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UWTSD Academy of Sport Embarks on a USA adventure

THE UNIVERSITY of  Wales Trinity Saint David’s Academy of Sport has embarked on a Taith part-funded visit to the USA. This two-centre trip begins in Chicago and continues at the University of Rio Grande in Ohio, with which UWTSD has been linked since 2002. The student group consists of rugby players, footballers, and netballers from various UWTSD courses and campuses.

The aim of the visit is to provide the university’s students with a comprehensive understanding of sport in the USA. This includes visits to professional sports teams and university athletics departments, offering first-hand insights into the legacy and employment opportunities surrounding major sporting events such as the Super Bowl.

The trip features educational tours of professional and University sports teams, where students will experience the training environments of both professional and student athletes. They will also have the chance to watch several sporting events. These activities are closely tied to their current studies and the training they receive at the UWTSD Academy of Sport, covering areas such as strength and conditioning, sports science, performance analysis, and coaching. This exposure will enhance their knowledge and employability upon graduation, while also allowing them to experience the cultural impact of sport in a different society.

A highlight of the trip includes a behind-the-scenes opportunity at the Chicago Hounds, a professional Major League Rugby club, led by UWTSD graduate Luke Lewis, the Assistant forward and Strength and Conditioning coach. Students will interact with the team and attend one of their home games, as well as visit a semi-professional team affiliated with the Hounds. This will provide invaluable inspiration and experience, showcasing a successful UWTSD graduate working in a high-level sports environment.

Another key aim is to explore the integration and development of sports within US universities. The group will visit the University of Rio Grande, a UWTSD partner. Here, they will tour academic departments and athletic facilities, gaining insight into the life of a student-athlete at an American university. Students will also have the opportunity to consider studying a semester at Rio Grande in the future.

Additionally, the trip will focus on the Welsh language and cultural impact at the Madog Center for Welsh Studies at the University of Rio Grande. With several Welsh speakers in the group, this visit will explore how their language skills can create opportunities beyond Wales.

Lee Tregoning, Head of the UWTSD Academy of Sport said:

“We are really looking forward to our visit as this will be the Academy of Sport first overseas trip where we will spend time in Chicago and then at Rio Grande. We are really grateful to Kath Griffiths (UWTSD International Regional manager -North America and Outward Mobility- Wales Global Academy) and Hannah (UWTSD International Mobility Officer, Wales Global Academy) for all their help in setting this visit up and to Dan Rowbotham, Director of the Madog Center for Welsh Studies who has put on a fantastic programme for the visit where the students will see the Universities Academic offering as they could spend a semester out there in the future, the Athletics Dept and of course The Madog Center for Welsh Studies. We have a large number of Welsh speaking student going too so it will be great to interact with the Centre and the local community to see how Welsh culture is being developed and being preserved in the US.”

Kath Griffiths, UWTSD International Regional Manager -North America and Outward Mobility- Wales Global Academy added: 

“We are thrilled to facilitate this unique opportunity for our students. This trip will not only enhance their academic and professional skills but also broaden their cultural horizons and strengthen their connection to Welsh heritage.”

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“The Academy of Sport offers our students fantastic opportunities and fosters connections among those from various academic disciplines. Recognising that not everyone can spend an entire semester abroad, we have collaborated with academic departments to arrange brief yet transformative overseas experiences.

“If you are a current student at UWTSD or will be starting this autumn, get in touch with the Go Global team to learn more about these opportunities.”

Global Opportunities | University of Wales Trinity Saint David (uwtsd.ac.uk)