OnThe Right Track
Stage 2 – preparation and research Create or develop your CV to include new volunteering experiences and skills. Have a look at your local CSP’s website and visit your nearest Volunteer Centre to start researching future opportunities.
Student sports volunteering How can you get involved?
Training: Sports Leaders UK Level 1/2 Award in Sports Leadership
Lead a game
Training: Governing body of sport Young Leadership Award
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Sports newsletter for college
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Write article for local newspaper
Many volunteer placements will now want to find out about your suitability and qualifications and will require you to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check if you are over 18 and volunteering with young people. Currently, some placements will require this if you are under 18 years old too. Visit the Child Protection in Sport Unit website for further information: www.thecpsu.org.uk Think about your own conduct in leading and volunteering with others. It is recommended as good practice that you attend training courses in safeguarding and protecting young people and vulnerable adults, and basic first aid.
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Training: First-aid course
Stage 4 – training and development Always look out for new training opportunities, whether these may be formal coaching qualifications (perhaps in return for some volunteering hours) or ‘shadowing’ a sports journalist at the local newspaper. The most important thing is to just get involved, whether you’re doing something you’ve done before or trying something completely new.
You don’t always have to stay in the same lane. Why not have a go at some other roles to gain more experience?
Stage 3 – making the most of the opportunities Think about your spare time in the future – whether you’re continuing your studies, seeking employment or already have a new job lined up. You may have less time for volunteering, but your college or community clubs and organisations may have flexible opportunities that require less of your time or only ‘one-off’ commitments. Speak to college staff, friends who already volunteer or visit your old school or a sports club and ask how you could help out. If you’re going on to university, once you arrive, make sure you attend the freshers’ fairs and start to identify volunteering opportunities you might be interested in and ways you could help out in sport, based on your current skills and what you enjoy doing. Remember that roles you may play in helping to run sports societies and clubs also count as volunteering!
Training: Governing body of sport Level 1 Officiating Course
Volunteering in a fun, positive and safe environment Everybody should have a safe and enjoyable experience in sport. Before you start any new volunteering placement, try to ensure it is right for you and that you will be as safe as possible. If you are under the age of 18, you must be supervised by an adult at all times while you are volunteering. Talk to a member of staff at your college or university about who you will be responsible to in your placement, how you should be treated and where you can go if you need help. If you are new to volunteering, your college or university may be able to suggest someone who could act as a mentor to you. If you are going out into a community placement, your CSP or Volunteer Centre should be able to recommend a placement that has met minimum requirements or standards, such as Clubmark accreditation.
Training: Governing body of sport Level 1 Coach Award
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Training: Sports Leaders UK Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership
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Stage 1 – start or continue volunteering While you’re thinking about where to start or what to do next, try some new volunteering over the summer break or in your spare time. Young people’s holiday clubs are a great way to gain experience and have fun, while further developing your own skills. Alternatively, visit a local sports club and offer your time and skills there. If you haven’t volunteered before, ask if you can work alongside an experienced volunteer who can act as your mentor.
If you are going on to a university, check out its website over the summer break and have a look at the pages of the students’ and athletics union, your academic department or sports department and see what’s on offer. It may give you a head start on what to expect and who to contact once you arrive, ie sports department staff, volunteer programme coordinators, careers advisers, lecturers, other students involved in sport or sports and volunteering organisations (see page 6 for further information).
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Student sports volunteering poster