From coaching to the Cheerleading World Championships

With plans to open her own gymnastics centre and compete at the Cheerleading World Championships held in Florida, Amy talks about her bright future in sports.

Amy laughing looking sideways to the camera
Amy Hartnell-Saunders is in her final year of study of the BA Sport and Social Sciences course

We spoke to final year student Amy Hartnell-Saunders about her experiences as part of the BA Sport and Social Sciences course (now BSc Sport Management and Coaching) and what she plans for once she graduates.

Studying at Bath

'Lots of universities offer sport, exercise and health degrees, however I knew that the physiology and biology aspects of these courses were not for me. Instead, I really enjoy writing and understanding how people operate within society. Sport and Social Sciences (now Sport Management Coaching) at Bath was therefore a perfect fit for me as it allows you to study real life human interactions within a variety of relatable sporting contexts. For example; sporting mega events, physical education, sports marketing, sporting national government organisations and sporting social enterprises.'

Bringing gymnastics coaching into practice

'Studying a sports related degree has really helped me improve my sports coaching. The units I have studied have opened my eyes to different teaching methods and theories which I have employed within my part time coaching job. For example, I have learnt how young children make attachments to sports coaches and how these attachments should be nurtured in order to foster a healthy and positive coach-athlete relationship.'

Inspired by placement year

'During my placement year, I had a role as a manager at a gymnastics club. During this year I was able to link various aspects of teaching and sports psychology units to my field of work.

'My placement year inspired me to choose sport management and sport coaching units in my final year and my experiences on placement have provided me with practical examples of each theory learned on my course. I am also using the coaching staff I worked with at the gymnastics club as the subject of study in my final year dissertation.'

How gymnastics will be a part of my future

'In the future, I would love to own a gymnastics and urban sports centre with my sister to provide children and adults with safe and equip facilities to grow and improve in gymnastics, cheerleading and parkour. The focus of the centre would be to have as many people within the community taking part in fun and rewarding physical activity to encourage a healthy active lifestyle!

'In April 2019, I also look forward to competing at the Cheerleading World Championships held at Disney World in Florida!'

Why I love gymnastics coaching

'I love how no skill comes easy. Each skill requires a lot of hard work, concentration and perseverance and when you get the skills you get a real sense of achievement.'

‘In the future, I would love to own a gymnastics and urban sports centre with my sister to provide children and adults with safe and equip facilities to grow and improve in gymnastics, cheerleading and parkour.’
Amy Hartnell-Saunders BA Sport and Social Sciences (2019)