Army football teams based at Worthy Down are being given premier league treatment thanks to a link up with the University of Winchester.
Sports journalism students are filming the men’s and women’s matches for the Adjutant General’s Corps (AGC), based at Worthy Down, and producing a Match of the Day-style highlights package complete with commentary and interviews.
The army coaches are using the films to help analyse players’ performances.
To hone their mental and physical fitness players are also receiving sports psychology sessions and physiology testing from academics and students in the University’s Sports and Exercise Science Department
Players will be visiting the physiology laboratory to be put through their paces in a range of fitness tests overseen by Sport Science Laboratory Technician, Eloise Paine.
“As well as helping the army teams improve their performance, these sessions will be great for our students as they will be able to put into practice what they have learnt during their undergraduate degree on individuals from outside the University.” said Eloise.
James Maiden, Sport & Exercise Psychology Laboratory Technician and Qualified Sport Psychologist, has been introducing the soldiers to sports psychology with the aid of postgraduate students at the University. He agreed that the sessions were mutually beneficial.
“The feedback from the army has been very positive. Most of the guys have never been exposed to sports psychology but it has certainly given them something to think about and generated some interesting discussions,” said James.
The AGC teams play against other Corps teams in the Military and are pushing for promotion from their league after losing the play-off last season.
Manager of the AGC men’s team Warrant Officer Stephen Sharratt, said: “It’s a privilege to be working with the University. I’m not aware that any of our rivals have access to this kind of support.
“The sports psychology session with James was very enjoyable and gave the players plenty to consider about preparation, temperament and overcoming adversity,” said Stephen.
Brian Thornton, Senior Lecturer in the University’s School of Media and Film, said filming the matches at Worthy Down was providing valuable experience for students.
“This is such an amazing opportunity for our Sports Journalism students,” he said. “They get the chance to film live football, interview managers and players, add commentary and then bring all these elements together in a slickly edited highlights programme.
“It is the perfect preparation for a career as a professional sports journalist. This focus on real world experience is the reason why our graduates have gone one to work for the likes of Sky Sports, BBC Sport, ITV Sport, The Athletic, MUTV and BT Sport."
Pictured top: Players from the Adjutant General Corps' men's team receiving learning about Sports Psychology at the University of Winchester and (above) the players in action.
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