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Sports and Public Services students from The Manchester College collecting first prize in the 2023 GMCollege Skills Competition.

Sports and Public Services students at The Manchester College triumph in prestigious skills event

The Manchester College welcomed Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Sports and Public Services students from colleges across Greater Manchester to its Openshaw Campus for the sector’s 2023 'GMColleges Skills Competition'.

The initiative aims to raise the profile of technical skills in the county and offers students a chance to challenge, benchmark and raise their skills by taking part in a competition against students studying in their sector from other colleges.  This year’s event was the first time the College has had the chance to host the competition for Sports and Public Services students.

The state-of-the-art technical education facilities, which opened in Autumn 2021 following a £25m investment in the campus, provided the ideal setting for the 16 to 18-year-old students from The Manchester College, Bolton College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College & University Centre, Oldham College, Salford City College Group, Stockport College, Tameside College, Trafford College and Wigan & Leigh College and University Centre to showcase their skills.

Each college was represented by a team of 14 students and after an intense day of activities, including basketball and teamwork challenges in the six-court multi-discipline Sports Hall, fitness and strength tests in the Gym and Strength and Conditioning Suite, coaching tasks on the 3G outdoor pitch and a presentation in the Media Suite, the event concluded on a more light-hearted note with a sports day - just like those enjoyed by the students during their school days.

By the time the College’s Director of Curriculum for Sports, Public Services, Care Professions and Science, Hayley Francis, was ready to announce the results, there wasn’t much to choose between the colleges with only three points separating the top two.  Thanks to some incredible performances across the team, The Manchester College walked away winners, beating Hopwood Hall College & University Centre and Salford City College Group, who finished second and third respectively.

Stuart Nickson, Head of Department - Sports, Public Services and Criminology at The Manchester College, led the project team responsible for organising the event and was thrilled with how the day went.  Stuart said: “It was an absolute privilege to host the GMColleges Skills Competition for Sports and Public Services students in our College's incredible facilities.  All the students that took part were a credit to themselves, their tutors and their college.

“The event was the culmination of a huge team effort.  From the staff in the Sports, Public Services and Criminology department at our College who helped me with all the preparations for the competition, to the industry experts that attended to support the judging process, a lot of people played their part in the success of this event.

Ultimately, to see our College’s students walk away winners capped everything off and I couldn’t be prouder of them.  This isn’t the end of our students’ journey though, as the competition also serves as a feeder for the national WorldSkills competitions.  So, we might have some more good news to share in the not too distant future.

Stuart added: “A special mention also goes to our College’s Student Ambassadors, who played a vital role on the day by ensuring all participants were comfortable and knew where they needed to be at what time.  They did a great job and got to see first-hand what it takes to deliver an event of this scale, which is fantastic experience.”

Find out more about Sports and Public Services courses at The Manchester College and apply today.