Student Volunteering Week with NTU Sport

This week we are celebrating our fantastic student volunteers and the impact that they have on the community. We spoke to some of the NTU Sport volunteers who told us about their experience of volunteering with us and how it has enhanced their university experience.

Mari Stewart is an international sports scholar from California, she plays for the Women’s 1st Basketball team at NTU. Mari volunteered at an open house event speaking to prospective students about sport and scholarship opportunities.

What did you think of your volunteering experience?

Volunteering at the open house event helped me learn about the scholarship process and the variety of clubs that we have on offer at NTU. It has been a positive experience for me and has helped me to appreciate the University more by sharing my journey with prospective students.

Would you recommend volunteering with NTU Sport?

I would highly recommend volunteering with NTU Sport, especially at events like the open days. It allowed me to meet other students at NTU, whilst hopefully having a positive impact on the younger students allowing them to make the best decision for their collegiate future. I think that the vast volunteering opportunities offered to students with NTU Sport means that there is something to suit everyone. 

Adam Smith also volunteers with NTU Sport, we spoke to him about his experience after volunteering for 3 years.

How did you first get involved in volunteering?

I first got involved with volunteering when I became a ‘Sport for Good’ leader. I heard about the opportunity through NTU gym during my first year. Since then, I have volunteered for 3 different schools teaching year 6 students, 2 years in person and 1 year virtually during the pandemic. 

How has volunteering with NTU Sport impacted your university experience?

Volunteering with NTU Sport has been hugely enriching and has enhanced my university experience. It has allowed me to give back to the community where I live, Nottingham, whilst being fulfilling in making the children’s days. Some have since remembered my name when seeing them in public which offers a great sense of accomplishment. Personally, the programme has boosted my confidence and leadership skills whilst playing a pivotal part in my acceptance onto Camp America this summer.

Would you recommend volunteering to other students at NTU?

I would 100% encourage everyone at NTU to volunteer. As a student, you have so much free time even balancing socialising, going out and working, spending 2 hours to help the community whilst having fun gives a sense of satisfaction whilst providing a different activity to break up the week, meeting other students and making great friends along the way. 

Sam Bell is a second-year sport science and coaching student who volunteers with NTU Sport as a football coach for the Men’s third team and is a mentor for first-year students.

What does your volunteering role with NTU Sport involve?

I run two training sessions a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and manage games on Wednesdays. I also mentor the first-year students providing advice to students about completing assignments and preparing for exams whilst adapting to their new university lifestyle. 

How did you get involved in volunteering at NTU?

I first got involved with volunteering at the back end of my first year. My course allowed me the opportunity to get involved with coaching football. The head of football allowed me to observe a few of his sessions. Moving into my second year, he gave me the opportunity to take a training session with some players which I gratefully took on. He was impressed with the way that I stepped up to the challenge and so I was offered a chance to take over the team myself running the sessions and games days.

What is your favourite part about volunteering with NTU Sport?

Volunteering with NTU Sport has delivered great freedom, it has allowed me to run my sessions in a way that I believe will benefit the team. I can manage pre-match routines, game times and team talks without having to stick to a specific structure allowing me to do truly what I feel is best for the team. 

Would you recommend volunteering with NTU Sport?

I would recommend volunteering with NTU Sport to students, especially first years, it has provided me with some fantastic opportunities and given me experience that could be vital for future job roles. Students to be given the opportunity to volunteer with NTU Sport as it provides a strong stepping stone to the working industry. It can also give students a better understanding of parts of their university course whilst offering real experiences and transferrable skills that can be taken into further education as well as life after university. 

We also spoke to Lindsey Cleary, an athlete for the Women’s basketball 1st team at NTU and national team who is studying for her masters at NTU.

How did you first get involved with volunteering with NTU Sport?

I met Heidi Spencer in the gym where we spoke about basketball Play for Fun sessions. I have previously done work with intramurals and I thought it would be a fun challenge to get other students involved with basketball. With this in mind, I started volunteering for the sessions. 

How has volunteering with NTU enhanced your university experience?

I have been able to meet some great women who enjoy the sport that I am interested in. It has been inspiring to see students attending Play for Fun sessions and nice to see that students are wanting to try something new. My favourite part of this experience is meeting the students at NTU.

Would you recommend volunteering to other students at NTU and why?

Volunteering is a great way to meet people outside of your normal circles and make new friends. I think it’s a great way to practice having responsibility whilst adding new experiences to your time at University allowing important life skills to be learnt whilst having fun with your peers. 

We then spoke to Henry Hankin who volunteers weekly for The Pythian Club by attending Friday football sessions and boxing sessions throughout the week.

How did you first get involved in volunteering with NTU Sport?

I attended the NTU employability fair at the beginning of the year with hopes of finding meaningful work experience to complete alongside my degree. I spoke to Stacey and registered my interest in volunteering.

How has volunteering with NTU enhanced your university experience?

Volunteering has been brilliant for me, my course can be intense which was overwhelming for me in first-year. Volunteering allows me to destress and do something different from university work. I feel volunteering has benefitted my mental health and wellbeing whilst making me proud of myself and boosting my confidence, making me a happier person.

What has been your favourite part about volunteering?

Volunteering delivers a rewarding feeling and makes me feel good about myself. This is due to me being able to see the positive effect that volunteering has on the children who attend the sessions.

Would you recommend volunteering to other students at NTU?

Yes, I would, it has been such a positive experience for me. When more students get involved, more volunteering can be done! Students must be aware of the volunteering opportunities available to them.

We also spoke to Lucy Puddephatt, president of netball, who first got involved in volunteering through netball at NTU holding a vast amount of charity events and volunteering opportunities throughout her 4 years at the university.

How has volunteering with NTU enhanced your university experience?

It’s been great to give back to the Nottingham community whilst enhancing my CV and strengthening friendships with the people involved.

What has been your favourite experience of volunteering with NTU Sport?

I thoroughly enjoyed the day in pre-season where we went to the canal with river trust. It was a great way for all of us to come together and have fun after a year apart during covid. We helped tidy up the canal area in Beeston and it was so much fun.

Would you recommend volunteering to other students at NTU?

Yes, volunteering is a great contribution towards your CV whilst helping build new skills that you wouldn’t get from just playing sport.

You can find out more about the fantastic opportunities offered by NTU Sport volunteering and how you can get involved here.

NTU Sport volunteering Facebook.

NTU Sport volunteering Instagram.

Find out what events we have this week to celebrate here.

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