Coach & Volunteer Academy Impact Report 2018/19

Unlock your potential

In 2018/19 the Coach & Volunteer Academy had a record year, seeing the workforce have the greatest impact ever on Loughborough Sport.


With over 56,000 voluntary hours logged this year, by over 421 volunteers this year, Loughborough University once again cements itself as one of the best Higher Education institutions for workforce development within sport.

This report is shared with you to demonstrate the impact the CVA has had on Loughborough Sport’s workforce this year. We are immensely proud of the students we are privileged to work with and want to share with you their successes and highlights.

A year in review

  • 56,069 hours logged
  • 421 volunteers logging hours
  • 6 new milestones after the launch of a new recognition package
  • Over 35 volunteers trained in mental health first aid
  • Shortlisted for the Sport and Recreation Alliance's National Volunteering Award
  • 10 student volunteers invited to the Vice-Chancellor's house for dinner


This academic year the coaching strand focused on recruiting, training and deploying coaches to support the whole Loughborough Sport offer. We’ve worked much closer with the performance programmes and the Head of Coaching to provide shared learning opportunities; such as a bi-weekly coaches breakfast, conferences and mentoring opportunities.

We have continued to build our strong relationship with the Athletic Union, supporting 127 coaches, and have begun to significantly improve the data management of coaches. This will provide crucial insight into the structure of coaching and lay foundations to build a coaching family.


Officiating at Loughborough saw a noteably increased quality of experience during 18/19. In total, we recruited, qualified and deployed over 50 officials across all sports that supported IMS, AU, local schools and the community.

The impact of this has been improved structure and fair playing opportunities for every player involved. Key developments have been two-fold. Firstly, implementing the volunteer role of Female Football Officiating Hub Manager which has provided a central point of support for female officials. And secondly, building a bespoke package for our elite football referees, including gym access and top-level mentoring.

Kirsten Flower

Case study

Kirsten Flower, IMS Rugby official

When initially signing up for the Level 2 Rugby Refereeing course, I didn’t play rugby, but I still had a love for the game. I gained my rugby referee qualification in 2017 and began officiating within our intramural programme every week and loved it!

Without sounding incredibly cliché, refereeing at Loughborough has grown my confidence immensely. This year I have been in direct contact with the Rugby Football Union (RFU), joining a strength and conditioning programme designed for the best female match officials in the country. Alongside this, I have been selected among 35 others in the country to be the first participants in the RFU Advanced Match Official programme, designed to enhance the skills of up and coming referees.

Performance support

Over 120 student volunteers gained significant applied experience within our performance programmes this year across six areas (Performance Analysis, Nutrition, Physiology, Strength & Conditioning, Performance Lifestyle and Sport Psychology).

The impact of having students volunteering alongside our professional leads, is the exposure to world class expertise from the very start of their journey as a practitioner. This enables Loughborough to build a strong workforce of practitioners who will go on to influence the sports science of the future.

Gym, health and fitness

This strand allowed a focused number of students to gain access to their Gym Instructor Level 2 qualification, as well as giving them the opportunity to complete over 100 hours of applied experience within Holywell Fitness centre. The hard work of a number of the student volunteers from within our pathway was rewarded with the offer of paid work upon completion of their voluntary role within our gyms and fitness programmes.

Eliška Krocová

Case study

Eliška Krocová, volunteer gym instructor

I volunteered as a gym instructor, based up at Holywell gym after completing my Level 2 Gym Instructor course through the Coach & Volunteer Academy. I also got qualified as a Les Mills instructor and I have been teaching HIIT classes on a regular basis since then.

It has been amazing to see how much I’ve achieved since I became a volunteer fitness instructor last year, and it would not be the same journey without the Coach & Volunteer Academy. I have developed my patience, confidence and time-management and most importantly opened completely new opportunities I might have not even thought of if I did not get involved with the CVA in the first place.

Media, marketing and communications

Our Media, marketing and communications volunteers have played a pivotal role in promoting the vast array of sporting opportunities the University has to offer; including our world-class performance programmes, high profile events and Athletic Union clubs.

A brand-new Sport & Communications module was incorporated into the School of Social Sciences for students to learn both the theory and practical elements of the industry. They applied this knowledge, practicing their new skills within our performance sport programmes and major events on campus.

Ryan Stevens

Case study

Ryan Stevens, Social Media Volunteer

I started volunteering for Loughborough Students RFC with the aim of gaining experience in sports journalism, marketing and social media. During my time with the club, I was given the opportunity and autonomy to create a wide range of creative content, and several of my match reports have been published in national and local newspapers.

I never would have imagined when I started that the work I created would get such a wide reach! The support I’ve been given from the Rugby Club, CVA and Loughborough Sport has been crucial for my personal and professional development, I feel like I’ve flourished in this environment.

Event management

The events team hosted a number of world class events over 2018/19 such as the Loughborough International Athletics competitions and KIA super league, collectively allowing over 150 student and community volunteers to get involved in this strand.

We also offered invaluable opportunities for students to gain expert knowledge from key individuals such as Darren Booth (Wembley Stadium Event Manager) and Guy Richardson (Director of Operations for British & Irish Lions). The events volunteers not only allow the events to run in marshalling and registration roles, but also greatly enhance events through lighting, sound, commentary and fan interaction/engagements.

Alina Menukhin

Case study

Alina Menukhin, Events Volunteer

I am an international mature student, can speak 3 languages fluently and Spanish on a basic level. I come from a heavy tennis background, but the sporting offer at Loughborough opened a whole new world for me in different sports.

I believe that the events portfolio that I built within the CVA, and the Loughborough connections that I’ve made, have helped me to get paid and unpaid roles during my summer breaks at major events. I was fortunate enough to work at the 2017 Aegon International Tennis Tournament, The Open 2017, Royal Ascot 2018-2019, and Wimbledon Championships 2018-2019. I also volunteered at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, and the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Volunteer Zambia

This summer, 6 Loughborough students each spent 6 weeks in Zambia as part of the Wallace Group’s long standing international sport development project ‘Volunteer Zambia’.

Based in Lusaka and working alongside Sport in Action (the largest Zambia sporting NGO) the students volunteered as Sport Development Officers within one the 4 key sports of netball, basketball, football and volleyball. This was all through the community led sports hubs whereby the students helped to build capacity and sustainability by upskilling local sport leaders, coaches and volunteers.

Leadership programme

The CVA Leadership programme is designed to develop the skills of high performing students to use in their sports leadership roles in a practical and applied way.

This year, we continued to work alongside IF Development to deliver a brand new, bespoke package of workshops designed to enable the students to identify and understand their own strengths and weaknesses and apply leadership tools to the situations they are currently facing in their leadership positions before completing a 3-day residential weekend, pushing the students out of their comfort zones and delving into their skills and qualities.

Case study

Fatiha Kamaludin, Volleyball Chair and Leadership Programme participant

Being appointed Chair for the Volleyball Club was a big step out of my comfort zone. Coming from a different country and one with an entirely different culture, I have struggled to accustom myself to the change in environment and in socialising with the diverse cultures present at university. But thanks to the CVA and its Leadership Academy, I was able to build my confidence in fulfilling my responsibilities as Club Chair.

Through the year-long programme and with the continuous support from the CVA, I have learnt of several leadership styles and qualities, goal setting and various communication methods to improve my own and my club’s performance. I’ve also had the opportunity to build valuable relationships with those on the programme and my team members because I was a lot more confident in socialising with those around me.

CVA Alumni Engagement

Whilst students are at Loughborough, they have the opportunity to enhance their personal and professional development through being part of the CVA. When they leave Loughborough, we keep in touch to see how this development has helped them to gain employment. We are continuously blown away by the successes of the students and this is reflected in the graduate destination survey.

CVA graduates who studied a sports related degree (including joint honours):
CVA graduates who are in some form of further education or employment:
CVA graduates in full time employment:
CVA graduates in full time employment in SPORT:

We will continue to keep in touch with those who have been involved in the CVA to track their journeys. In turn, we can then set up opportunities for the graduates to ‘give back’ to the current Loughborough students, now that they have begun to build professional networks.

Supported programmes

In addition to the strands that we directly deliver, we also support other programmes within the Loughborough Sport offer to recruit, train and deploy an appropriate workforce that then goes on to deliver an exceptional student experience.

This year in conjunction with the Athletic Union, we supported their committee training by developing a brand-new committee conference full of workshops and masterclasses. We helped organise the registration and the management of the day operations. We also hosted a workshop to specifically support the Athletic Union coaches by providing information on how to be a better coach, how to receive funding support and receive feedback from their experiences for us to improve.

Looking forward to 2019/20

19/20 sees a new staff team within the CVA with the addition of Sally Morrison and Matt Leonard looking after the volunteering strands. Nat Marshall and Alexander Themis will continue to drive forward the coaching and officiating strands.

As a team, we have built an action plan for next year, highlighting 5 key areas of our work:

  • Quality of experience

    Ensure every experience is meaningful, engaging and developmental.

  • Recruitment

    Identify and recruit a high-quality workforce that responds to the demands and needs of the sporting ecosystem.

  • Training and development

    To develop and provide the workforce with the tools and support they need to succeed within their role and achieve their potential.

  • Evaluation and feedback

    Building a culture where we can continuously check and challenge our work, providing mechanisms for engaged individuals to input into the development of the CVA.

  • Reputation and profile

    Raising awareness of the CVA's activities and how it impacts the Loughborough Sport ecosystem, whilst celebrating our successes more widely.

We are excited to use this framework to drive our success in 2019/20 and hope you will join us in recognising the incredible achievements of the Loughborough Sport workforce.

Contact us

If you are interested in working with the CVA or getting involved, please contact us at For more information on the CVA, please head over to our website.

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