BLOG: Looking ahead to the 2018 AoC Sport National Championships

In the lead-up to the 40th anniversary of the AoC Sport National Championships, we spoke to Andy Perlejewski, AoC Sport’s Competition Manager, about his experience of the Championships.

Andy has been involved in the Championships for more than 30 years and talks about what people can expect from this year’s event.

My role is making sure all the competition venues are set up with the right equipment, the competition organisers and referees are in place, that the competitions run smoothly over the weekend and that we get the results from the organisers so we can add up all the scores on Sunday to give out the Wilkinson Sword.

This year Northern Ireland will be part of the Championships for the first time. They were really keen and it’s been a two-year process to get them here.  They are bringing over a men's football team and a men's rugby team. We are hoping they will have an enjoyable championship and we will see a greater involvement from them in the future. It’s really good to have them involved.

We are hoping to build on the feedback from last year to provide an even better experience for those attending.  On Saturday night we hope to create a real atmosphere in the David Ross Sports Village where students and staff can try activities they may not have experienced previously.  The very popular Glow Sports will be returning, as will the wheelchair basketball and dodgeball.  We will also be introducing video game championships hosted by the British ESports Association.

This year we will be providing soft drink bars in the halls of residences for those students who would prefer to stay in their halls and have a more relaxing Saturday evening.

Student experience

Most students will be competing against teams they don’t see on a week-to-week basis. Students are going to be playing teams from all around the country at a very high standard. It’s a full on tiring weekend but a great opportunity to meet others from different parts of the country.

Its fantastic to see the number of student who have competed in previous championships and gone on to great things in sport. There’s been so many over the years, for example, quite a few of this year’s England and Wales rugby players have competed at the Championships and the swimmer Adam Peaty who went on to win Gold at the Olympics 2016 and has just won Gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Volunteering

I think it’s great to give students opportunities to be involved at what is quite a high level event. London 2012 created volunteering as a popular strand of involvement in sport alongside playing, coaching and officiating.  We hope that the students who volunteer at the championships will go on to volunteer at other events in the future.

The National Championships take place from 20-22 April, at the University of Nottingham’s David Ross Sports Village and local facilities.

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