Gaby Giggal

Summer Nutrition Intern, S&C Coach, and Junior Hockey Coach

Alongside her studies in Sport & Exercise Science, 2nd year student Gaby gets involved in coaching junior hockey, Strength & Conditioning Coaching at Loughborough College, and undertook a Summer Internship with Loughborough Sport's Nutrtion Team.

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

I have been a hockey player for 8 years, currently playing for Loughborough Town Hockey Club. I have some great memories and success stories from during my career and I am determined now more than ever to become the best athlete I can be! I also coach the junior section at the club, and volunteer as an S&C coach with Loughborough College rugby teams. I have always been interested in all sports (watching and playing), and I love going to the gym - you will often see me at Powerbase or Holywell!

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

I first heard of the CVA through a letter I received from the university after my place was confirmed. Due to my Sports Leader background, it recommended I check out the CVA so I took a look at the Sports Bazaar, and always check for new opportunities.

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

I have been a volunteer at FitFest, coached junior hockey, done a summer work experience with Loughborough Sport as a Nutrition volunteer, and also got the role as an S&C coach with the college rugby teams.

What has your experience volunteering been like whilst at Loughborough?

The staff have been so welcoming and helpful, always there for support or to answer questions, and always wanting to improve my experience as a volunteer. There is a lot of feedback and communication to make sure everything is going well, and the staff always send through useful information, and offer new opportunities if available. 

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

I have improved my confidence a lot, as I have met new members of staff and the athletes, who I have had to communicate with. Also, the process of going through the application, e.g. interviews and writing CVs and cover letters is really valuable experience for the future.

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?

I would advise that you say yes to any opportunity that comes your way, try to find ways to fit it in your schedule, because it can only benefit you in the future. Having volunteering on your CV will be so valuable, so find an opportunity that suits you (there’s something for everyone) and apply!

Finally, what do you enjoy most about volunteering?

I love knowing that what I am doing is helping athletes, or those doing sport socially. Sport played at any level for any age group with any ability, is so beneficial physically and mentally, and I want to help people gain the benefits of sport the same way I did. For me, sport has improved my physically health, but also my confidence and communication skills, and I have made friends for life through sport, so I want to help people like me come out of their shell and enjoy themselves.

Feeling inspired?

Feeling inspired by Gaby's experience? Check out the CVA Portal regularly for Performance Support opportunities like this.

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