BTEC students saw two top class venues as part of an ongoing project on health and safety in sport management. They toured facilities at Leicester City and Leicester Tigers, each of which face different challenges when routinely dealing with thousands of fans at their fixtures.
Head of Operations at Leicester, Paul Lewis, spoke about the changing face of football and how stadia ensure that rival fans are kept safe and separate. The students had a tour and a question and answer session. Teacher Mr Clasper said: ‘We were discussing the Safety at Sports Ground Act and fire safety issues. The high spot of the day was listening to Paul recount all the different scenarios he has experienced over the years. He spoke about the theory and the history of football grounds and safety. In the 1960s and 1970s, 99 per cent of the crowd was adult males, now football is more of an experience, a social occasion with families and young children filling the terraces.’
The students also visited Leicester Tigers ground at Welford Road where stadium manager Jack Russell gave a tour and lecture. Then they visited the team’s Oval Park training ground and saw Academy players in training, as well as the latest physiotherapy equipment which being trialled.
Mr Clasper said: ‘We met Shane Lehane who is one of the fitness and conditioning first team coaches and went around the training ground and into the physio room. There was an aqua bath with salts where they pass an electrical current through it. It is a new piece of kit and it is supposed to open up the neural pathways for soft tissue injuries. Shane took us through his strength and conditioning training and it was amazing the depth of testing, measuring and re-testing that they do, the students were left open-mouthed at the rigorousness of the training and tracking process that the players undergo.
'Each trip has got a different focus and merits. With our first one, to Corby pool, it was all about the chemical handling and safety in the changing rooms. With Leicester City it is all about crowd control and with Leicester Tigers it is about the stadium and road safety as they are located on a busy traffic island. Each talk was very different but each was equally as interesting and valid for the curriculum that we are currently studying.’