A sporting chance for young volunteers

Posted: 01-03-2019 - 96 view(s)

There’s nothing like real hands-on experience to master the skills of your future career.

Sport students at SRC Bede Sixth Form got the chance to do just that by lending a hand at a holiday sport club.

School’s Out, Sport’s In (SOSI) delivers a wide range of fun sporting activities for primary schoolchildren during the holidays at the SRC Sports Centre in Billingham.

With so many youngsters to entertain, what better opportunity for our students to polish their own coaching skills?

“We love being able to offer work experience opportunities to the sports students and play our part in helping them to develop their skills,” said SOSI’s founder and PE specialist Ross Lowe.

With students volunteering to help out at the seasonal clubs on a regular basis, he said: “We can really see the students improving and their confidence grow.”

Regularly attracting up to 100 lively children to a session, the students get valuable lessons not just in coaching but also in dealing with children, behaviour management and leadership.

Ross said: “We see students come in with different skills and different levels of confidence, we can identify their strengths and then help them to further develop.”

Among the volunteers getting involved during this half term was Level 3 Sport student Erica. The 17-year-old said: “This was the second time I have done this and both were really good experiences. I find it really enjoyable and all the kids are well behaved.”

Fellow Level 3 Sports student Elli, 20, said: “It has been a fantastic experience. We do sports coaching on the course but until now I have only coached people my own age in class. This was an opportunity to apply that knowledge to a younger age group.

“You gain knowledge of working with children and it also builds your confidence. You never know what you are going to come in to, so you have to be able to adapt.”

For all those involved it is clearly a formula that works as the club has gone on to employ two SRC Bede students, among them 22-year-old Elliot of Billingham.

Currently studying the Foundation Degree in Sport at the college in partnership with Teesside University, Elliot said: “This has really developed my confidence, my leadership and organisation skills. It has helped me massively in my knowledge of all aspects of sports too.”

Loving working with the children, he added: “It doesn’t feel like work.”

Former SRC Bede Sports student Danny, 20, is also enjoying working at SOSI alongside his studies at Teesside University.

He said: “I started coming to School’s Out, Sport’s In, through the Foundation Degree at SRC Bede. You had to do a certain amount of hours volunteering.”

Like Elliot, Danny was offered a seasonal job with the club. He said: “I really do enjoy it. The children are full of character and personality.”

He added: “I didn’t really see myself going into coaching before but since starting to volunteer I realised this is the route I want to go down.”

SRC Bede Sixth Form’s Programme Area Leader for Sport and Public Services, Phil Cummins, said: “SOSI continues to provide high quality work placement opportunities for many of our students.

The opportunity to practise and apply the knowledge and skills learned from the Level 3 Sport course is better than we could have ever imagined. The students get so much from working with Ross and his team of qualified coaches. Irrespective of their starting points, they all improve as sports leaders and have a lot of fun in the process.”

For more details about the Sport courses available at SRC Bede Sixth Form visit: www.stockton.ac.uk/courses/sport-leisure/