Bournemouth University students have been supporting AFC Bournemouth’s women’s team on and off the field, using the skills gained in their degrees to help the team.
BU students have been working in support roles to support the team through marketing and communications, while supporting on-pitch activities through sports therapy.
Elsa Charlwood is a Sports Therapy student at BU and works on the side of the pitch during matches, alongside the physiotherapy team, to support rehabilitation, first aid and injury diagnosis. Elsa said, “I feel really proud to contribute to the women’s team, they’ve achieved so much so far, and I’m so exciting to be a part of it.”
Journalism student Zach Sampson covers the women’s games and provides reports on the matches. He said, “The experience has been amazing, it has allowed me to build up confidence, speaking to the players and to the manager, it has really helped me for my career.”
Bournemouth University is the official higher education partner of AFC Bournemouth, with the girls’ and women’s team wearing the BU logo on their shirts.
AFC Bournemouth women’s manager Steve Cuss said, “The students have been really important to the women’s team. We’re trying to develop the team on the pitch, and it is vital that we offer the players some support off the pitch as well. The students have come along in different roles and, combined with what we are doing on the pitch, it has helped us to drive the team forward.
“The benefit that the students bring to the team is through the skills and knowledge that they learn within the university and we are helping them to gain that practical experience. They are getting hands-on, alongside studying at university. It is a nice combination for the students, and it is a real bonus for us as a team and for the players.”
Today’s game, AFC Bournemouth vs Chesham, is the first league game the women’s team has played at the Vitality Stadium, and the game has been designated as the BU Big Match, in celebration of the partnership and the work the two organisations do together.
For more information about the partnership visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/afc-bournemouth