My name is Cerys Dolloway and I'm 19 years old. I'm currently studying a PE and School Sport degree at Hartpury University.
Alongside my studies, I play football for the HE women's academy, as well as football outside of university for Cheltenham Town Ladies. I got into volunteering during my time at Hartpury College studying a Level 3 extended diploma in Sports Coaching.
Through this course there were multiple opportunities for me to be able to volunteer at a range of different events. These events included the Gloucestershire School Games, Big Health Check Day, Special Olympics and more, as well as volunteering at local primary school events.
I was one of 180 students who helped support the Gloucestershire School Games, as well as both Level 2 (district) and Level 3 (county) events. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to volunteer at multiple events, enabling me to put into practice what I have already learnt on my course, and develop my skills further.
Some examples of my roles at the school games was to help set up and take down equipment that was used during the day, presenting school games certificates and values awards at events, being part of the school games volunteer leadership forum and officiating at a variety of events, from table tennis to girls football. During events I would also be at a station, keeping the participants on task and writing scores down. I was really pleased to be awarded School Games Volunteer of the Year at the Gloucestershire school awards last year.
I've gained a lot of knowledge and understanding on how a range of different events are set up and organised. I also have a lot more confidence in communicating clearly to a wide variety of people, from primary and secondary pupils, to parents, PE teachers and even head teachers!
These skills are transferable to other events and can help me a lot in the future within teaching and coaching roles. My experiences have also shown me the range of opportunities that are available in both the voluntary and sports development sectors.
If someone is interested in volunteering, I would encourage them to be proactive and seek out opportunities and have a positive attitude towards each event. I've gained a lot of experience and knowledge from volunteering, so I would definitely recommend making the most out of it. I really believe it helps develop your own personal skills, especially gaining more confidence. So even if you're a bit nervous, throw yourself in the deep end!