Second year BSc (Hons) Sport Business Management student, Zuleikha Chikh tells us about her UCLan journey and voluntary work in women’s football, which has earned her much-deserved praise from both outside and within the University.
“When it came to choosing which course I’d study, I was initially stuck between two options; Sports Coaching or Sport Business Management. I already coached trampolining, so I chose Sport Business Management to give me a bit of a change. I thought that Sport Business Management would give me more choices and more opportunities after graduation. As a result, I decided to do coaching as a side hobby and learn about the principles of business in an actual degree. I want to work in women’s football eventually.”
Zuleikha also spends much of her time volunteering at the University’s very own Sports Centre where she coaches her own under 10’s team as well as futsal sessions for female students and disability classes also. “It’s absolutely amazing, it gives you so many opportunities and it teaches you about leadership, teamwork, and communication, working with other UCLan coaches has also enabled me to develop great friendships and given me so many life skills that have already hugely benefitted me”.
Zuleikhas’s voluntary work within women’s football has also earned her a nomination from British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) for their Higher Education Hero award - a nomination put forward by UCLan’s Football Development Officer, Cian McEvoy who Zuleikha describes as being “absolutely pivotal” in her journey.
“These are national awards and the nominees include the manager of the Aston Villa ladies team; some really amazing women have been nominated who have completed their UEFA B Licence! I really wasn’t expecting a nomination for this. I was just doing it because I’m passionate about women’s football but it’s always nice to receive that recognition.”
“In addition to this, I received the Community Legends Awards from the CVCL – which came as a result of 300 hours of volunteering work including some for the Red Cross, feeding refugees and asylum seekers. I received the UCLan Sport’s Volunteer Award with 8 other people so that was really nice as well.”
When asked about her favourite thing about UCLan, Zuleikha states: “I’d have to say the amazing sports facilities such as the Sports Arena and the Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre which is free to UCLan students. When I started at UCLan I also tried out some other sports such as basketball which was great fun.”