Media, Marketing and Communications Volunteer - Cycling
Cycling is a huge part of Travis' life where he combines his commitments as a performance athlete at Loughborough with his voluntary role as one of the Cycling Academy Media, Marketing and Communications (MMC) volunteers. Alongside the small team of volunteers Travis has helped grow the Cycling Academy's social media channels and contibuted to raising the reputation and profile of cycling here at Loughborough.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests and background):
As my roles may suggest, cycling is a huge part of my life, being part of Loughborough Cycling Academy and also being a Media, Marketing and Communications volunteer for the sport. I race on the road for Cornish cycling team, Saint Piran and since lockdown began have been racing on eSports cycling platform, Zwift, recently joining Australian-based team, Innovation Cycling.
Aside from cycling, I was an elite-level triathlete until the beginning of last year when I chose to focus on the single discipline. This means I still have many friends in the sport and have a keen interest in all of the races!
I’m a proud Geographer, passionate about all things sustainability and looking after our planet. I love travelling to more obscure destinations, places off the beaten track. For example, during the Christmas holidays in first year I took a cheap flight off to Kutaisi in the ex-Soviet state of Georgia for a few days! I’ve also been lucky enough to travel through my sport, most recently cycling from London to Monaco as a ride leader on a cycling tour!
Home for me is in South Devon; which is a gorgeous part of the world and I always look forward to coming home to the moors and the sea!
How did you first get involved in volunteering within sport at Loughborough?
During my first year, I signed up to the CVA portal when I saw a masterclass by Guy Richardson advertised. This masterclass discussed how to deliver a major sporting event, based on his experience operating the Lions Rugby Tour. As someone who hopes to get involved in the sporting events and media industry, this was too good to miss and was soon hooked by the plethora of opportunities which exist within Loughborough’s CVA!
During your years at Loughborough what have you got involved in through volunteering within sport?
As previously eluded to, I have benefitted from various masterclasses during my time in the bubble. From an interview masterclass with the BBC’s Ben Croucher, to various sessions run in partnership with Red Bull, gaining fascinating insights into one of sport’s most innovative companies.
This year, I was due to be part of the presentation team for Loughborough Lightning’s home matches, working with world-renowned sports presentation agency, Alan March Sports.
At BUCS Track Cycling last year, we were lucky enough to be given the reigns of the Lboro Sport Instagram for the weekend and documented the competition which saw the squad break multiple BUCS records and take home a large medal haul. Our content was being seen by thousands of Instagram users and exposed our accounts to users who would never normally discover us. From an outsider’s perspective, track cycling can be quite complicated, so we were really proud to get feedback saying that it helped people understand the events better!
Outside of Loughborough’s CVA, I volunteered at the European Pentathlon Championships in Bath as part of the media services team and was due to carry out a similar role at Six Day Manchester this year – an international track cycling event.
I have also been race director and publicity officer for various small to medium scale triathlons and multisport events, through my triathlon club and a local triathlon charity.
What has your experience volunteering been like whilst at Loughborough?
The sheer number of opportunities which are available are unrivalled, not to mention the quality of the support and expertise which exists not only from the staff, Loughborough Sport partners and masterclasses, but also from fellow students – many of whom are MSc students in Sport Management. In terms of university sport, there is no bigger organisation than Loughborough Sport, so to have the opportunity to get your content featured on their channels is massive.
How has being involved with Loughborough Sport helped you develop and progress (personally and professionally)?
It’s made me much more confident of my abilities, knowing that I’m following in similar footsteps to the very best in the sporting events and media industry. I have become much more adept at public speaking and understanding my various personal strengths and weaknesses. The fact that you are being given expertise from the very best also gives me great confidence that I have the best tools at my disposal to become successful in my desired career path after graduation.
What’s the best advice you could give to a Loughborough student looking to get involved in volunteering & gain the most out of their university experiences?
Take your time and don’t rush into it. It’s extremely easy to get so caught up in the volunteering and other extra-curricular activities on campus that you struggle to find time for what you’re really here for, your degree! Of course, take as many opportunities as you can, but be careful not to over-commit yourself.
Finally, what do you enjoy most about volunteering?
The satisfaction you get from an event running to plan, or a carefully crafted social media post reaching thousands of people is hugely rewarding and has made me realise this is what I want to do for a living. I love knowing that each opportunity I take through the CVA has the potential to take me a step closer to my dream career.