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news &views THE UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER MAGAZINE

January 2012

In this issue:

Groundbreaking!

NCT College University joins forces with the National Childbirth Trust p.2

Outstanding Nursery OFSTED award highest recommendation to Unitots p.6

Acorns Children’s Hospice Announced as 2012 Charity of the Year p.8

Contractors start Arena build p.4-5


FEATURE

University and NCT Join Forces to Develop the NCT College THE NATIONAL CHILDBIRTH TRUST, THE UK’S LARGEST CHARITY FOR PARENTS, AND THE UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER HAVE FORMED A NEW PARTNERSHIP TO CREATE A SPECIALIST COLLEGE AIMED AT INCREASING THE NUMBER OF VALUABLE COURSES FOR PARENTS. group facilitation to new areas such as baby NCT has long been known for the support it massage and working with young parents. provides to parents through the transition to parenthood. NCT’s antenatal courses, “Together, NCT and the University of Worcester breastfeeding counselling and facilitated can become the centre of excellence for postnatal groups support and inform parents transition to parenthood, offering a real career enabling them to feel confident and prepared. pathway for students. Qualifications will range from a Certificate of Higher Education Now NCT has designated Worcester as and a Foundation Degree, up to Postdoctoral its ‘university partner of choice.’ The two organisations will work together to train NCT research opportunities. This exciting new partnership will help NCT to reach and support Practitioners, volunteers and subsequently more and more parents and parents-to-be.” parents across a range of issues relating to pregnancy, birth and parenthood. NCT currently works with approximately 1,000 practitioners and 10,000 volunteers. Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor, said: It is hoped the new partnership will train “The University of Worcester has long enjoyed many more to work with parents and an outstanding reputation for educating parents-to-be. A range of new courses will professionals to work with children – as midwives, teachers, specialist nurses and health be on offer, with the first programmes beginning in September 2012, taught by workers, sports coaches, artists, illustrators NCT tutors who will become associate and more. We are delighted to have been lecturers of the University of Worcester. chosen to work with NCT to help parents in their transition to parenthood and will do There will also be work to develop all we can to help the Country’s parents and research around birth and parenting children get off to the best possible start.” with the University’s ability to offer PhD studentships on crucial questions. Clea Harmer, Degree & Diploma Manager at NCT, said: “We are looking forward to The University of Worcester will also working in partnership with the University of host NCT conferences and seminars. Worcester, and developing new and exciting The University of Worcester was selected by opportunities for helping parents in the NCT because of the University’s experience transition to parenthood. The flexible training and reputation for high quality training programme will allow students to specialise in of professionals working with children in a wide range of areas from antenatal education, education and health care more broadly. breastfeeding counselling and postnatal The University’s most recent evaluations 2 / JANUARY 2012 / newsandviews@worc.ac.uk

from Ofsted are ‘Outstanding’ and evaluations from the Nursing and Midwifery Council are five ‘goods’ – the highest grade possible. Last month the Child Workforce Development Council announced that the University is one of just eight institutions in England to win a major contract to educate Early Years Professionals.


COVER STORY wELCOME

Welcome

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elcome to the January issue of News & Views, featuring a round-up of news, updates and milestones from the past month at the University of Worcester. 2012 promises to be a very exciting year for the University as we eagerly await the opening of both The Hive and The Worcester Arena. Our feature article this month reports on the status of The Worcester Arena as work gets underway. As the country prepares to host the summer Olympics we report on talented cyclist Jacob James and look at how the University’s Athlete Support Programme is doing its part to encourage and nurture talented athletes of the future.

CAR SHARE SCHEME The University of Worcester has teamed up with liftshare, the UK’s largest carshare provider, to give staff their very own car-share scheme. The scheme has been developed to encourage everyone who travels alone in cars to consider a more sustainable journey to campus. It enables you to register your journey details and find a suitable match using liftshare’s award-winning system, which brings together potential carsharers. You can use it for any journeys, not just the commute to work.

There was plenty to celebrate at the end of 2011 including Unitots nursery being rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, the University forming a unique partnership with the National Childbirth Trust, successful sporting achievements and award-winning students and graduates. Here’s to another successful year. With all best wishes for a happy and prosperous year. Please continue sending your news and stories to us at newsandviews@worc.ac.uk

Car-sharing has many benefits: not only is it good for the environment and helps reduce traffic congestion, but it is good for your wallet too! The scheme is free to join, completely secure, and available to all staff with a University of Worcester email address. When you register your journey details, the scheme will supply you with a list of potential matches for you to make contact with and set up a car-share agreement. Register today to find your ideal match and enjoy the benefits of car-sharing with other members of the University www.worcester. ac.uk/liftshare

contents FEATURE University and NCT Join Forces

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COVER STORY Work Set to Start on Worcester

news Car Share Scheme 3 University Steps in to Assist Talented Young Cyclist 6 University’s Nursery Rated Outstanding 6 Published Geographers 7 From Worcester to amazon.com 7 Journalism Students Find Their Own Voice 7 Women’s Rowing Team Gets Top Spot at Head Race 8 Business Students Scoop Trophy 8 University Charity of the Year 8 Community Earth Heritage Champions 9 Worcester Arena Race Night 10 Open Evening 10 Dancing Shoes at the Ready 10 Students Design Interactive Computer Game 11 Business Graduate Receives Award for HR Studies 11 Unleash Your Inner Gypsy! 11

sTAFF FEATURE Martial Arts Master: Scott Buckler

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newsandviews@worc.ac.uk / JANUARY 2012 / 3


Work begins on the Worcester Arena CONTRACTORS HAVE STARTED WORK TO CREATE A MULTI-MILLION-POUND ARENA FOR WORCESTER AND THE WIDER REGION. From the very first day of opening the £15m Worcester Arena will become a national centre of excellence for disability sport, designed to be fully inclusive and building on the work of the University across a host of disability sports, including wheelchair basketball and blind football. Professor David Green, said: “The Worcester Arena will provide outstanding new opportunities to engage in sport. Inclusive by design, it will become ‘home from home’ for many athletes with a mobility impairment as well as the University’s long standing, much acclaimed Learning Through Sport programme for children.” Mick Donovan, Head of the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, added: “The Arena will become a centre of excellence for disability sport, as well as a first-class venue for able-bodied athletes, capable of hosting major international tournaments, specialist training sessions and community events. It will also become the new home of BBL side Worcester Wolves.” Contractors Willmot Dixon, selected after a highly competitive tender process, moved on to the former fruit and vegetable market site in Hylton Road, Worcester, at the beginning of the New Year.

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COVER STORY

Their work will be complete by the end of January 2013. Construction of the Arena will provide employment for over 250 tradespeople, many of whom will be local to Worcester. Once open, the University is aiming to generate a multi-million pound turnover at the Arena creating dozens of new part-time and full-time jobs. The Worcester Arena was one of only six national projects to receive funding from Sport England’s Iconic Facilities Olympic legacy fund, with a grant of £1.5m. The campaign also attracted generous grants from The Trustees of the Foundation for Sport and the Arts (£250,000), England Basketball (£375,000), England Badminton (£200,000) and Herefordshire philanthropist Clive Richards (£25,000). More than £70,000 has also been raised from individual, family and team donations. The University, which is continuing to actively fund-raise for the Arena, has guaranteed to meet the outstanding balance by drawing on its long term commercial loan facility provided by Barclays Bank.

City Campus, the Arena will have good pedestrian and cycle links which are to be enhanced with further improvements to the road junction and crossing arrangements. There will be excellent coach drop-off facilities and cycle parking and discussions are underway to improve bus links along the Hylton Road. Car parking will be available on the University’s immediately adjacent Riverside site. The University will be creating a special wall to celebrate the Worcester Arena and the community’s passion for sport. Members of the community, businesses, sports clubs and other organisations are invited to buy a brick to ensure their name or company name and message is forever part of the Worcester Arena and marking their commitment to grass roots sport, the City, County and region. For more information visit www.worcesterarena.com

The 5,300 m2 Arena is capable of hosting major indoor sports events, with retractable seating provided for 2,000 people and excellent television infrastructure. It will provide important sports teaching facilities to complement the facilities already at the University’s St John’s Campus as well as those within the adjacent Riverside building. Located midway between the University’s St John’s Campus and

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NEWS

University Steps in to Assist Talented Young Cyclist

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n ambitious young cyclist is receiving sports science support from the University of Worcester as he bids to qualify for the World Championships next year.

Jacob James, from Pedmore, Stourbridge, is currently competing in the National Cyclo-Cross Trophy Series. He hopes to qualify for the World Championships in Belgium in January and to help achieve that dream applied to the University’s Motion & Performance Centre (MPC) Athlete Support Programme. Under the programme, the MPC will be supporting 17-year-old Jacob with performance testing and training advice for 12 months. Jacob, a pupil at Haybridge High School, said: “I have been cycling since I was nine years old when I went to the local track with a friend and we got hooked. I am currently in the Junior category at national cyclo-cross and am going in to the Elite category next season.

“With continual support from the staff at the University I hope to have a good season, finish strongly in the national championships in January and then aim to have a training guide for the summer of 2012 in order to succeed during the 2012/13 season.” Jacob, who rides for Halesowen Athletic & Cycling Club, is currently applying to study Physical Education & Sports Coaching at the University of Worcester, which he hopes to follow with a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) with the ultimate aim of becoming a PE teacher. The Athlete Support Programme, which started in 2010, provides sports science support for two to three promising young local athletes per year who are based within the West Midlands, Herefordshire or Worcestershire or attending a course at the University of Worcester. In order to apply, athletes must be aged 1624 and be competing at national level or be close to national selection.

Motion and Performance Centre Coordinator, Jenny Macconnell, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting Jacob this year. He is a very talented and motivated individual, and we hope that by providing him with some sports science support throughout the season, we will help him achieve his goal of qualifying for the World Championships in January.”

Jacob being put through his paces

University’s Nursery Rated Outstanding By Independent Inspectors Staff and children at the University of Worcester’s Unitots nursery are celebrating an ‘outstanding’ report from OFSTED. The Nursery has received the highest possible grade from the independent watchdog, who described it as “welcoming and stimulating”. It comes after the University was awarded one of only eight national contracts to educate and train Early Years professionals in England and follows “outstanding” OFSTED reports for the University’s teacher training provision. Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor, said: “This outstanding report from Ofsted is yet another example of the University’s profound commitment to providing outstanding opportunities for children and young people. “We want to ensure children get the best possible start in life, whether that is through the teachers and

Early Years professionals we train, or by putting professional skills in to direct practice in the University’s nursery. “Across the world it is recognised that high quality education and care for young children is the essential foundation for successful future human development. This means working with, and supporting, mothers, fathers and their young children. Congratulations to all in our nursery team for achieving such outstanding results.” The report rates Unitots as Grade 1 Outstanding in every aspect of the inspection, noting: “Children have an enjoyable time at this welcoming and stimulating nursery, where their individual routines and interests are very well catered for. Children make excellent progress in their

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learning and development as they benefit from an exciting range of resources and activities supported by the experienced staff. “Children’s welfare and healthcare needs are extremely well met and all statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are in place. The nursery has an excellent working relationship with parents and other professionals who are well informed and involved with the nursery. Staff are very good at addressing areas for improvement and make changes demonstrating a high capacity for continuous improvement.” The nursery employs 13 members of staff. Of these, 12 hold appropriate Early Years qualifications, including three staff with Qualified Teacher

Status, two of whom hold Early Years Professional Status. The inspectors said: “Children are very well behaved, polite and good manners are encouraged.” They continued: “Children are rewarded through praise and receive achievement slips detailing good behaviour and developmental progress.” Unitots manager Hazel Rutherford said: “We are delighted that the quality of our provision has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, recognising the high standard of care and education we provide at the nursery. “It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the nursery team.”


NEWS

Published Geographers The Institute of Science and the Environment celebrated the release of text books produced (or co-produced) by three geography lecturers in December 2011 Territories: The Claiming of Space written by Senior Geography lecturer Dr David Storey provides an introduction to theories of territoriality and the outcomes of territorial control and resistance. It explores the construction of territories and the conflicts which often result using a range of examples drawn from various spatial scales and from many different countries. It ranges in coverage from conflicts over national territory (such as Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, South Ossetia) to divisions of space based around class, gender and race.

From Worcester to amazon.com A student with dyslexia who gained a diploma from the University of Worcester has had an autobiography published. A boy brought up in a Catholic Home finds a family that he never knew existed. Dyslexic and confused, he finds his way into one new life after another. Lulu; A Life Discovered is a memoir by Karl Bicknell as he struggles to make sense of his past and his attempts to knit together his early life, his dyslexia, his discovery of his family, his hard-won literacy and his progress through academe, speaks with passion for all those who have suffered in similar ways.  

Urban Geography by Tim Hall and Heather Barrett examines the new geographical patterns forming within and between cities, but also investigates the way geographers have sought to make sense of this urban transformation. Written in an engaging, student friendly style, this is an essential read for students and scholars of Urban Geography.

in the shape of debates about trade, aid and debt, the ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign, and the UK’s ‘Commission on Africa’. But, behind the superficial media façade, Africa is a diverse, complex and dynamic place, with a rich history and a colonial engagement that, although short-lived, was fundamental in determining the long-term future of the continent.

Dr Heather Barrett is an Urban Geographer

Africa: Diversity and Development is a refreshing interdisciplinary text which enhances understanding of the background to Africa’s current position and clarifies possible future scenarios. It is richly illustrated throughout with diagrams and plates, and contains a wealth of detailed case studies and current data.

Africa: Diversity and Development by Tony Binns, Alan Dixon, Etienne Nel For many, Africa is regarded as a place of mystery and negative images, where reports of natural disasters and civil strife dominate media attention, with relatively little publicity given to any of the continent’s more positive attributes. Africa has at last begun to receive the depth of interest it has long deserved,

Dr Alan Dixon is Senior Lecturer in Geography

Journalism Students Find Their Own Voice Former ITV News and Sport presenter Dennis Coath put students through their paces at a special voice coaching session for University of Worcester’s Journalism students. The students – who are undergraduates on the Journalism single honours degree course - found themselves in front of camera, reading news bulletins, taking part in a round-table radio discussion and even telling stories about Noddy and Big Ears! “It’s all part of the method to get trainees using their full vocal range,” explains Dennis. “It is very important that as presenters and reporters of the future they are able to give emphasis and interest to what they read. “ Voice coaching forms an

integral part of all BJTCaccredited journalism courses. The single honours programme is currently seeking to become accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. Journalism Subject Leader, Claire Wolfe, adds: “It’s an important part of what being a multi-platform journalist is about. Gone are the days when journalists either reported on air or worked behind the scenes. Now, they are expected to be able turn their hands to both – especially for web-based news. We are very grateful to Dennis for lending us his expertise.”

to consciously develop my public speaking,” says Jon. James adds: “When Dennis demonstrated, he gave us an example of what we should be aiming for. The way he used his voice really drew you into what he was saying. At the end of the session I felt I’d improved hugely thanks to his coaching.” More voice training sessions are due to be run in 2012.

Students James Jeffrey and Jonathan Kirby found the session fun but intensive: “Working with Dennis was a fun and informative experience which gave me confidence in my voice and hopefully gave me the necessary skills

newsandviews@worc.ac.uk / JANUARY 2012 / 7


NEWS

Women’s Rowing Team Gets Top Spot at Head Race A team from the University of Worcester’s women’s senior rowing squad are celebrating success at a recent competition. The team, which consisted of Gierdre Rakauskaite, Sarah Reed, Vicki Huckle and Sian Maher, with Ryan Alcock as cox, won the women’s four category of the head race at Bristol. A spokesman said: “The senior race was 3.2k timed. The Vespoli crew raced well but were hindered by a banked boat sitting horizontally across the river causing both to have to stop and the Ailings crew had a bit of an off day, which was unfortunate but happens to the best of us. The girls however, did better with the first crew winning the event and the second crew coming third.

“The afternoon was much more entertaining, with the fresher crews racing a shorter 1.8k. UWRC had a men’s 8, a men’s 4 and a women’s 8. Our crews were exemplary, looking cleaner and more together than many of the other crews – it was a slight disappointment that none of our crews won, due to a couple of

Business Students Scoop Trophy from Worcester Business Restructuring Advisers

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group of international business students at the University of Worcester impressed professionals at a City firm with their knowledge of insolvency law.

part in the presentations, with a group of international students impressing the professionals enough to scoop a trophy.

“Business Law is mandatory for accountancy and Doug Wotherspoon, economics students on the Teaching Fellow in Law at BA (Hons) programmes, but the University’s Business School, encouraged students in the present climate the to give a presentation in front topic of company insolvency is a hot topic generally,” of representatives from the Mr Wotherspoon said. insolvency team at Smith & Williamson, the financial Joph Young, Manager advisory group, which has at Smith & Williamson, an office in Worcester. said: “On the whole, I was very impressed by the Around 130 students took

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presentations that the groups had been tasked with preparing on six different corporate insolvency options: each group demonstrated that they had done a good deal of research on their particular topic and this was clearly evident in the presentations. “The winning group did stand out however. Their presentation on Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA’s) was excellent and it was evident that they had not only researched the topic extensively, but had also understood the topic and the main benefits and consequences of a CVA in comparison to the alternative corporate insolvency options. Their summary of the JJB Sports CVA, in particular, highlighted their understanding of the topic.”

unfortunate crabs and a slight problem with a seat coming off the runners, but we were very proud of them nonetheless.”

University Charity of the Year

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e are delighted to announce that colleagues have voted for Acorns Children’s Hospice as the University’s Charity of the Year 2012. Established in 1988, Acorns Hospice Trust is a registered charity offering a network of care for life limited children and young people, and their families, across the heart of England. These children and young people require specialist care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Acorns is currently supporting over 600 children and 865 families, including those who are bereaved. A number of fundraising initiatives will be announced in the New Year along with the total sum raised for the 2011 charity, the Worcester Snoezelen Centre.


NEWS

New Feature: Earth Heritage Trust Each month News and Views will feature an article supplied by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust. In this first feature, we learn about community volunteers who champion the exciting work carried out by the Trust.

Community Earth Heritage Champions This project managed by the Earth Heritage Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund has achieved all its aims of involving local communities and organisations in the understanding, conservation and utilisation of key geological sites across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Nineteen sites were chosen based on a number of factors including interesting geology, safe access and an active local community. A holistic approach was important so understanding the relationships between geology, ecology and archaeology by undertaking detailed surveys was particularly vital.

Vice President of the Trust, Dr Peter Oliver said ‘This project has had much national acclaim and is seen as an example of best practice. It has successfully brought communities in to on-going important conservation at sites all the way from Little Doward in the Wye Valley to the Lickey Hills on the edge of Birmingham.’ The Earth Heritage Trust has been located at the University for fifteen years and currently operates the Geological Records Centre in Woodbury. Anyone requiring more information about the work of the Trust and the Champions project is welcome to call in.

Members of the local community around each site were invited to get For further details contact 01905 855184 or email: eht@worc.ac.uk involved in the project. With supervision by the Trust they focussed on understanding the geology, and conserving the site, exploring the wildlife and utilising the site for recreation. People of all ages and backgrounds signed up to be ‘Champions’ for their local site. All were given comprehensive training. Over the past three and a half years 89 volunteer ‘Champions’ for the nineteen sites across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been recruited. They have been working closely with landowners at each site and as well as looking after the geology they have held guided walks, music festivals, photography competitions and much more. For all the volunteers that have been involved the challenge is now to move beyond the first stage of the project. They are now actively recruiting additional members from their local communities to help in the monitoring and maintenance of these important geological sites.

One of the Champions for the Lickey Hills sites explains the geology in a newly cleared quarry

newsandviews@worc.ac.uk / JANUARY 2012 / 9


NEWS

Worcester Arena Race Night Friday 24th February 2012 7 – 11pm at the University of Worcester Tickets are £15 which includes a fish & chip supper Save 10% if you book a table for 10 people at £135 To book your place or find out more call our events team on: 01905 542294 email: rsvp@worc.ac.uk or visit www.worcesterarena.com Sponsored by:

Open Evening The first Open Event of 2012 will take place on:

Thursday 12 January, 5-7pm For further details call the Events Team on 01905 542276 Thank you for supporting Open Events.

Dancing Shoes at the Ready Two social/practice dance events are taking part at the University’s Riverside building for the twinkle-toed amongst you. Run by Dance at 8, the events take place on Saturday 21 January and on Saturday 4 February. There will be a chance to dance ballroom, Latin American, Jive, and the Argentine Tango. Entry is £7 per person and everyone is welcome regardless of ability, with or without a partner. Have a great night out and practice what you’ve learned out on a superb large sprung dance floor. You are welcome to bring your own refreshments as there are no bar facilities -   don’t forget a bottle opener and plastic cups. No glassware please. Please make sure you either have your dedicated dance shoes or if wearing street shoes they are free of grit, stones or any nails protruding as these can damage the dance floor. No stiletto heels. This will be strictly enforced.  For more information about the event or regular dance classes at Riverside visit www.danceat8.com

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NEWS

Business Graduate Receives Award for HR Studies Photo courtesy of Tempest Photography

University Students Design Interactive Computer Game for Elgar Birthplace Museum

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business graduate from the University of Worcester has been presented with a top prize for her work in human resources.

Charlotte Walker, who graduated last year with a 2:1 BA (Hons) Business, Management and Human Resource Management (HRM), was awarded the EEF Prize for the best HR student.

Computer gaming students at the University of Worcester are helping to design a new interactive game for a City museum. Students on the Computer Games Design and Development BSc Hons course have been working on a project to bring the Elgar Birthplace Museum to a new group of visitors. Dr Carlo Fabricatore, Senior Lecturer in Computer Games, is coordinating a partnership between the Museum and the Worcester Business School, aimed at encouraging students to engage in live projects using gaming for social benefit. “The Museum is looking to reach out to a new audience, young people who perhaps would not normally consider visiting,” he said. “Our students are looking at ways to do this through computer gaming. “It’s fantastic for our students to have the chance to work on a live project with such relevant aims and to have to fulfil the requirements of a real client.” Representatives from the Elgar Birthplace Museum, which is located three miles west of Worcester in Lower Broadheath, visited students at the University to see the various projects in progress and give their comments. Cathy Sloan, Museum Director, said: “This would be a fantastic resource for the Museum. It’s great to be working in collaboration with the University and its students on this project.”

Twenty-one-year-old Charlotte, from Redditch, who is currently taking an MSc in Management and Human Resources, said: “I was very pleased when I found out that I had won the award, especially as Human Resources has always been an area that I have enjoyed learning about and a career I would like to progress into. Once I have finished my MSc course I aim to get my CIPD qualification.” The award was presented by Richard Halstead, Midlands Regional Director for EEF, ‘the manufacturers’ organisation’, which represents 6,000 employers across the UK. “We are delighted to once again support the University of Worcester in its activities to ensure the best HR and IR [Industrial Relations] training is provided to future practitioners,” he said. The award is given by staff nomination for the best grade performance across two final year (Level 6) HRM specialist modules and HRM-specific Independent Study. Charlotte received £100 in vouchers and a day at EEF.

Unleash Your Inner Gypsy! University of Worcester and Shindig present:

New Budapest Café Orchestra Thursday 2 February – 7.30pm in the Conference Centre – St John’s Campus The New Budapest Café Orchestra plays powerful, driving folk-based music from Eastern Europe inspired by the music of European gypsies. The music evokes vivid images of fiddle maestros, Budapest café life and gypsy campfires. There’s an impassioned yet tender mixture of blistering czardas (think Cossack music), Russian and Ukranian folk songs, grief stricken ballads, and rollicking dances from Romania and Bulgaria as well as their own electrifying compositions. Good enough to make you book a holiday to Budapest. Tickets available from the University’s Finance Office and St John’s Public Library (01905 822722) Tickets are £8 or £6 Concessions (under 14, OAP, Students) Family £24 (2 adults and 2 children)

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STAFF FEATURE

This month we chat to Dr Scott Buckler, Course Leader for the Professional Practice BA in the Institute of Education, about his passion for martial arts.

Martial Arts Master: If you have ever met Scott Buckler then I’m sure you will agree that he is a real gentleman, softly spoken, calm and collected. So it may surprise you to learn that he is in fact a black belt in Karate, Jiu Jitsu and is also an instructor in the Chinese style of Wing Chun Kuen. But it’s his lifelong passion for martial arts that is what has kept him so calm and measured he says. “Martial arts helps you to learn self confidence, discipline, and respect and gives you the determination to succeed,” Scott says. Scott, a father of two-and-a-half year old twins, started as a youngster in 1981 when he discovered a love of martial arts films. “I always disliked competitive sports and wanted to do something different,” he recalls. “There was a local Karate club that opened and so I joined and spent 10 years training in Karate. I then moved on to Jiu Jitsu before discovering Wing Chun 16 years ago.” Over his 30 years, Scott’s martial arts journey has provided many opportunities. He taught Jiu Jitsu to singer Beverley Knight, when they were both students at Cheltenham and Gloucester College, and has trained students and teachers in personal safety in the London Borough of Hillingdon and in Birmingham. Scott has even provided security at the American Ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park at a number of high profile events.

Scott has presented at international conferences on Wing Chun and taken part in national demonstrations of the style. Despite the many opportunities that the martial arts have offered, the impact of questionable training techniques at an early age has resulted in significant reconstructive surgery to Scott’s right knee. This has led him to refocus his physical pursuit to a cerebral pursuit through completing a PhD in Wing Chun. Specifically, his thesis explored how and why Wing Chun developed, examining the historical, philosophical and psychological attributes of the style. As Scott maintains: “The martial arts are as much an internal discipline as an external discipline”, an area in which he is continuing to research through relating such transpersonal practices to education. Martial Arts Factoids • There are an estimated 50 to 75 million martial arts practitioners globally, (Birrer, 1996; Yang, 2000). • Martial arts are ranked 10th of the most practiced sporting activities across Europe among people aged over 15 years (Theebom, De Knopp & Wylleman, 2008). • The martial arts are ranked within the top ten preferred activities for those not currently engaged in physical activity (Sport England, 2002). • The martial arts are among one of the safest of physical activities. There is a lower injury rate from training in martial arts than cycling, dancing or golf (Birrer, 1996). • Martial arts participation rates within the United Kingdom exceed those quoted for men’s rugby, athletics and basketball, and women’s netball, athletics and gymnastics (Sport England, 2002).

Wing Chun is a pragmatic combat system based upon the economy of movement, utilising minimal effort for maximum results. The style developed over 250 years ago during a turbulent period of Chinese history and was used for rebellion and anti-piracy measures by a travelling group of Cantonese Opera performers. Since then, Wing Chun has developed exponentially through the films of Bruce Lee and the three recent biographical films of his instructor, Yip Man. Scott, a former primary school teacher, is a 4th generation Yip Man student, training and teaching under Midlands Wing Chun Kuen, led by the internationally recognised Shaun Rawcliffe. In addition Scott has travelled to Hong Kong on several occasions to train with Yip Man’s eldest son, Yip Chun. What do you get up to when you leave the Campus? Email Sally Jones with your interesting stories at s.jones@worc.ac.uk

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News and Views January 2012  

The University of Worcester magazine

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