Jensen Fairhurst joined the College from Queen Katherine School in September 2015 and is in the second year of a Level 3 Sports Fitness & Development course (equivalent to 3 A-Levels). He chose College over a Sixth Form because he felt he would be more suited to an adult learning environment.
AM: Why did you choose this course?
JF: I wanted to study something I was interested in, but also had an academic route, as I’ve always wanted to go to university. The course is a lot more than it sounds. You learn a lot of different subjects (e.g. PE, Biology, Citizenship and Humanities), so you can go onto a lot of different things after the course. We had an entire unit on Health & Safety, Legislation, Regulations and Ethics. We also study Anatomy & Physiology, and through our Development module we evaluated equipment & facilities and how accessible they are to those who are disabled.
AM: What are you hoping to do after College?
JF: I’m going to Liverpool John Moores to do BSc in Sports Physiology. The way it’s set up means that after the degree I can onto a Masters & Doctorate in straight Psychology. This course has taught me how to manage my time, write assignments and essays. There’s a constant flow of work that you learn how to organise. It’s really prepared me for university.
AM: Is College like you had expected. If not, why?
JF: I knew it would be a more adult environment as people want to be here. It’s more personal, you can interact with the tutors in a grown up way e.g. you don’t have restraints like calling them Mrs and Sir, and you get the respect you give. Disputes with other students or staff has been dealt with in an adult well, and managed really well. At school my opinion wouldn’t be considered, but here everyone gets to say how they feel so a compromise can be found.
AM: What do you most enjoy about College life?
JF: There’s a lot to it, I like that it’s both lessons and independent learning. Lessons are mostly group work or practical sport e.g. we go to the Squash Club, Caris Green Golf, Leisure Centre, and private gyms for different units. The assignments are up to me. You find your own rhythm with them and figure them out to succeed. I like the ability to walk in/ out of College whenever I want to use the computers and facilities. I work in the evenings, so I can use the daytime to keep on top of things. The online Hub is accessible at home – I use the One Drive so I can work on my assignments on my phone. We can put One Drive onto 5 devices – last year we had to use USBs which was a lot harder, so it’s a lot easier now.
AM: What opportunities have you had as a student at the College?
JF: There was a ski trip last year and future plans to go to Manchester Velodrome and Lanzarote. We’ve had lots of guest speakers from the RFU, FA and fitness sector. I also got to do my Level 2 in Fitness Instructing for free!
AM: What sport do you do outside of College?
JF: I’ve been playing for the Great Britain American Football Team in the semi-contact team for the last year. I went to the open trials with about 200 other people in Manchester, I got a call back and made the team! I train over a weekend, once a month and our next game is in Germany on 28th May. I also coach at Burnley Tornados, an American Football Club, for the under 19s, 17s and 12s. I’m really looking forward to joining the university team – they’ve already sent me a team hat – I’m super excited about that, it will be good fun.
AM: What do you enjoy about sports coaching?
JF: It’s fascinating to see the different ways of coaching and how it affects different players. I coach the quarter back who manages the team on the field and has the most important role. I’d seen another coach shouting at him, which had made him really flustered. I instead talked him through the play, found out what he thought and coached him to find the answers for himself (if you tell people the answers they forget them, but if it comes from them it’s a lot more memorable). We came out undefeated in our first tournament, winning all 3 games and we’ve not done that in 5 years! Different things motivate players. Sometimes people get over confident if they’ve had a good run and this can have negative results, the same as if they were having a bad run. The perspective of yourself can change depending on if you win or lose. This shift in attitude and how to manage that is really interesting.
AM: How has College supported your sport outside of College?
JF: I’m using the coaching skills I’ve learnt at College – we did a lot of hands-on coaching in the first year and learnt about a variety of coaching methods e.g. how to differentiate coaching for different age groups. We worked a lot with a rugby coach from the RFU and we did our Rugby Young Leaders Award as part of the course. I wouldn’t be able to compete and coach if I was at sixth form. This course has given me the platform to achieve both academically and personally. The timings between assignments are good and my tutor is great at enabling me to juggle them due to my GB commitments. I also work part-time, as I need to self-fund my sport. The course allows me to do everything – get a qualification so I can go to university, compete for GB, coach and work part-time.
AM: Can you describe a typical day at College?
JF: It’s usually practical in the morning and theory in the afternoon or vice versa. At the moment we go to the Leisure Centre on a Tuesday morning then have tutorial, play Golf on Wednesday morning and study sports nutrition in the afternoon. On Fridays, at the moment, students are having coaching assessments at Dean Gibson primary school.
AM: If you could give one piece of advice to people considering College, what would it be?
JF:College gives you lots of options so have an in-depth look into it. If you have any doubts, just come and have a look. Talk to the tutor and people on the course, everyone is really friendly.
The Quick Fire Round!
AM: Football or Soccer? (Soccer?! >:()
JF: Football – Chicago Bears
AM: NFC or AFC?
AM: Offence or defence?
AM: (Peyton) Manning or (Tom) Brady?
JF: Tom Brady
AM: Patriots or Packers?
JF: Patriots – the Bears and Packers have been rivals since the early 1900s when the teams were first made!
AM: SuperBowl or Olympics?
If Jensen has prompted an interest in Sports or Outdoor Adventure @ Kendal College, we offer a fantastic range of courses. Start your future on our website.
The interview was conducted by Adele Mundy, the College’s Student Services Manager.