Sports Coaching and Physical Education student Sian has been actively volunteering at sporting events throughout her time at ARU. She blogs about the benefits of volunteering for her future career.
My name is Sian Knights and I studied BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education. I graduated in October 2017.
I have volunteered with several placements, including Cambridge and Coleridge Athletics Club, Cambridge Half Marathon 2016 and 2017, Muscular Dystrophy Run 2016, Wings for Life Event 2017 and a secondary school placement at St Bed's School, which was part of Living Sport.
When volunteering at Cambridge and Coleridge Athletics, I was a coaching assistant along with three other students from the University. With Cambridge Half Marathon, Muscular Dystrophy Run and Wings for Life meanwhile, I have been either a steward or run marshal to control the runners in their pens or distribute water and snacks. Some of my duties included organising equipment, setting up stalls to hold drinks and food on, taking charge of my own group during athletics, organising warm-ups and cool downs, directing runners where to go for the start or when they had finished – and, finally, screaming and cheering as much as possible for all the runners competing.
I highly enjoy being a part of the community, lending a helping hand towards any sporting events as they're a good cause to volunteer at. Taking a break from working part-time once in a while to volunteer offers a fresh perspective. Finally, I'm adding vital skills and experiences towards my CV so employers can see I've dedicated time to help others and enhance my volunteering roles.
One of the skills I have used when volunteering is working as part of a team, in order to be effective and get the job done correctly. Without this my volunteering role would be hard to achieve. I've also learnt some new skills along the way, such as taking a leadership role in the group, or towards the runners who have competed in the past.
My aspiration is to eventually become a secondary school PE teacher, after completing my PGCE which I start in 2018. However, I am still very open to other sporting pathways such as a multi-sports coach, sports physio or a coach in a specific sport including football or athletics.
By volunteering, employers can see I've worked in the local community giving time and commitment to these well-known sporting events.
The volunteering team at ARU has not only given me volunteering roles through all three years, but also an insight of how beneficial and rewarding these events are. For example, each event has given me free clothing, food and drinks, and also the chance to be hired for the future. I've shown outside companies what I can deliver and been rewarded me with coaching qualifications that I can take with me now I've left university.
Volunteering is a great way to have fun, be interactive with the community, have a day off work, give a cheer and encouragement to all those participating and – maybe, one day – inspire me to take part in these valued events.