant impact on the development of the university sports movement worldwide.”