Strategic Communication Masters student, Benji Simpson, has followed his passion for writing since arriving in Loughborough, interviewing and writing articles on a variety of athletes including British Superbike rider Ryan Vickers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests and background):
I was born and raised in Luxembourg (with English and Portuguese parents), so I’m a proud European! I’m pretty much obsessed with sport and surround myself with it every day. I’ve played international rugby for Luxembourg and played in a few European Championships at U20 and U18 level. Outside of sport I love to write, whether that’s media articles or creative writing. I’m also a singer/songwriter; after having played in a band for a few years I’ve started a solo venture, releasing songs on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music!
How did you first get involved in volunteering within sport at Loughborough?
I first heard about it at the Freshers Fair, where I got chatting to Sally Morrison, who told me about all it has to offer and what a great opportunity it is to do what you’re passionate about (in my case writing articles and interviewing people), to learn new skills and build your CV.
During your years at Loughborough what have you got involved in through volunteering within sport?
This is only my first year at Loughborough, but I’ve mostly interviewed professional athletes who come to the university to make the most of the Performance Centre in particular, which offers so much. I’ve written articles about their experiences here and how testing Loughborough has helped them in their respective sports. I’ve also written articles about events, such as the TalkSport 2020 event held on campus.
What has your experience volunteering been like whilst at Loughborough?
In all honesty my experience has been fantastic! I’ve learnt so much and had access to such exciting opportunities thanks to the CVA. A year ago I never thought I’d be interviewing Elfyn Evans and writing an article, a potential World Rally Champion!
How has being involved with Loughborough Sport helped you develop and progress (personally and professionally)?
It has taught me a lot about my own capabilities. I had always loved the idea of writing articles about the sport industry, but never had the confidence to put myself out there and do it, but Loughborough Sport, and especially the CVA, has given me the access and freedom to do just that. As a result it has helped improve my journalistic writing, as well as enhance my passion for it even further.
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?
Don’t be afraid to throw yourself at any opportunity. New experiences and challenges can be daunting, but they almost always turn out far better than you expect and teach you a lot about yourself! The more new things you try, the more doors will open for you.
Finally, what do you enjoy most about volunteering?
The thing I enjoy most about volunteering is the people you meet. I’ve loved meeting like minded individuals who share a similar passion to me!