How EIS Sheffield has become a second home

August 11, 2016
By Sheffield Hallam University sports coaching student, Hannah Shearwood. Hannah will be going into her third year in September. 
How EIS Sheffield has become a second home
My first experience of the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EIS Sheffield) was when I was 14, as I turned up ready to play my first ever adult league netball match. I remember as we approached my mouth dropping wide open and my eyes widening at this vast building in front of me. I had never seen anything like it before, and as a young athlete it provided me with an amazing experience that has since stayed with me.
As a local, having this incredible facility on my doorstep with access to elite facilities is an amazing opportunity, and has allowed me to make connections more easily with people that I never thought I would.
And now that EIS Sheffield is part of the Olympic Legacy Park, this will create many more opportunities for Hallam sports students through facilities like the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre.
I have been fortunate enough to have used the facility for the last seven years for a variety of reasons, but also now as a BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching student at Sheffield Hallam University.
The University has a strong link with EIS Sheffield alongside other SIV venues across the city, which has allowed students to benefit from using such a fantastic facility to support their studies, an opportunity not many students can claim to have had.
As part of my University studies, I go to EIS Sheffield on a weekly basis for theory lessons within one of the three seminar rooms, followed by practical lessons to further develop our coaching skills. With a choice of three netball courts, a seated badminton hall, two multi-purpose rooms and an athletics track, there is always plenty of choice as to where we practice and develop our coaching skills.
Sometimes I may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Jessica Ennis-Hill training with her coach Tony Minichiello on the athletics track!
Being able to use EIS Sheffield as part of my studies means I have had access to not only world-class facilities, but it has also given me the opportunity to try out a variety of new sports including goalball, korfball and tchoukball (a hybrid of volleyball and goalball) as well as many more. I had never tried these sports before coming to university and probably would never have.
Being able to play and coach a wide range of sports on my course has helped the development of my own coaching. It has challenged me to think about how I apply the theory I've learnt into a variety of coaching scenarios, and how this may be adapted for the coaching audience.
An average week would include me visiting EIS Sheffield approximately five times either to further develop my coaching practice or to play sport. Because of my involvement and love for sport, EIS Sheffield has now become somewhat my second home, and as a local I feel extremely lucky to have such an incredible facility right on my doorstep.