BSc Sport & Physical ActivityMya Thompson, UK

Tell us a little bit about yourself...
Currently I live in Uddingston, just outside of Glasgow, and have for the past 12 years. Before then, I lived in both Coatbridge and Bellshill which then led to me going to primary school at St. Brides in Bothwell. Seven years later I attended Holy Cross High School in Hamilton and shortly after I knew my future career would be in teaching. The P.E Department in Holy Cross encouraged me to pursue a career in sport and physical education and gave me many opportunities to coach and lead sporting sessions, this then allowed me to coach beyond the department in school. I now volunteer with the Active Schools programme in South Lanarkshire various days a week and I also run my own dance school called Redemption Dance Crew.

Why did you choose Strathclyde for your degree?
I chose the BSc Sport and Physical Activity course at Strathclyde University because after looking in great depth, Strathclyde offered me diverse classes which I knew would allow me to consider different career paths if I ever questioned my future as a PE teacher. Many people I know already attended Strathclyde University as well, and they assured me I would be supported by the lecturers as I was slightly scared about going to University straight after high school, because as many people know, it is a big change. Thankfully, these sources were correct and I cannot fault the support and encouragement I have been given since beginning University. Additionally, the university provides me with coaching and training opportunities through lecturers and all students receive a discounted gym membership, which I also consider as very generous.

What inspired you to study Sport & Physical Activity?
Sport has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and after I knew I wanted to teach, it was only a matter of time before I realised it would be P.E teaching. I have been a dancer from the age of 2 and have taught dancing since I was 14. The guidance and challenge from teachers through primary and secondary school allowed me to aspire to want to support young people they way the supported me. As well as this, I find it so rewarding to see people achieve something I helped them with, this is something I’ve always found beneficial in being a coach, volunteer and as I hope to find in becoming a teacher.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde, so far?
Unfortunately, I have only experienced one official year at Strathclyde because my second year began and is possibly ending online due to the pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t have great memories with my friends and fellow classmates. Firstly, it must be mentioned that after putting the hard work in and with a lot of determination, getting good results in all my classes in first year will always be a rewarding moment I look back on and is definitely one of my highlights at University so far. Another highlight for me would be the first day, as it was the day I knew I had met friends for life, and to this day, they are the people that help me get through the rough times and the ones I celebrate with when we achieve something we have worked hard for all year round.

How did you get involved with the Young People's Sports Panel?
It began in 2019, when I applied to become a member of the South Lanarkshire Young People’s Sports Panel and shortly after I was fortunate to be given the role as well as ten other people. This opportunity allowed me to grow as an individual and become more known to people, schools and clubs in the county. Additionally, at the start of 2020, I was aware that the Scottish Young Peoples Sports Panel were going to be recruiting so I started to speak to different active schools coordinators in South Lanarkshire to get advice on applying for this role. Finally, after a long interviewing process between online interviews and applications, I am extremely proud to say that I was rewarded with the responsibility of being a member of the SportScotland 5th Young People’s Sports Panel 2020-2022. Therefore I am grateful that I am part of the national YPSP as well as the South Lanarkshire YPSP.

What do you hope to achieve from this role?
This role comes with a lot of responsibility, but it also allows me to bring forward any problems I wish to change or adapt to make sport accessible to everyone in Scotland. Sport may be something that is not easily accessible to everyone, specifically, during the pandemic. I plan to discover new and interesting ways in which participation in sport can be easy for everyone at home and online. Looking further into the two years of me being a panel member, I hope to push myself out my comfort zone, create new relationships with those as part of SportScotland and overall have the best time.

What would be your advice for people considering taking your course?
My advice to someone considering to apply for my course would be, DO IT! I’m not even half way through my course yet and I love how diverse and interesting the content is. This course allows me to take so many different career paths if my initial one doesn’t work out the way I hope it to. There are many practical aspects to my course as well which can allow you to “‘let loose”, as my lecturers like to say. I wouldn’t change my course for the world and I love what I do!

What has been the main challenge whilst studying at university?
Overall the content in my course is definitely challenging and can be hard to comprehend at first, however the main challenge whilst studying at university would need to be adapting to the new online learning scheme. It has been extremely difficult to stay motivated and concentrated whilst studying and learning at home, as well as the many distractions and there can sometimes be difficulties with technology. Nevertheless, I’m so glad to be able to still learn and continue my course with thanks to the lecturers and all the staff at Strathclyde university. They have been phenomenal with their commitment to teaching and their constant support for all students.

What are your aspirations for the future?
As a whole my aspirations for the future is to be happy and successful in a career that I love. I hope to make a difference to the profile of sport in Scotland and maybe even stretch this to the UK. As long as I have food on my plate, a roof over my head, and clothes on my back, I know I’ll be happy. My career will be the icing on the cake.

Any final thoughts or words of wisdom?
Lastly, I’d like to say, no dream is too big and no goal is unrealistic, if you have a dream then follow it. Don’t always take the shortcut, the longer path comes with more experience and more knowledge of who you are.