Coach & Volunteer Academy Impact Report 2020/21

Unlock your potential

Despite the challenges the last year has presented we have been proud to offer a variety of opportunities, alongside a range of workshops and masterclasses to continue our mission of offering high quality sport-based opportunities that enhance personal and professional development.


The last year has highlighted the resilience and adaptability of volunteers to adjust to new ways of working. Despite the challenges, we are proud to have been able to facilitate a wide range of opportunities throughout the year and provide a significant amount of support and development through a variety of online masterclasses and workshops.

In this report we will share the impact of our work supporting the volunteers and placement students within Loughborough Sport's workforce and recognise some of the successes and experience of our volunteers that we are privileged to work with.

A year in review

  • Over 12,000 hours of volunteering
  • Over 108 Masterclasses & workshops
  • Over 222 hours of workshop/ masterclasses delivered
  • Over £4,000 Bursary funding


The year 2020/21 had proved challenging for the coaching strand with coach education shifting from no courses being run, to the majority of entry level education moving online. As a result, we adapted our delivery to accommodate our volunteers from anywhere in the world, organising over 25 online workshops led by expert coach developers to keep our coaches up to date with latest trends. This was done through various means online from Q&As and expert staff sharing experiences to interactive sessions with check and challenge, effective debates and more. We also provided opportunities for students to complete their minimum operating checks like Safeguarding & Protecting Children, so they were prepared to jump straight into coaching when allowed again.

Our relationships with the Athletic Union clubs and Performance Coaches, moved from strength to strength. The newly formed Coach Coordinators programme saw us recruit 6 exceptional volunteers who have enabled us to expand our reach to more coaches and clubs and helped inform our programme to ensure we deliver the education coaches want and need. Our collaboration with the Head of Coaching on a weekly basis, allowed us to plan and organise high quality CPD sessions for our Performance Coaches as well. This was in the form of online 'Coaches' Breakfast' as well as inclusion in the high-level online roundtable discussions on various coaching topics held by LEADERS; all to support their personal and professional development.

Working closely with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, the CVA organised and delivered 4 Teacher Sport Awards for the PGCE programme catering for over 50 PGCE students in Handball, Cricket, Table Tennis and Hockey to prepare them when going into schools as prospective P.E Teachers. In addition, with restrictions on coach education, we facilitated a series of online coach topics, with a spotlight on our very own professional staff members to give an insight into what the coaching world looks like for the SSCaPE students during their collapsed week.


  • Over 25 online masterclasses & workshops on a variety of coaching environments
  • 6 Coach Coordinators recruited to bridge gap between CVA and AU
  • Delivered 4 Teacher Sport Awards for over 50 PGCE students
  • 26 successful bursary applications supporting coaches to achieve qualifications

Coaching Success Stories


The Officiating strand this year moved away from recruitment and training, placing more focus on personal development for our existing volunteers due to the restrictions in place. With support from the CVA, our officiating hub managers helped develop volunteers through online resources and workshops to keep them engaged. This included inviting world-renowned rugby official Adam Leal to lead on a masterclass, reflecting on his refereeing in professional games whilst making the session interactive and inviting people to challenge his decisions and thinking. In addition to this, the CVA fully funded several proactive students to gain their qualifications online in sports including Basketball.

This year we also took the opportunity to define our football officiating offer and draft a visual pathway, explaining to prospective students where they belong in the pathway and how to join it should they wish to in hopes that this will encourage individuals to join the programme with minimal barriers.

Key developments for the officiating strand moving onto next year, are to maintain the high quality of officials we have in our hubs but to also push a major recruitment drive to support the many programmes we have on campus especially in football, rugby, netball, basketball and tennis.

Officiating Success Stories

Performance Support

We supported over 45 volunteers and 18 placement students in gaining significant applied experience within our performance programmes this year across disciplines including Performance Analysis, Nutrition, Physiology, and Strength & Conditioning. These students are progressively given more responsibility until they are ready to operate independently as practitioners, often contributing fresh and insightful perspectives to performance questions within interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team meetings.

This year also saw us launch the first stage of Loughborough Sport's Practitioner Programme which has been developed in partnership with the School of Sport Exercise & Health Sciences to provide a blended and applied learning opportunity for those who are pursuing a career as a practitioner. After shortlisting from over 90 applications, 20 students were taken through a series of online workshops to develop their understanding of the performance landscape, demands of a practitioner and skills they'll need to develop to excel in the field.

Impact of the Programme

I think it has given me a much better and more realistic understanding of what it means to be a practitioner and what to expect at the workplace.


Average rating for feeling more prepared to take on a practitioner role

*50% rated 9 or 10

Comments about sessions

"Really interesting talks by the speakers, using their experiences to educate us as so we can learn how to build rapport in the most effective way as this is a massive building block in practitioner-athlete relationships"

Student Testimonials

Media, Marketing and Communications

We've supported over 20 students across several performance programmes and external roles in the community over the last year, alongside organising 7 online workshops and masterclasses to support volunteer's development.

Performance programmes that were able to continue fixtures throughout last year such as Lightning Rugby, benefitted from students collecting and creating social media content, maintaining live twitter feeds during live streams and writing match reports to keep fans engaged when restrictions prevented attendance at fixtures. Meanwhile a small team of students within cycling have continued to raise the reputation and profile of the Cycling Performance Programme and its athletes which became one of the latest additions to the lightning franchise and an official Elite Development Team.

Featured Workshops & Masterclasses

We are really excited to see the continued development of the Media, Marketing & Communications strand, including bringing in external expertise to provide bi-weekly mentoring to several student leads and coordinating a series of workshops throughout next academic year. These students will receive support in articulating measurable objectives, and target audience of their programme to develop a media & marketing strategy.

Media, Marketing and Communications Success Stories

Event Management

Like the wider events industry there have not been many opportunities for students to get involved this year. However, as restrictions have eased, we have been delighted to see events resume once again and volunteers in action ensuring they are run safely and smoothly including:

  • 24 volunteers supporting Loughborough International Athletics Meet
  • 25 volunteers supporting the Loughborough Cycling Festival
  • Over 80 volunteers supporting Paralympics GB Kitting Out Pick & Pack Operation for Tokyo 2020
  • 6 IMS & Social Sport One Day Events throughout the year
  • 9 IMS All Stars Vs AU Fixtures across 2 days

2020/21 also saw the launch of our first International Event Programme, with 21 students aspiring to make a career within the events industry enrolled on this programme. Through a series of 13 online workshops, delivered by experts who've worked on major events around the world, this programme aimed to develop the students' understanding and knowledge of major sporting events, and what the roles and responsibilities are of those working in the industry. Topics ranged workforce & volunteers to accreditation & security and amongst the list of experts delivering were several Loughborough Alumni who talked about their journey from a student to working in the industry.


Average rating on the extent to which students felt more equipped to enter the industry

Comments about the programme

“I thought the presenters delivered exceptional insights into the industry with enthusiasm and passion, which has increased my interest in sports events”

Event Management Success Stories

CVA Alumni

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.

Graduates that reported volunteering with the CVA developed their ‘communication' and ‘interpersonal skills':
Graduates reported that volunteering with the CVA enhance their overall university experience:
Graduates currently in some form of further education or employment:
Graduates employed full-time:

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 has included providing ongoing training throughout the year to over 20 student leaders across the executive committees of the Athletic Union, Intra-mural Sport, Social Sport and Recreational Sport programmes.

This year we also supported the Athletic Union to deliver their annual Athletic Union Committee handover training which was packed full of sessions to ensure they are provided with the knowledge and skills to set their club up for a successful year. Hundreds of student volunteers across the committees tuned in virtually to engage in the sessions or watch back the recordings alongside viewing resources through a dedicated handover training webpage.


4.5 stars out of 5 for engagement of speakers

Quote from attendee:

"I've been to a couple of in person committee trainings in my previous years on committee and much preferred the setup this year as it has felt that more things have been covered"


A key part of our objectives and values include recognising and rewarding individuals for their contribution and celebrating the successes of the workforce we support. Throughout the last year we have adapted with restrictions to continue recognising volunteers' contributions, from utilising Loughborough Sport's Merchandise trailer to create a safe space for volunteers to collect milestone rewards, to sending virtual certificates for volunteers to share online.

We have continued to celebrate volunteers' achievements and share their experiences through our Success Stories and hosted a Thank You BBQ for 200 volunteers and their hosts as a thank you for their commitment and resilience throughout the year.

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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