Students return from promoting health and sport in India

RGU students at their Showcase event, with lecturers Rachel Ironside (left) and Bryan McCann (right)
RGU students at their Showcase event, with lecturers Rachel Ironside (left) and Bryan McCann (right)

A team of Robert Gordon University (RGU) students hosted a Showcase of Achievement event this week, after delivering health, nutrition and sport sessions to young people in India.

Backed by one of Great Britain’s most decorated Olympians, Dr Katherine Grainger CBE, the RGU GO: India project is linked to the award-winning Aberdeen Youth Games (AYG), which promotes physical activity, health and wellbeing to young people in Aberdeen.

The twelve students, who are studying a mix of subjects, including Applied Sport and Exercise Science, Nutrition, Event Management, PR and Media, Communication Design and Journalism, travelled to Manipal, in South-Western India, on Sunday 21 August.

They spent four weeks in the country, with three weeks based at Manipal University – which has existing links with RGU – and one week in Mumbai.

Over the course of their stay, the students worked with students from Manipal University to design, promote and deliver a community health, nutrition and sport project for young people in the community, which addressed local health issues.

During their time in Mumbai, they spent time learning more about the ways in which local organisations promote physical activity. They then delivered a presentation about their experiences with invited guests at The British Council.

RGU Applied Sport and Exercise Science lecturer, Bryan McCann, worked with Event Management lecturer Rachel Ironside and a team of colleagues from across the university to develop and deliver the pilot RGU GO: India project.

He said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for the students involved to expand their knowledge and make a real difference to a local community. The group put in a huge amount of hard work from day one of preparing for the trip and they have taken away definite skills and memories that will last a lifetime.

“It has been my pleasure to watch each and every one of them develop over the process and their showcase event put that on display for everyone to see. It was a great opportunity for the students to tell the story of their exciting journey and it also gave them a chance to thank all of the supporters who made the trip a possibility.”

THE RGU GO: India project team secured £19,197 in funding from the Scottish Government’s Outward Mobility Fund (OMF), with the RGU Foundation committing a further £1,000.

The university also contributed £35,276 as in-kind support for the project, which also received logistical support from the British Council, as part of their Generation UK-India programme, which aims to support 25,000 young people and professionals from the UK to undertake placements in India by 2020.

In addition, the students were required to raise £6,600 prior to their departure, which was used to hire equipment and facilities, as well as to run their activities.

A documentary that the students created throughout the process will be released over the Christmas period.