The event, from 8-11 July, is the bridge between university sport seasons and provides the sector with an opportunity for reflection on 12 months of development alongside vital preparation and planning for the upcoming year. Every 12 months, a new cohort of student representatives and seasoned staff arrive in their masses and leave with the tools to deliver sport to hundreds of thousands of students nationwide, from elite athletes on a pathway to international excellence to those who simply wish to get active between lectures.
The insight and expertise on offer this year comes from individuals at the height of sporting achievement, both in terms of performance and business.
Debbie Jevans, Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015 Limited, joins the event on the back of being voted the most influential woman in UK Sport in 2014 by the Guardian.
Having previously worked as Director of Sport for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Debbie will present on her next major sporting event with England Rugby 2015, the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the third largest sporting event in the world, the Rugby World Cup.
Debbie will also touch on legacy, bidding for a major event and lessons from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Also presenting will be Lizzy Yarnold, University of Gloucestershire graduate and Olympic Skeleton Champion.
Lizzy won the 2013/14 Skeleton World Cup and wrote herself into the history books, winning Great Britain’s first gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Expected to touch upon her journey to the podium via the familiar environment of higher education, students and staff alike will be keen to hear how her time at university had an impact on her career both before and after her graduation.
Flying half way around the world is Deidre Anderson, Australian University Sport President, to speak on the correlation between sport and student retention. Sharing invaluable experience and insight of university sport in one of the world’s sporting powerhouses.
And rounding up the quartet of keynote speakers is the man widely recognised as the ‘creator’ of Twenty20 cricket, Stuart Robertson. Former Marketing Manager of the ECB, Stuart’s perseverance in the face of opposition led to the much revered adaptation of the more traditional Test cricket format.
Various other speakers include an alumnus of the host University, Sarah Powell, newly appointed Chief Executive of Sport Wales, the first female to hold the position within the organisation and a panel discussion including BUCS President, John Inverdale, and Anthony Davis, Director of Sport at University of Technology in Jamaica, the man credited for the rise of the Jamaican sprinter.
The calibre of speakers at the conference will have a tremendous impact on all in attendance and inspire the next generation of student leaders for years to come.
A full review of the conference will be made available on the BUCS website shortly after the event, including other content of information covered throughout.