February 11, 2022, by Habbi Liton
Introducing the Laureus Sport for Good volunteers of last term
Here at the Leadership Academy we like to celebrate our volunteers, as it is for them and their amazing contributions that make the projects what they are. We are currently celebrating Student Volunteering Week, and highlighting the the passion that our students have for sport and volunteering which is reflected by the positive impact they have made in the local community. Therefore, it is time to celebrate the massive impact a few of our volunteers from the Laureus Sport for Good programme made last term!
Volunteers of Term 1
The Laureus Sport for Good programme gives our student leaders the opportunity to work with young people in schools to develop their life skills, design and undertake social action projects and help with the transition from primary to secondary school.
The programme is a collaboration from University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham College, and it offers students an ideal opportunity to develop important leadership skills and gain real work experience in the education and sporting sector.
This past term we have had three volunteers that stood out for their hard work and dedication to the programme. First we have Valeria Beardwell, a UoN student who has been a consistent and reliable volunteer at the Sport for Good Sessions. She has shown enthusiasm for the project and has offered to lead during sessions illustrating her leadership qualities. Tia Papoutselou is also a UoN student and she shows boundless enthusiasm for this project and is now involved for the third year. She is a natural leader and someone that other volunteers can turn to for guidance. We would also like to recognise Kieran Rolfe, an NTU student that decided to get involved with our programme and has been very valuable member of this leadership project. He is professional, enthusiastic and always willing to put himself forward to lead in sessions, especially during the social action weeks in November. Here is a little bit of what volunteering is to them
Ines Sanchez Escobar, UoN Sport Ambassador, recently caught up with our amazing volunteers to find out a little bit more about what drives them to be volunteers.
What has been your favourite thing about volunteering?
Valeria – I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the kids in the group I was working with. They’re a great group and really interactive with the activities.
Tia – My favourite thing about volunteering has been the opportunity to challenge myself in new settings. It’s also been such a great way to meet new people especially during the pandemic where not a lot has been happening.
Kieran – My favourite thing about volunteering has been making a connection and relationship with the kids during each session, as well as making new friends with all the volunteers.
What has been the hardest thing about volunteering?
Valeria – I found that the hardest part was probably trying to build up the confidence in the beginning to engage with the kids and talk to them.
Tia – The hardest part about volunteering sometimes is being confident enough to take the lead. That can often be scary but it’s part of gaining new skills and growing as a person!
Kieran – The hardest thing about volunteering is fitting it into my schedule alongside my other commitments like basketball and university.
What is the most important thing to remember when volunteering?
Valeria – It’s important to enjoy yourself while you’re doing it all and have patience. It can be a little frustrating when the kids move off topic, but you need to keep a clear head to guide them back on course.
Tia – The most important thing to remember when volunteering is to have fun and not be afraid to ask questions. Volunteering especially when working with children can be such a fulfilling and rewarding experience so I try to have fun, relax and enjoy every session! Volunteering also offers a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills so I always try to take advantage of that by asking questions.
Kieran – The most important thing to remember when volunteering is to make the sessions fun and enjoyable for all the kids but making sure that they understand the key lesson being taught in each session.
How has volunteering helped you/will help you in the future?
Valeria – I’m planning on working in primary schools as a teacher in future, so it has given me experience with the kids that I want to work with.
Tia – Through volunteering I have been able to cultivate skills that would have been hard to gain through my degree alone. For example, I have developed a lot my leadership and communication skills. I have also learnt how to think on the spot and solve problems in a quick and creative way. Lastly, my volunteering has helped me understand better what kind of career I would like to have after I graduate!
Kieran – Volunteering has helped me get out of my comfort zone massively and it will help me to continue doing this in the future to find things I love but didn’t expect to.
These 3 volunteers’ experience of volunteering within sport is especially important as they demonstrate that you do not need to be a part of a sports club. You can volunteer with no sports knowledge at all. As long as you have enthusiasm and a want to get involved, then we would love to have you get involved.
If you love watching sport, then you can sign up now to volunteer at BUCs Big Wednesday. It is the biggest sporting event for all universities up and down the country. There are plenty of roles for everyone to get involved whether you would rather a sport specific role or a more general event role. Use those links to sign up and receive all the information you need!
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