Mark Stevens

HWS Project Lead Assistant at Truro and Penwith College

Describe yourself in three words

Kind, fun and sociable.

Mark Stevens - Sports Activator at Penwith College

Mark Stevens - Sports Activator at Penwith College

Explain your subject area in one sentence.

The Health, Wellbeing and Sport programme aims to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of staff and students at the College.

What does your role at the College involve?

I deliver a number of sporting activities on a daily basis, encouraging the most inactive students to participate individually and as part of their courses. One of the ways to motivate students is to host gym sessions, providing help and guidance to build confidence. I also work with students on a one-to-one basis for personal training sessions following a referral from Student Support, trying to maintain and improve the mental wellbeing of students. Staff sessions are also quite popular, runnings over lunchtimes and after work, allowing staff to switch off, de-stress and break up the day to restore mental wellbeing.

Describe a day in the life of you

I usually get into the office at around 9am to check my emails and do any necessary admin. Once all the paperwork is out of the way, I get straight into running sessions, starting with several hour-long workshops with individual course groups and followed by gym sessions after College/work. Working in this way is very intense but it's fantastic to work with a variety of groups, each with unique personalities.

How did you come to work at the College?

After completing my Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Sport at Truro College, I went on to study for a degree in Sports Coaching Science, with a specialism in disability sport. I then moved back to my home in St Ives and applied for my current role at Penwith College, equipped with an understanding of the College and my new experience in sports development. The College is really lucky to be able to offer University Courses right here in Cornwall, which was especially useful as I then completed the Certificate of Education course at Truro College while working here.

What is your aim when teaching at the College?

I like the challenge that comes with the job, but the aim is to really motivate students. Due to my young age, I can really relate to them, and if I can do it with my disability then there's no excuse for anyone else. It's just really rewarding to see the smile of their faces when they succeed.

What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy working with loads of different students and members of staff on a daily basis. Being an enthusiastic and happy person myself hopefully motivates others to feel as passionate as I do. The College is a great place to work, and it's just fantastic that I've come full circle studying here, working here and studying here again; I really enjoy it.

Do you participate in any projects outside of work?

I'm part of a wheelchair basketball team, I participate in wheelchair racing, I use the gyms at the College and I also have a personal trainer outside of work that I see once or twice a week. I also like to go swimming and surfing whenever I get the spare time. 

What's your proudest accomplishment to date?

Due to a kind nomination from one of the lecturers at Truro and Penwith College, I became a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympics, carrying the torch across Penzance, in 20th position. The nomination related to my time at the College because I was part of the leadership academy and never let my disability get in the way of achieving. I was also the team captain of my university wheelchair basketball team when we became the first university team to win the championship, two very important moments in my life.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Not only do I enjoy coaching sports, I love watching it too! I am a huge football fan so I watch a lot of games at home. I also like socialising with friends, going out to dinner and settling in with a good book.

What makes you laugh the most?

I'm a big comedy show enthusiast: anything from Michael McIntyre to 8 out of 10 Cats and Mrs. Brown's Boys - they're always cracking me up.

What do you like most about living in Cornwall?

Definitely the beach. The beach and the sea are stunning. Cornwall is a place where lots of people what to live and I'm lucky enough to be able to call it my home. Even at work I get stunning views of St Michael's Mount and it's pretty amazing to be only a few minutes away from the beach.