Coach & Volunteer Academy Impact Report 2021/22

Unlock your potential

2021/22 saw the CVA enter the second year of our 5-year strategy. After a challenging couple of years, we have continued to excel in delivering high quality sport-based opportunities and masterclasses that enhance personal and professional development.

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Over the past year the Coach & Volunteer Academy continued to grow, developing a highly skilled and enthusiastic workforce across Loughborough Sport. The reintroduction of in-person programmes and opportunities has allowed even more students to become engaged in volunteering throughout Loughborough Sport and with our external partners.

This report will share the work of our volunteers and placement students over 2021-22 that have been vital to the Loughborough Sport ecosystem and recognise the success and experience of the volunteers we are privileged to work with.

A year in review

  • 61,975 hours of volunteering
  • Over 100 masterclasses & workshops
  • £10,000 Bursary funding
  • 173 volunteers first aid trained
  • Over 200 hours of workshop/masterclasses delivered
  • 637 volunteers logging hours


Coming off the back of a pandemic, 2021/22 was an important year as our students were ready to get back out coaching and officiating again. We were able to run face-to-face workshops and bring communities of student coaches and officials together again for the first time in a while.

During this year we were able to deliver 34 Coaching & 15 Officiating CPD workshops/masterclasses including focus group sessions to see how we could better support our student workforce. We continued to provide opportunities for students to complete their minimum operating standards such as Safeguarding & Protecting Children and First Aid.

The Athletic Union (AU) Coach Coordinator programme ran for the second year, the team growing to 8 Coordinators. We were able to support more AU clubs who had requested specific support in their workforce development plans. Examples of projects the AU Coach Coordinators helped the CVA with were; Boxing Level 1 for 16 students from the AU club to access, identifying where AU Clubs were lacking in level 2 coaches (Archery, Judo, Dodgeball).

A big piece of work for the CVA across Coaching & Officiating has been to develop strong internal and external partnerships whereby students can volunteer and gain valuable experiences. During this year partnerships with Loughborough Foxes Football Club, Mark Schulz Football Academy, Evo Sports and Loughborough Schools Foundation have flourished and provided excellent volunteering experiences.

We officially launched the Loughborough Coaches Community Network, where over 40 coaches came together to share their experiences and passion for coaching.

Working closely with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, the CVA organised and delivered 5 Teacher Sport Awards for the PGCE programme catering for over 50 PGCE students to prepare them as prospective P.E Teachers. In addition, we coordinated coach placement opportunities and coaching observations for over 80 students on the Sport Science, Coaching & Physical Education (SSCaPE) degree.


  • Over 25 masterclasses & workshops on a variety of coaching environments
  • 8 Coach Coordinators recruited to bridge the gap between CVA and AU
  • Delivered 5 Teacher Sport Awards for over 50 PGCE students
  • Over 40 successful bursary applications

Coaching Success Stories


The Officiating strand has continued to offer development opportunities for existing volunteers alongside training and deployment opportunities to those looking to get involved in officiating for the first time. Our Officiating Hub Managers have been vital for providing a support mechanism to our officials, whilst providing resources and workshops to continue to aid their development.

The CVA have also funded proactive students to gain their officiating qualifications, ranging from basketball table officiating to rugby refereeing. This was possible through the CVA’s bursary scheme, which has seen over £10,000 awarded to students and their professional development within sport.

Key developments for the upcoming year are to push to maintain a strong supportive environment for all our officials, whilst also looking to expand our Officiating Hub Manager strategies across more sports to increase the number of opportunities within the officiating strand.

Officiating Success Stories

Performance Support

We supported over 55 volunteers and 21 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 given the tools to become independent practitioners and contribute their insightful perspectives within interdisciplinary team meetings.

This year also saw us run the second year of Stage 1 of Loughborough Sport's Performance Support 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 50 applications, 35 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


of participants agreed that agreed that this programme has developed their understanding of Performance Support.

Comments about sessions

"The sessions were so engaging! The breakout groups were so fun and allowed us to meet people on this programme while engaging with the presenters and making sure you listened so you had something valuable to add to your groups discussion"

Performance Support Highlights

  • 7 Performance Analysis Guest Speaker Sessions
  • 8 CPD Sessions for Performance Support Placement Students and Volunteers
  • Over 6600 Hours Logged in Performance Support
  • 20% Increase in Opportunities to Volunteer Within Performance Support

Success Stories

Media, Marketing and Communications

We’ve supported over 20 students across all of our performance programmes and external opportunities over the last year. Alongside this we have provided masterclasses by industry experts and workshops to aid in our volunteers’ development.

These media volunteers have been able to gain experience in social media planning, writing a press release and live streaming matches. Their work has been key in continuing to raise the profile of the sport teams throughout the university.

Featured Workshops & Masterclasses

  • Photography - Building Your Portfolio Workshop
    Jack Tompkins
  • Social Media Planning
    Dawn Spendlove
  • MMC Sport Agency Guest Lecture:
    Sam Rush - 366 Group CEO & Director
  • How To Do A Press Release Masterclass
    Dawn Spendlove

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 the 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

This year we saw a huge increase in opportunities for students to get involved in the events industry, from external events hosted on campus such as Derby FC U23’s to our large one off internal events such as Loughborough International Athletics and Loughborough Cycling Festival. Some of the opportunities included:

  • Over 50 volunteers signing up to support Derby FC U23 games hosted at Loughborough stadium
  • 23 volunteers supporting the BUCS Conference Finals Day
  • 10 lead volunteers supporting Loughborough International Athletics
  • 34 volunteers supporting the Commonwealth Games Kitting Out
  • 73 students enrolled in the International Events Programme

2021/22 also saw the expansion of the International Events Programme, with 70+ students enrolled on the programme. Through a series of online workshops, delivered by experts who've worked on major events around the world, the 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. This programme saw some of those enrolled then go on to volunteer at events such as the Commonwealth Games 2022 and Women’s Euros 2022.


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

Comments about the programme

“Overall, they were all very informative in their own way and some have been very helpful beyond the programme in offering help/support”

Event Management Success Stories

Volunteer Zambia

Volunteer Zambia is a group of 7 UK Higher Education Institutions who have shared a commitment to support the development of sport in Zambia through the ‘Volunteer Zambia’ project as part of The Wallace Group. The Wallace Group is a partnership created in 2004 by several leading UK universities to support sports development for young people in Zambia. The partnership embraces: 7 UK universities (Cardiff Metropolitan, Durham, Edinburgh, Loughborough, Northumbria, St Andrews, and Stirling), UK Sport, Basketball England, England Netball, Volunteer Zambia Foundation & Sport in Action.

In the summer of 2022 five students and one staff member spent six weeks in Zambia to work with Sport in Action (The largest Zambian Sporting NGO), to deliver sport development programmes within the Community Sport Hubs based across the capital Lusaka. This was the first-time students had been able to go to Zambia since 2019.

The students impacted the local Community Sport Hubs by developing the 3 key sports (basketball, netball, and women’s football), through working with Zambians volunteers to develop their skills within coaching and coach education, officiating, leadership, and wider volunteering in order to create a sustainable sport offer.

Each year that students go to Zambia, they continue to build the capacity by creating sustainable opportunities for people to play and progress in sport.

Achievements for 2022 (Across the Volunteer Zambia Project):

1358 Participants Reached (976 Female)

71 Zambian Coaches / Leaders Collaborated With

56 Leaders / Coaches Received Their Workshop Certificates (ALL of which are accredited/recognised by the Zambian Governing Bodies)

We have now reached over 100 leaders as a part of the Volunteer Zambia project that are officially accredited with relevant governing body coaching awards!

CVA Alumni

When our students leave Loughborough, we keep in touch to see how the development the CVA has offered them has helped them to gain employment and progress within their careers. We are continuously blown away by the successes of the students and this is reflected in the CVA graduate and alumni survey.

CVA graduates reported that volunteering with the CVA developed their ‘communication’ and ‘interpersonal skills’:
CVA graduates reported that volunteering with the CVA enhance their overall university experience:
CVA graduates are currently in some form of further education or employment:
CVA graduates are employed full time, 56% of which are in full time employment 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 has included providing ongoing training throughout the year to 35 student leaders across the executive committees of the Athletic Union, Intra-mural Sport, Social Sport, Para 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. Over 300 student volunteers across the committees engaged in the sessions and viewed resources through a dedicated handover training webpage.


4.5 stars out of 5 for engagement of speakers

Quote from AU Handover Training Attendee:

"There are plenty of resources and people to help us create the most inclusive club possible we just need to ask"


A key part of our objectives and values has always been to recognise and reward individuals for their contribution and celebrating the successes of the workforce we support. Throughout last year we continued recognising volunteers’ contributions to the Loughborough Sport Ecosystem after a return to life on campus.

We have continued to celebrate volunteers’ achievement and share their experiences through our Success Stories and hosted a Thank You BBQ and CVA Awards for volunteers and their hosts as a thank you for their commitment and had work 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.

Get involved with the CVA