Dimitrios Christou has always been enthusiastic about sport – he currently plays football for Flint FC. But his interest in sport doesn’t stop there, he enjoys basketball, badminton, table tennis, boxing and Kin-Ball (Never heard of it? Check out this video, it looks amazing).
As a sports enthusiast it might seem natural to have a leaning towards studying sport-related courses, but Dimitrios also chose to study Sport Development at LJMU based on the bigger picture: the idea that sport can be a useful tool to tackle issues such as crime and antisocial behaviour and its power to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
“I understood the power of sport prior to enrolling on the course as I was an individual that had his life changed through sporting interventions. However, what was an exciting prospect was the opportunity to develop greater knowledge and understanding of the issues and complexity surrounding sport development and what was being done to overcome these issues.”
After graduating, he will be able to realise his ambitions of working with disadvantaged and disengaged young people through his new role with Everton in the Community (EITC) as a Social Action Lead.
“I will work with schools, national governing bodies and other organisations such as NCS (National Citizen Service) and the FA to help young people who are struggling to integrate into society due to external factors such as peer pressure or home life. I wanted to put everything I learnt in university into practice, so gaining this role is a massive achievement for me. What is really rewarding about getting this job is that I was once a member enrolled on one of the EITC programmes and now I can be a 'role model', if you like, for young people that I will be working with.”
Dimitrios is well prepared for his new role based on both the knowledge and skills he’s gained through the Sport Development course and his placement with a project that delivers Kin-Ball sessions in both SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and mainstream schools:
“Throughout my placement I was able to gain a breadth of knowledge and understanding that all young people’s needs are different and that as a coach you have to be able to adapt to ensure you are meeting their needs. My new role has similar obstacles, as all young people have different needs and issues. This means as a mentor or coach I have to have an adaptable approach to ensure I am meeting the needs of the young people I am working with. Overall, the placement was an eye-opening experience that enabled me to see things from a different perspective and understand that everyone’s needs are different but are all equally important.”
Dimitrios would recommend the Sport Development course at LJMU to people interested in sport:
“It gives you a diverse insight into different aspects of sport and different issues surrounding the subject. It also educates you and gives you theoretical knowledge on how to overcome certain issues within sport and gives you the tools to become a competent individual, not only in sport delivery but as a whole. My overall experience of the course was a positive one. It allowed me to express my opinions, but most importantly have my opinions valued and taken into consideration.”
If you’d like to make a difference through the power of sport, take a look at what sport-related courses you could study at LJMU.