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NC State visit cements new partnership

21 May 2015

Michael Black

Students visit top USA research institution

Undergraduate sports students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have crossed the Atlantic to experience life at one of the USA's top research institutions.

Accompanied by colleagues from the University's sports business management and sports marketing programme, the group spent a week at North Carolina (NC) State University to formalise a new partnership agreement between UCLan and NC State.

The trip, supported by the UCLan Travel Bursary scheme, gave students the opportunity to take part in a series of lectures delivered by staff from both universities, teach in local schools, deliver coaching sessions and visit a variety of world-class facilities.

UCLan's Nick Passenger and Dr Ingrid Griffiths led the visit which featured a tour around NC State's sports facilities including Carter-Finley Football Stadium, the PNC Stadium, Weisiger-Brown Athletic Facility and the Willis R Casey Aquatic Centre.

NC State has invested a huge amount of money into its sporting programme, with the 'Wolfpack' brand one of the most recognisable names in American intercollegiate varsity competition.

Students also toured the Carolina Panthers' NFL stadium and enjoyed an evening watching a Durham Bulls baseball game.

“The experience our students had on this trip was exceptional and is a key reason why our courses have been designed as they have.”

Dr Griffiths said the visit enhanced the students' learning experience: "This was an important trip for our division. As well as being invited to a fantastic university, it was a pleasure to take our excellent students and establish long term relationships in a number of areas.

"The hospitality and welcome we received was excellent throughout, and the opportunity to work with world-leading staff was of great to benefit to us all. Thanks must be given to Dr Sue Minten from UCLan and NC State’s Dr Mike Edwards for their superb organisation."

The highlight of the week for Dr Griffiths came as the hosts presented her with tickets to see The Who and meet Roger Daltrey at a special charity concert in aid of Teen Cancer America.

In addition to forging the relationship with NC State, a new collaborative partnership with Meredith College was also agreed with UCLan students now having research opportunities available to them at the all-female physical education institution.

“The hospitality and welcome we received was excellent throughout, and the opportunity to work with world-leading staff was of great to benefit to us all.”

Nick Passenger commented: “The experience our students had on this trip was exceptional and is a key reason why our courses have been designed as they have.

"Our students were a real credit to UCLan. Their performance in lectures and the maturity they showed whilst teaching and coaching local children showed what an excellent job our staff have done in helping their development.

"NC State were magnificent hosts and special thanks must be given to Mike, Jason and Gareth for all their time and efforts. It was a lovely touch for them to invite us to a function with The Who, and also introduce us to Joey Butler and his Durham Bulls team. Unfortunately for the Bulls I think they have 17 lifelong Twitter followers from across the Atlantic now.

"We look forward to hosting NC State and Meredith College in 2016 and developing research and lecture materials online in the meantime. I can only see this partnership getting stronger - Go Pack."

View a selection of images from the trip.