In 2012, we were funded by the Department for Education to run a Leadership & Volunteering programme. We have continued to run this programme in partnership with local and schools and colleges and it is now in its fifth year.
The programme aims to identify and deploy volunteers ages 16+ years. In particular, but not exclusively, they work around level 2 and level 3 of the School Games and receive appropriate training and support.
The volunteer leaders and coaches also receive guidance on how to find opportunities outside of the School Games programme to continue to utilise and develop their skills.
Our aim has been to support selected young people to develop their skills and knowledge, as well as their appetite for volunteering in sport by providing them with a range of training and opportunities to gain practical experience. Many of these skills are transferable and will be of benefit to the young people as they progress into adult life.
We recruited young people through a competitive process. Those who were successfully selected were provided with a range of qualifications and leadership activities to undertake. The aim was to remove them from their comfort zone, provide a number of challenging tasks, whilst making it an enjoyable and enabling experience.
During 2016-17 we recruited 80 young people to the programme. We coordinated a comprehensive, needs led training programme. This provided all volunteers and coaches with a development programme they could access throughout the year. Through the Tyne & Wear Coach Bursary Scheme we provided additional financial assistance to those volunteers wishing to undertake Level 2 qualifications. We worked closely with NGBs to offer further opportunities to support their sports, which contributed towards enhancing and extending each individual’s involvement with volunteering.
Most importantly, we saw great changes in the young people themselves. We witnessed a growth in their confidence and skills in leadership situations, and it was a pleasure to watch them all play essential roles such as officiating, scoring and judging at the School Games events.
“The leadership course was really good and interesting. It has made me a lot more confident in netball and other sports too.” - Sophie, aged 15
“It helped me become more confident when I umpired at the Tyne & Wear School Games event, and I have also used my umpiring skills at my local netball club. I’m helping more at school with the younger year groups too.”- Ellie, aged 15