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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Interview with Mark Harding - Physical Education Subject Leader

Mark (Left) and Edward Timpson MP
Mark Harding is the subject leader for Physical Education at Hereward College. His favorite sport is football, running and swimming. His hobbies include running a local football team and swimming. 

Last week Martin Berisford, student and blog reporter at Hereward College, sat down with Mark for an interview and found out a bit about himself and his work.
MB What would you say are your hobbies outside of work?
MH - My hobbies outside of work include running a local football team at the weekend whilst during the weekdays I like to do a lot of swimming and also some running. I am self-confessed sports-a-holic!

MB - How did you end up teaching Sports?
MH - Well, first of all, I wasn’t always a sports fanatic! Back when I was younger I was actually very good at maths and so I was a trainee accountant for a while but I found that I didn’t like being behind a desk and I wanted to become a bit more active so I went and took a Sports Science degree.
After taking a few months off to look at what I wanted to do, I saw an advert in the paper for Hereward and even though at the time, I didn’t have any experience in disabilities, I went for the job. Luckily enough, I got the job and Hereward said they would support me in getting a teaching qualification. I never thought that I would end up teaching people with disabilities but luckily, it all fell together nicely and here I am today!

MB What is a typical day in your job like?
MH - A typical day in my job involves me managing student timetables to ensure they are where they are meant to be but also overseeing the staff and students of the Sports department. Also, I oversee all the extra-curricular activities that happen in the Sports department whilst ensuring that all external clients are happy when the college day ends.
But on top of all this, I actually continue to teach the students as well!

MB What do you like best about working at Hereward?
MH – I think that the best thing about working at Hereward is that all the students have great enthusiasm for their subject whilst the differences of students mean that his job is always changing. I am never bored of his job due to ever-changing nature of the job and what it involves.

MB What was it like running the half-marathon last year?
MH - The training for the half-marathon was hard, and it was also very lonely for myself. You have to start off doing say, 1 mile, 2 miles and build it up until you reach around 10-12 miles and you find that you are running for a long time and it gets very lonely out there. What I have done though is get a group of friends together and we have started a running club so that we can run together.
The students of Hereward were always motivating me! They were always asking how the training was going along and some of them actually came to help out at the half-marathon itself by being marshals or handing out water to the runners.

MB There has been many inspiring events occurring down in Sports, but which one would you say inspired you the most?
MH - That’s a hard one! There are actually a couple events that come to mind. We have close links to special schools so any events we do, we may have around six of these schools come to Hereward and they are all younger kids with different needs but they will all come in and attend events which are run by students for students. Overall, everyone taking part is enjoying it be it because they are looking to help their qualifications or just to help out.
Another one I’d talk about is the Calvert Trust trip where we take students to the Lake District. This trip is always a good one as it is taking students out of their comfort zones and letting them try new things away from what they are used to doing.

MB If you had to give a piece of advice to anyone, what would it be?
MH - If I had to give a piece of advice to anybody, it would be “Do not believe what anybody else says. If you want to do something, you do it and do not let anyone stop you”

MB Have you ever met any sports personalities? If so, who?
MH – I have been to some events but as of yet, I haven’t met any sports personalities.  
MB - We hope you meet some soon Mark!

MB If you had to choose, would you rather have a [healthy meal here] or a fast food meal after a hard day’s work?
MH - A healthy meal of course! I don’t do McDonalds or KFC anymore!

MB Who are your sports idols?
MH - Alan Shearer is one of my sports idols. I always looked up to him and wanted to copy his style of football when I was younger. 

MB Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into Sports/teaching?
MH - If I had any advice for people wanting to get into teaching, simply ensure that you do your basic training and that you have a basic knowledge of the subject you want to teach. Ensure that you get some work experience in the field you are looking to enter also and the more you see other people do it, the more you will learn from them.

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