Famous faces drop in to support Ayrshire College initiatives

Famous faces drop in to support Ayrshire College initiatives

Former Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall and Still Game star Maureen Carr paid a visit to Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus this week to cheer on Supported Learning students during their boccia tournament.

The famous pair also dropped in to see the Be Awesome, Be Active initiative in action, with Sport & Fitness students putting older Ayrshire adults through their paces in the gym with one-to-one personal training sessions.

The trip was complete with a special karaoke session in the Open Space lecture theatre, with Maureen giving Jai a run for his money singing Daydream Believer in the unique style of Still Game character Edith!

The Sport & Fitness students have been supporting the Supported Learning department with their sport and fitness activities in recent weeks – most recently by organising and facilitating boccia tournaments, with a football tournament also in the works.

Winning this month’s boccia tournament were the Kilwinning Campus students, who were delighted to take home the trophy after finishing runners-up to the Kilmarnock group last month.

Boccia is an inclusive precision ball sport, similar to bowls, that can be played by anyone regardless of age, gender, ability or disability.

It is one of the sports that sits within the Ayrshire College Community Sports Hub (CSH). The Community Sports Hub designation is an important way to allow sportscotland, the National Governing Body of Sport, to see how partners work collaboratively to develop sport as well as develop people and communities through sport.

Ayrshire College CSH brings a wide range of partners together working collaboratively to help drive the health and wellbeing agenda through sport. This is achieved by offering free activities in the College.

Jai said: “I have never seen Boccia being played before, this is a great sport that is open to anyone, it was fun, but highly competitive. I was blown away with how talented the students were.

“The older adult fitness group was a great example of young people having a positive impact working with a different generation. The difference they make is amazing, and speaking with the older adults, they couldn’t speak highly enough of the students.

“It was great seeing the students expressing themselves, they had so much fun. I also had a great time, I didn’t think that I would ever duet with Edith from Still Game! Maureen was great, but undoubtably, the students were the stars of the show. 

“This was a great occasion, and I am looking forward to returning in the future. The difference the college is making to the community is amazing.”

Maureen said: “The joy in the room at all the activities was infectious. The relationship between the staff and students and all the participants was really special.

“From the fitness students and the older adult group to the sport students working with the supported learning students, to the staff hosting the karaoke, the bond that has been created within these groups was so evident and it was a pleasure to witness.

“This is part of the college’s Passing Positivity – Be Awesome initiative and it was truly awesome.”

14 March 2023

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