Bronnie Griffiths now has degree with First Class Honours.
Bronnie Griffiths is so committed to helping people with disabilities get into sport that she managed to get changes made to her degree course to help future sport leaders develop.
Now a graduate of the University of South Wales (USW), where she gained First Class in her BA Sport Leadership and Development degree, the 21-year-old from Aberdare, a former pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, is determined to ensure that everybody has the chance to reach their sporting potential.
For Bronnie, studying at USW wasn’t just about getting her qualification and then a job, she saw it as a way to build on her one aim – improving participation in sport for anyone, regardless of gender, race, culture, ability, or any disabilities.
An initial step was taking part in the Active Valleys project, a social enterprise established by USW Sport students, through which she was able to take physical activity out of USW’s Sport Park in Treforest and into the communities of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly.
“Getting events organised in the areas around USW was great for those who took part, but it was also a fantastic opportunity for the students,” Bronnie said.
“Sports leadership is all about learning the wider business skills needed to run projects, such as event management, budgeting and management. To achieve anything in this sector, you need those wider abilities.”
As well as working on local projects, Bronnie has also involved herself in a wider effort to take sport to people across Wales who have disabilities. While working with Disability Sport Wales - she sits on its Youth Board – she looked at ways her experience could guide sport provision for those with disabilities.
“I wanted to improve the understanding of the needs of people with disabilities in relation to sport, and use the fact I was on the Youth Board to do this,” Bronnie said.
“Working with my tutors at USW I was also able to suggest ways the course I was studying could be developed so that these new ideas were included.
“It’s a key part of USW’s teaching to focus on new methods of working that are developed externally, and to pass on these requirements to students for when they graduate, so it was great to be able to get these new ideas included on the course.”
Now a graduate, Bronnie is keen to use the experience she has gained while at USW to guide her career, and bring her ideas to fruition.
“I feel that people with disabilities don’t get enough opportunity to participate, and I want to change that,“ she said. “The work with Disability Sport Wales and USW has given me a great grounding, and I’m determined that I’ll use that to develop the provision across the country.”
As for why she studied at USW, Bronnie added: “When I looked at USW it seemed a perfect fit for me. The staff and facilities are fantastic, the culture is friendly and homely, and it was close to where I live, which is a big bonus.
“From day one the staff treated me as though I was important – I didn’t feel like a number, I felt like an individual who was part of a bigger team that was there to help me achieve my potential.”