June 6, 2022, by Grace Dixon
Leader in Focus: Matthew Gaskins
We have managed to already celebrate two fantastic volunteers during National Volunteer Week, but we are not done yet! Today we are going to celebrate Matthew Gaskins. He is one of the Laureus Sport for Good Volunteers. This is a fantastic programme for those who want to volunteer and have no specific sport knowledge.
The aim of this program is to develop the life skills of primary school students and prepare them for the transition to secondary school. Matthew, through his volunteering, has fulfilled this aim completely and left a lasting positive impact on those he has helped.
Matthew has been a part of a fantastic idea called the “School Mile”. He describes it as “a weekly mile-run that raises money for charities aimed at reducing the impact of climate change. It is great to see more and more students engaging with the mile, and one school continues to run the event even now – it has been really fulfilling to contribute to some socially beneficial action!”
Volunteering, especially with children can sometimes be a bit tricky. They have a different level of understanding compared to you and this can lead to some confusion. “Sometimes you think you’ve explained everything really clearly, but the game devolves into chaos because the children have misinterpreted your plan, so it really increases your focus on using precise language.”
Volunteering also has benefits for you, the volunteer in the future. It teaches you invaluable skills that will translate to many working environments. Sports volunteering also looks great on a CV and many employers love to hear about your volunteering experience.
For Matthew, volunteering within the Laureus program has been extremely beneficial in preparing him for a future career. He is considering going into teaching and this role has given him lots of first-hand experience surrounding the practicalities of this profession. The development of his communication and leadership skills will also help in any team situations.
Matthew also has some great advice for anyone who is slightly unsure if volunteering within sports is for them. “You will be eased in gently and only have to lead sessions if you feel comfortable to do so. There’s no hurry and no expectation for you to have prominent roles in the sessions, but there is also the capacity for you to do so if you wish!”
A big thank you to Matthew for sharing his experience with us! We hope it has inspired some of you to consider volunteering. Find out more on the Leadership Academy Website or the Laureus Sport for Good Page.
For any students returning in September, this is the perfect time to start planning for the next academic year. Think over the summer what volunteering you would like to do, and we hope to see you in September for another year of volunteering!
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