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Ulster University students set up shop at the North West 200 this year to lend a helping hand to the organisers, riders and their teams, and spectators at race week.

From the 11-13 May, during race week, as well as sponsoring 'University Corner' on the world-famous track, Ulster University sponsored another corner of the event where Physiotherapy students supported the event with a drop-in clinic. They were available to help provide diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal injuries to both the motorcycle riders and their support staff, enabling the students to gain practical experience which will benefit them in their future careers.

A micro-internship was developed by the MarTech Laboratory to provide digital marketing support during race week as well as going forward in order to support digital marketing strategy to help drive programme sales and memberships through provision of social media content and more. Fionn Forbes, from Ulster University’s Travel & Tourism Management course, volunteered his support for pre-event event branding where he gained unique experience of the volunteer ecosystem that drives the event. Areeba Kirmani, an MSc Marketing student was also supporting at the event by focusing on exploring the aim of the digital marketing strategy to reach new fans to support the event’s future.

Dr John Bustard, Principal Investigator of the MarTech Laboratory, who has been managing event relations on behalf of Ulster University Business School, said:

“What an incredible opportunity it is for our students to be able to gain insight on the practicalities of managing Ireland’s largest outdoor sporting event! The economic impact of the event here is staggering - £16,022,898 attributable to event-specific spectators in 2022.  We’re grateful to extend our support in such practicable ways!”

MSc Marketing student, Areeba Kirmani said:

“Through my micro-internship as a Digital Marketing Associate for NW200 at the MarTech Laboratory, this opportunity enabled me to acquire valuable skills and hands-on (practical) experience in social media marketing, content creation, SMO and trend analysis. I am thrilled to be working on this internationally recognised event, and to amplify engagement on social media platforms with a focus on TikTok.

“This experience should help enhance my ability to collaborate in a team and communicate with diverse audiences, through exposure to different cultures and international audiences. My goal is to leverage my experience at the MarTech Laboratory to prepare for a career in digital marketing while also contributing to my personal growth and development.”

Head of School of Health Sciences, Professor Daniel Kerr said:

“Physiotherapy students from the School of Health Sciences delivered a drop-in clinic at the NW200 2023.  Situated in prepared treatment rooms, they provided diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal injuries to both the motorcycle riders and their support staff.  The students were present from Tuesday until Friday and were involved in both the practice and non-practice sessions.

“The students were ably supported by staff from the School and the riders as well as their teams were extremely complimentary about the students' knowledge and level of care for them at this event. We would like to thank the students for their engagement over the week-long event and for their delivery of the curriculum in the community.”