Helen Ogilvie – Client Services Supervisor
As Client Services Supervisor, my day job involves aspects of customer service, staff management and process improvement. However, since working for Sport and Wellbeing I’ve become qualified in many different activities. In a typical week, I can be found poolside as a swimming instructor, in the rifle range as a shooting range officer and even speeding across the Solent as a powerboat instructor!
We’ve invested a large amount of money over the years to ensure we’re providing our members with the best facilities possible. In 2014, we partnered with Active Nation, so now staff and students have access to three swimming pools, eight gyms, a ski slope and running track with no change to their membership price.
In my role, trying to affect process improvement can be frustrating. There are so many changes and improvements we’d like to make, but sadly this often requires extra resources, which are either scarce or not available. However, the Sport and Wellbeing staff have been an amazing support to me in this role even when the going gets tough.
Craig Dooley – Sport and Wellbeing Supervisor
I specialise in delivering the Jubilee Swim Academy and kids camps, as well as working with performance athletes. From a young age, my parents had me participating in a range of sports to help my asthma, and I realised then that having an active lifestyle can help manage all sorts of conditions.
We offer talented athletes a number of pathways, and I’m involved in the Talented Athlete Support Scheme (TASS), set up by Sport England to assist young athletes already competing at a national level. As a Lifestyle Support Advisor, I ensure that our athletes are getting the best support, especially when it comes to balancing their sport and education – both of which are crucial to their success.
As part of the Swim Academy, I make sure all queries are dealt with promptly and I ensure I’m around during lesson times to talk to the parents. Seeing clients (both children and adults) make the transition from a complete non-swimmer to a competent and able swimmer is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. Being able to help someone, whether they’re an elite athlete or a complete novice, is a great honour.
Maxine Tubb – Sports Instructor
I’ve enjoyed playing sport since I was a child, and I caught the fitness bug in the 80s when aerobics classes were all the rage! It was my great aerobics instructor who encouraged me to go and get the qualifications myself.
I’ll have been working for the University for 20 years this October. My morning starts at 9.30am with a hectic Fit Kid’s session, an exercise class for three- to five year-olds which helps children with their balance and co-ordination in a fun and enjoyable manner. Then, I catch up on admin, checking emails and dealing with problems such as venue changes and covering classes.
My lunchtime class is either Core Fitness or Aerobics, followed by a sprint to another building for Prenatal Exercise. After grabbing some lunch, I try to research some new class ideas before fitting in two more classes to end the day – Total Balance followed by my favourite, Pilates.
Staff may not know that you don’t need a Sport and Wellbeing membership to attend our classes, you can buy a Class Pass for classes only which is a great way to find out if they’re right for you. We really want staff to try our classes and give us their feedback.
James Topping – Assistant Service Delivery Manager
I graduated from Southampton in 2008 (BA Music and Management Services) and joined the University as a Senior Watersports Instructor that year, before working my way up to Assistant Service Delivery Manager for Sport and Wellbeing in 2014.
I’m responsible for managing the Watersports team, the Wide Lane grounds team and the Customer Services team based across all of our sites. I still teach on the water occasionally, and as a Royal Yachting Association and British Canoe Association Training Centre, our watersports provision allows students and staff to obtain internationally recognised qualifications.
When I’m on land, I spend most of my time dealing directly with students to enhance their experience. Trying to please everyone is not always possible; I’d love for the Union sporting clubs to have the facilities and funds they need for maximum participation, but we’re not quite there yet.
Having been a student here myself, I want our current students to feel that we are offering them the best experience possible. If they want to kitesurf around the Isle of Wight, we’ll make it happen – at Southampton, we have the resources, so why not?
Jo Harvey – Sport and Wellbeing Supervisor
I’ve been working at the University for six years, and I specialise in Jubilee operations, class delivery and mental health referrals, known as the Exercise Referral Scheme.
The scheme has only been running for eight months, and involves me meeting clients who are working through problems such as anxiety, depression, stress or disordered eating. I carry out consultations and lead workout sessions, write up programmes and record statistics of how many people we have enrolled on the scheme.
Keeping clients motivated and finding ways to help them establish a routine that they enjoy can be hard – often they believe that having a trainer is a ‘magic pill’, and forget that the effort still has to come from themselves! I’m very much a people person, so I enjoy creating a rapport with clients and seeing them grow as they overcome anxiety or nervousness to begin their exercise programme.
I’d like for mental health to become more widely recognised as something that affects a great many of us, and for more people to understand the hugely beneficial role that exercise can play. The scheme is an extremely useful resource and I hope that it will continue to grow so we can help more students in the future.
Matt Plant – Head of Sports and Wellbeing
After a varied career working in hospitality and retail, I decided to move into a healthier and more inspiring environment, joining the University in 2009 after working as a centre manager for David Lloyd.
My days are really varied as I’m often out and about visiting different locations and teams across various shift patterns. With such a large and diverse staff group, this does present logistical problems, but I try to have as much contact with teams as possible – communication is key.
With so many activities taking place over such a large footprint, safety management is one of my biggest responsibilities, making sure risks are assessed, managed and controlled. It can also be tricky trying to balance various competing projects to everyone’s satisfaction against our finances.
I love working with staff who are so committed and passionate about what they do. Seeing so many clients engaging with sport and the positive influence it has on their future is really rewarding. We have some fantastic opportunities for staff to get involved in, so I’d urge them to consider joining Sport and Wellbeing and trying something new!
To find out more about Sport and Wellbeing, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/joinin