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Most Successful Sports or Recreation Initiative

Successful Sporting and Recreation initiatives are an integral part of student engagement. They represent a healthy, vibrant, and supportive campus experience and can provide students with a vital link to friendships with other like-minded people.

Successful initiatives will provide opportunities for all students to participate and engage at multiple levels, to have fun, improve their health and wellbeing, and feel connected to their campus community. An excellent initiative will also showcase adaptability to the current needs of student cohorts, and provide students with a positive lasting experience and meaningful outcomes.

This award recognises excellence in a campus Sports or Recreation Initiative run for students by a member campus during 2022/23. Initiatives can be new or established and held on or off-campus, or online.

Initiatives can include but are not limited to; sports and recreation programs or initiatives, sporting events or activities, gym and fitness activities, provision of support for sporting codes, sporting camps etc.

The Jury will be looking for entries that demonstrate excellence in the following criteria:

  • Astute recognition for the type of initiative required to meet student needs
  • Good adaptability to the changing needs of the student community
  • Tangible and measurable goals and objectives
  • Evidence of strong strategic planning
  • Creative techniques used to deliver the desired outcomes of the initiative
  • Effective use of resources (teams, funds, assets)
  • Inclusivity, diversity, and environmental considerations
  • The quality of the initiative
  • Student engagement and experience factors
  • Evidence of success and positive impacts with measurable results
  • Innovation, leadership, and recognition*  (applies to top tier ‘Best of the Year’ submissions only).
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Award Submission Criteria

Submissions need to address each of the following criteria:

  • Name of organisation
  • Organisation logo
  • Name & Contact details of the person completing the submission
  • Full-time student load (total student enrolments)
  • Name of Initiative
  • Number of particpants

This category of the SEN Awards has two levels of recognition – ‘Award of Distinction’ and ‘Best of the Year’.

For your submission to be considered for an ‘Award of Distinction’ you will be required to complete the first 3 sets of criteria PLUS provide supporting evidence.

For your submission to be considered for the ‘Best of the Year’ Award you will be required to complete all of the ‘Award of Distinction’ requirements, PLUS the additional Innovation and Leadership criteria.

Tell us the WHY of your Initiative.

  • What was the reason for the initiative?
  • What were you aiming for and why?
  • What were the goals and objectives you were hoping to achieve?

Tell us the HOW of your initiative.

  • What key strategies were identified and used to deliver on the goals and objectives of your initiative?
  • What creative techniques and effective use of resources were applied?
  • Was there student input into the initiative and if so in what capacity? Did you engage with any external partnerships and if so, what was their input?
  • What communications and marketing did you use to promote your initiative?
  • How did you ensure your initiative was inclusive and responsible? eg: social and/or sustainable considerations included in your Initiative. You can reference details such as inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility factors, use of environmental and sustainable materials/products/collateral, waste and resource management, sustainable event guides used, etc.


  • What was the outcome of your initiative?
  • Which of your goals and objectives did you achieve?
  • What were the overall engagement and experience outcomes of your initiative for students and/or the campus community?
  • How have you determined the Initiative’s success? What were the tangible and measurable positive impacts for your organisation and students?
  • Funding overview

This section may be used to support your submission by providing evidence of your claims, it is not a substitute or an additional opportunity for answering the criteria in your submission.

The quality of your supporting documents will be measured against the rubric.

Relevant examples will include documentation that adds value and validation to your submission which could include links to:

  • Hero photos that capture the success of the Initiative
  • Before and after comparative data (quantitative & qualitative)
  • Financial documents
  • Initiative website pages or features
  • Initiative social media pages or campaigns
  • Initiative video files
  • Initiative PR or media
  • Storyboards
  • Feedback forms
  • Written articles
  • Evidence of innovation, leadership, and formal recognition* (applies to top tier ‘Best of the Year’ submissions only).

You can collate supporting documents into a word doc to minimise the number of your uploads.

To progress your submission for consideration at the ‘Best of the Year’ level, you will be required to complete the following criteria. 

  • What was innovative about your initiative?
  • What stands out about this initiative from other Sport and Recreation initiatives that you have offered or seen?
  • What did you incorporate in your initiative that has not been seen or done before?
  • How was it coordinated or promoted in a completely innovative and different manner from anything you have offered before?
  • How does this initiative provide meaningful and significant leadership outcomes for your organisation, the student experience at your campus, and within the sector?
  • How has this initiative gone over and above in addressing and delivering on an identified need within your organisation?
  • How is it positively influencing other organisations in the sector?
  • How is the initiative replicable and are you offering support for its development at other organisations?
  • Have you received official recognition for your Initiative within your own organisation, within the sector, or broader industry fields?

Please ensure that you have uploaded adequate supporting documentation to support your claims including any reference to formal industry and/or organisation recognition. 

Each category has a rubric that will be used as a scoring guide by the Awards Jury Panel against criteria responses in your submission.

Please note:

  • Criteria Responses that are a direct copy and paste from previous criteria fields in the same category submission will be marked as Basic.
  • Submissions that do not provide supporting evidence of the stated claims will be marked as Basic.
  • In the event of multiple applications achieving equal scores, the award decision is at the discretion of the Awards Jury Panel.
  • In order to be eligible to win ‘Best of the Year’, your application will need to achieve a score of at least 13 out of 15.
  • Applications submitting for ‘Best of the Year’ that do not meet the higher score ranking required to win can also be considered for an ‘Award of Distinction’ at the judge’s discretion.

Category-specific rubrics will be available to download on the submission page of each category. 

Click HERE to see an example.