Matthew Lawson

Loughborough Students Futsal Club Chair

Matt's passion for futsal began when he started here at Loughborough, and since then he has gone on to become the Futsal Chair, helping drive the club's success as they entered the National Futsal Series this year. Matt's incredible contribution was recently recognised at the CVA Awards where he was awarded Sports Coordinator of the Year!

Tell us a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests and background):

I have always been interested in sport, coming from a tennis and footballing background, with a lot of focus on fantasy football! My passion for futsal began when I started here at Loughborough.

How did you first get involved in volunteering within sport at Loughborough?

My first experience of volunteering within sport was due to an old Elvyn Richard sports secretary Jack Mynott, it was his love for sport that got me involved in the IMS programme initially. From there I became more involved in AU Futsal and haven’t looked back since!

During your years at Loughborough what have you got involved in through volunteering within sport?

I have been fortunate to have got involved in a wide variety of sport due to the incredible IMS programme. Much of my volunteering time has been with the Futsal club, in my first year as chair we introduced a new 4s side which has remained solely for the use of freshers to enhance their sporting opportunity. Through the CVA I achieved my Level 1 Futsal Coaching qualification in 2017.

More recently I led the team applying to the National Futsal Series (NFS) and had the opportunity to work with Loughborough Students Football club as we restructured the futsal programme alongside the new vision for the future. This was an evolution of the chair role as it became more programme management orientated. This season has been a breakout for the futsal club, working alongside the CVA in terms of community engagement and getting the younger generations involved in Futsal. For the first time 6 male sides all playing under the same club name, with over 90 players from the NFS Tier 1 side to the BUCS 4s. We have hosted 3 NFS days with record attendances thanks to help from the events team and the CVA in terms of getting volunteers for the event. For the first time the club had the opportunity to go to the EUSA games and were the only club in the university to confirm their attendance. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic this appearance has been delayed by a year, however I look forward to getting involved in one last sporting event.

What has your experience volunteering been like whilst at Loughborough?

It has been an incredible journey over the past 5 years, from organising hall sport and winning the IMS football cup to securing over £3000 of grant funding from the Football foundation. Winning BUCS gold two years in a row to become the most successful university futsal side in the UK was important due to the amount effort gone into developing the programme. More important are the people I have met within the Athletic Union, SDC and CVA, it is their passion and love for sport that makes this the best sporting university in the world. So much work is done behind the scenes by an incredible group of volunteers and I can say it has been a privilege to have been a part of it.

How has being involved with Loughborough Sport helped you develop and progress (personally and professionally)?

Volunteering in sport at Loughborough has provided me with invaluable skills that have helped me secure placements. it has given me the opportunity to develop professionalism and work alongside professional bodies such as the Football Association and County FA. On a personal level my confidence has grown and has pushed me to try and achieve my goals in life as I pursue a career in programme management.

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?

If you are passionate about sport and want to make a difference, there is no better place. It can help employment prospects as it demonstrates drive and effective time management, also the opportunities to gain professional qualifications such as coaching badges through the CVA can help broaden your sporting experience and boost your CV. This is a point in life where you can pursue such a wide variety of goals and volunteering in sport is the perfect way to meet new people and leave an impact on the sport offering here at Loughborough.

Finally, what do you enjoy most about volunteering?

A lot of work that volunteers do is behind the scenes, therefore when those big events come around such as the NFS event days or a BUCS final, which are the culmination of a season’s worth of work, they make a lasting impression. I have had the opportunity to coordinate part of the sport offering here at Loughborough and made changes that will hopefully help younger students at the university and inspire younger generations to get involved in a new sport. Many sleepless nights but I would do it all again if I could #bleedpurple.

Feeling inspired?

Feeling inspired by Matt's experience? Check out the CVA Portal regularly for Sports Committee and Coordinator opportunities like this.

Visit the CVA Portal