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Phil Ansell


Phil Ansell

Dean of Sport

The North East is known for its love of sport, from Newcastle United, to the Falcons rugby club and the Great North Run.

Phil Ansell, who is the University’s first Dean of Sport, wants students and staff to be able to share that passion from the highest level of competition to “give it a go” activities.

“The University Sport Strategy is one of the ways that we can have oversight of all our sport and exercise activities,” he explains. “It extends from participation in British Universities & Colleges Sport events through to intra-mural activities within halls, subjects or friendship groups.”

“A key part of delivering the sports strategy is our infrastructure and this will soon be bolstered by our new sports centre and exciting developments at Cochrane Park. I want our students and staff to have opportunities to take part through playing, coaching or volunteering because it is good for their health and wellbeing.”

I want our students and staff to have opportunities to take part through playing, coaching or volunteering.

Phil Ansell

We all know the saying “healthy body-healthy mind” but Phil says students and staff also develop other skills such as teamwork, communication and organisation when they are active on a daily basis.

Sport also sits alongside the University’s Engagement and Place strategy. “The North East is a very sport-focused part of the world. At the University we have degree programmes in Sports and Exercise Science, but our students are also engaged in the community and join local sports clubs,” Phil explains.

“We have strategic partnerships with Newcastle Falcons, which includes engaging in health community work, and Newcastle United Foundation.

"One of our PhD students, who receives joint-funding from the Foundation and the University, is presently working on a programme called the 12th Man. It has been featured on Match of the Day and aims to encourage middle-aged men back into activity.”

Phil is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching for the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics who has a love of sport. He believes that sport can be a positive influence on students and staff from all disciplines and has impact across the region.

“Everyone wins with sport,” he says.