30 June 2021

A team of three students from the University of East London (UEL) has been taking part in the Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity with the chance to win 10,000 euros to develop their concept.

This exciting event took place in June with the students designing an innovative concept to increase participation in sport and physical activity in an inclusive, sustainable, and fun way.

Maariyah Karim, a postgraduate Physical Activity student, Carolina Merletti, an MSc Sports Management student, and Elena Anca Pavlovi, a BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles student, have taken on the challenge and submitted a proposal to increase participation in PE in secondary schools.

Their idea is based upon Maariyah's own research conducted before submitting the team's concept,  around the national curriculum for PE and female participation.

I'm excited for the project. It holds many different challenges. I am looking forward to sharing the knowledge I have gained from my postgraduate certificate in Physical Education. I hope to work collaboratively with other colleagues to come up with a successful strategy to promote physical activity and sport,"

Maariyah Karim, UEL Physical Activity postgraduate, said.

Elena said, "As a recent graduate in fashion textiles, I was determined to join the Global Design Challenge 2021 to share all my professional knowledge gained during these years of study. I am excited to join my colleagues in changing the field of physical education in schools by introducing comfortable and sustainable sportswear with modern designs."

The final team member, Carolina Merletti, has recently completed her MSc in Sports Management and decided to take part in the competition to strengthen her knowledge in project management ahead of starting her career.

Carolina said, "It was a pleasure to accept this challenge. It gave me the opportunity to share and understand new ideas and collaborate with students from different courses. It was very stimulating and challenging trying to find new solutions for an ever-changing world."

As a careers-led university, UEL is dedicated to providing students with opportunities to enhance their skill sets so they are in a strong position moving into the jobs market. The Global Design Challenge allowed all three students to utilise the skills they have learnt over their time at UEL. The team have submitted their project and the judging will be taking place in early July.

About the Global Design Challenge
The Global Design Challenge 2021 is a worldwide search for ambitious, innovative ideas to get people physically active. University College Cork, Ireland, together with Sport Ireland, are launching this search, under the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and there  are development grants of up to 10,000 euros for the best concepts.

On 7 June, the Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity opened for registration, as part of a bid to engage more people in sport and physical activity, following a year of lockdown and restrictions that have seen participation levels plummet.

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