Borders College

Football students experience performance culture at Oriam

The Level 6 and HND Football Programme students from Borders College were invited by the Scottish Football Association to participate as 'runners' for the International Female Players UEFA 'B' Licence award held at Oriam, the new National Sports Performance Centre based at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. The 5 day course involved our students as players being coached in tutor demonstrations and candidate assessments.

Students were coached for four hours per day, focussing on the main principles of play (width, depth, penetration and support) as well as the three main phases of play (offence, defence and transition). This was a great experience for our footballers as it really allowed them to experience the life of a professional player and exposed them to a genuine high performance culture – our footballers trained alongside Edinburgh Rugby and the SRU National Academy. Additionally, Heart of Midlothian FC were also training on the outdoor pitches – their Academy is based in the same building so our students were 'rubbing shoulders’ with full time footballers as well. Furthermore, a plethora of other full time athletes use the centre on a daily basis, thus the culture at Oriam was clearly a performance culture where behaviours of top athletes are incubated and encouraged.

The feedback from the course organisers and candidates on the course clearly indicated that our footballers took to the high performance environment like 'ducks to water' and really grasped the opportunity they had been given. Course Tutor Stevie McLeish said:

“It was a joy to watch our students blossom in this type of environment and it was pleasing to hear the high praise they were getting about their attitude, ability and conduct. These factors are evidence that the College performance courses are of a high standard in terms of expectations we have of our students and that our performers should not limit themselves where their ambitions are concerned.”

Published: Thu 23rd Mar, 2017