National Teaching Fellow 2015
Dr Andy Pitchford believes that the creation of innovative community placements can transform the learning of students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In his current role he is committed to a wide range of community interventions that simultaneously make a positive impact on the local environment while offering students a new set of lenses with which to view the world.
Andy has supported enterprising students in order to create a wide range of sports projects including an international development programme, Sport Malawi; a professional rugby league team, the All Golds; and UNIversal Sport, a major participation scheme. He has generated over £1million in grants to support this activity and continues to act as a coach and mentor to those who see opportunities to contribute.
The idea of ‘community classrooms’ builds on Andy’s interpretation of social constructivism and his own experiences as a student. It also owes a great deal to conversations with students over the years who themselves have wanted to make an impact on the locality and on the activity that offers them a central life interest - sport.
Colleagues and students attest to his impact with comments including:
“Andy is an outstanding practitioner whose unique approach to the dissemination of knowledge inspires staff and students alike.”
“Andy’s approach is so genuine and refreshing… We feel as if we have a voice and that what we say really matters.”
“Andy’s unrivalled expertise and innovative work in postgraduate and undergraduate sports development curricula has been recognised widely by his peers and acted as a template for a considerable range of pedagogic developments in the UK.”
Andy has a research background in grass roots sport, and in particular community football. He continues to contribute to the sport as a coach and uses both his scholarly and voluntary experiences and networks as the source of public scholarship opportunities. One such collaboration with students led to a bid to the Football Foundation and £220,000 of funding for participation opportunities in the county.
Director of Sport
University of Gloucestershire