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Nescot’s university-level Sports students led a coaching session in the college sports hall on Thursday (March 9) aimed at helping younger students to measure and improve their fitness levels.

Four students on the Sport and Exercise Science HND planned and delivered a comprehensive session, ranging from the infamous bleep test to exercises to test strength, coordination and agility.

The younger students, on the first year of their Level 3 qualification, were able to benchmark their scores against regional and national athletes, and work on a plan to increase their timings.

“All the students learnt a lot from the lesson, and I could see that they all enjoyed it,” said Harrison May, Curriculum and Standards Coordinator for Sport.

“The HND students were able to put into practice what they’ve learnt about planning, setting up and delivering coaching and giving feedback and detailed technical advice.

“The Level 3 students enjoyed a professional coaching session, they had their fitness levels benchmarked, and they learnt more about different assessments they can do in the future.

“We’ve also talked in class about core skills that the students will need in the industry, from motivating clients to planning an exercise routine to communication skills and self-confidence.”

The students’ first session was the bleep test, in which participants run back and forth across a 20-metre track at increasing speeds to assess their speed and aerobic capacity.

The HND students gave the participants tips including striding and breathing techniques, and then measured which level each person reached and compared this to the baselines for different sports.

Further tests included the Illinois Agility Test, an alternate hand-to-wall agility test, the ruler drop test, the one-minute press-up test and an assessment of hand grip strength.

First-year student Oliver, who plays in the centre midfield position for semi-professional side Raynes Park Vale FC and dreams of playing professionally, said he had enjoyed the session.

“I’ve done the beep test before, so it’s a good reference point to see your progress over time,” he said. “I’m doing some tests for the first time, too, and it’s interesting to learn more and see how I can improve.”

Fellow first-year student Klaudia, who has trained as a gymnast since the age of six and is aiming to become a physiotherapist in the future, said most of the tests were new to her.

“It’s really interesting to look at my profile and see where my skills are relative my peers,” she said. “I might be administering these tests myself as a professional one day, so it’s really good to learn now.”

Nescot offers qualifications in Sport at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3, with the option of specialising in Exercise Science or Fitness and Personal Training.

The college also offers university-level courses in Sport and Exercise Science, Sports Therapy, and Osteopathy.