College Connecting Communities Through Google Apps
Cornwall College is one of twenty colleges around the country whose Sport's Academy has been trialling a new website creation toolkit powered by Google Apps which is helping them better organise and manage sport at the College.
The toolkit, called Google Apps for Community Sport, uses the power of free Google tools to enable clubs to create better public-facing websites, and more easily and effectively manage their sport. Google Apps for Community Sport includes a mixture of Google Sites, Google Docs, Google Calendar and rich media tools such as YouTube and Picasa.
Sport England is supporting this effort as part of their larger initiative aiming to get one million people doing more sport by 2012. Google is contributing to this initiative by providing sport administrators with a very easy-to-use website creation toolkit that allows them to focus on promoting their sport in the local community, rather than grapple with the technical details of creating a website.
The toolkit is being tested by Further Education colleges before being made available to the wider community sport sector.
Thomas Godfrey, Commercial Director of Sport England, said, "By working on this test project with Google we want to make it easier for sports clubs, voluntary groups and colleges to promote their sports activities to people in their communities, for free. We've been delighted with how Cornwall College have made such great use of the free Google tools to help their students and local community get involved in sport at college, and keep up to date. They are a great example of how online technology can help people have the very best experience of sport."
Cornwall College's customised site has so far proven to be a big success with more and more of the College’s sports being added.
Russell Lawrance, Corporate Director of Sport & Public Services at Cornwall College, explained why he is 100 per cent behind the project: “We feel that this scheme is user friendly for our students. Using Google Apps for Community Sport has enabled us to reach out to a wider audience, not only providing relevant information to our students but also informing the community about local sport and events.
“We can publicise scorers and results as well as fixtures, training times, competitions and news, providing a central place for all information and enabling us to better manage our sport department and teams online.”
Since its creation the site, which can be accessed at www.cornwall.ac.uk/sport, has seen a seven-fold increase in page views per month to 5500. As well as fixtures and competition news, the site also contains detailed match reports, photos and player profiles.
Alex Ledbrooke, Communication and Participation Officer at Cornwall College, who is credited with building the site from scratch, explained why this project is popular with the students: “The Google Apps for Community Sport template has brought a massive suite of media to students at the College. Not only can they share the details of fixtures but also the fun extras like photo galleries and YouTube videos. There’s nothing like getting that video of your long range goal on the web for the world and your friends to enjoy!”
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “At Cornwall College we believe it is vital to get involved with initiatives like this one. Online applications are a big part of our everyday lives, especially for young people, and we need to be aware of all communication tools in order to relate to our students.”