Adam Long, School Direct (Primary) PGCE student at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU), will represent Great Britain as a member of the ice hockey team at the forthcoming World University Winter Games, or Winter Universiade.
The event is an international sports and cultural gathering, staged every two years in a different city. It draws several thousand student athletes together, making it the largest university winter sports competition in the world. Educational and cultural aspects are incorporated into the competition, allowing students from around the world to celebrate high sports performance with the host city.
Held in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk, this year’s tournament will be Long’s second winter games having previously represented Great Britain in Kazakhstan in 2017.
“The atmosphere at the games is amazing, you’re surrounded by Olympians and using Olympic level facilities,” he said. “The previous tournament in Kazakhstan was an amazing experience, and I’m even more excited to head out to Russia, especially as my brother has now joined me on the team.”
It’s been great to find transferable skills, in both my PGCE and my hockey, that can benefit each pursuit
Having been introduced to ice hockey at 14, Long, who plays for Manchester Storm when not representing GB, balances his hockey commitments with his PGCE course. Working in his school placement from Monday to Thursday, studying at BGU on Friday, and then playing hockey over the weekend, is a lot to fit in.
“It can be a difficult balance,” he said, “but my coaches and lecturers have been extremely supportive. It’s also been great to find transferable skills, in both my PGCE and my hockey, that can benefit each pursuit.”
Long chose to study for a PGCE because he wanted to ensure he’d have a career he could be passionate once his playing days are over.
“I’ve always been drawn to special educational needs [SEN] teaching, and I’m really excited to specialise in that when I finish playing hockey. One of the great parts of the course is having so many opportunities to apply the skills I’m learning in lectures in real classroom environments, and I’m hopeful I’ll get chances to experience more SEN work.”
The World University Winter Games begin on the 2nd of March and you can follow all the sports on the official website.