Students bag volunteer placement at All England Open Badminton Championships

March 2019

A group of University College Birmingham students have had the chance to work at a prestigious international badminton competition as part of an exciting new collaboration between UCB and the sporting industry.

Four UCB Sports Management BA (Hons) students volunteered as ‘Fan Activators’ at the 109th edition of the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships hosted at Arena Birmingham this month.

The event, which is the oldest badminton tournament in the world, welcomed star players from around the globe, including England's two-time Commonwealth Games mixed doubles champions Chris and Gabby Adcock.

Thanks to the work of staff at UCB's employability service hired@UCB, students had the chance to gain valuable experience and skills helping out at the competition, providing support for spectators and running a variety of games for fans in the concourse areas.

And in between helping fans at the tournament, the volunteers also had the opportunity to watch some of the world class badminton on show.

Second year student Peter Schmidt, who was among the volunteers at the event, said: "I think it's a good opportunity for us, so we can be in the industry of sport.

"I've been enjoying the environment here. I can see the best players in Europe, the best in the world, walking around me. It's special for me because I haven't experienced it before.

"This is my first time doing volunteering like this, so I'm definitely looking forward to taking part in more events like this. It's really useful."

Fellow volunteer and classmate Giovanni Pietrantonio said: "My aim is to get involved within the sporting events industry so this event is a good opportunity for me to develop new skills.

"We're interacting with fans and new people, that's the main point for me. We have to be open to any kind of request because you can never expect what a fan is going to ask you. Then we try to manage the situations.

"It's always good to be open to new experiences. You can only learn new things."

Two other Sports Management students, third year duo Hakeen Powell and Gino Blackwood, also took part in the volunteer placement.

It is the first collaboration between UCB and Badminton England, the national governing body which runs the All England Open Badminton Championships, with more potential linkups planned for future events.

Employability Tutor Martyn Phillips, who helped to organise the placement, said: “It was fantastic for our students to be able to volunteer as Fan Activators at the championships.

"The opportunity to work at a national competition has allowed them to develop the key skills that we know employers are looking for in graduates. I am excited about collaborating with Badminton England to develop more opportunities for UCB students in the future.”

Find out more about hired@UCB and other opportunities available for students here.

Find out more about our range of courses within UCB’s School of Sport and Creative Services here.

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