Performance Support, Media & Events Volunter
Joining Loughborough for her MSc Sport & Exercise Psychology in 2018-19, Nainika brought the same enthusiasm for sport at home in India to Loughborough, throwing herself into a variety of opportunities.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests and background):
Born and brought up in a family of sports enthusiasts in India, where the sounds of cheers and sports commentary reverberated through the walls, I was sure that my ardour for sports would inspire me to be in the sports field. I was always interested in the field of Sports Psychology and Loughborough seemed just like the place for me.
A little about me, I’m a die-hard Liverpool FC fan and my dream is to work with as a Sports Psychologist with them. In my free time, I enjoy trying my hand at painting, experimenting with different cooking and baking recipes. I’m also a passionate photographer who loves capturing new elements from endearing angles and blogging about sporting events.
Currently working towards being a Sport and Performance Psychologist, I’m motivated to apply the skills and techniques I have learned at Loughborough to nurture, train and help athletes and coaches excel and thrive in the global sports arena.
How did you first get involved in volunteering within sport at Loughborough?
Within my first week at Loughborough, I heard about the CVA at the Sports Bazaar. The bright and enthusiastic volunteers definitely encouraged me to join in and volunteer with them. And within my first month, I tried my hand at so many different strands of the CVA – Event Management, Performance Support, Media Marketing and Communications. And I wish my journey with Loughborough Sport never ended.
What Sports volunteering did you get involved in whilst at Loughborough?
I got involved in a variety of opportunities including:
- Psychology Practitioner: Tennis
- Student Ambassador, Loughborough Sport: Sports Psychology Session
- Volunteer Coordinator – Nottingham Open
- Media Volunteer for Rugby
- National Division One Rugby Volunteer
- Loughborough Lightning Netball Volunteer
What was your experience volunteering like whilst at Loughborough?
It’s been unbelievable learning experience. I’ve got an opportunity to be in the domain of sport which I am passionate about and love. I’ve also met some really great friends and a support system, those who love volunteering and are equally ardent sports enthusiasts. A chance to belong to the Loughborough family and its rich history and fame as the Worlds Number 1 Sports University.
How do you think being involved in sports volunteering has helped you develop and progress (Personally and professionally)?
Personally, I’ve been able to learn so much about myself in my one year with the CVA. I honed my skills as a psychology practitioner where I helped the Women’s Tennis 3s Team in their journey to win the BUCS league. I collaborated with lots of other volunteers for many different sporting events. Some senior roles helped work well leading teams, manage other volunteers, and even helped me become more confident.
I was able to think on my feet, improvise, be empathetic to the teams and support the entire management at Loughborough to make each event a success.
My time volunteering through the CVA has shaped me as a person, and all these developments play a crucial role in my career today.
What’s the best advice you could give to a Loughborough student looking to gain the most out of their university experience & prepare for their career?
Don’t be shy and throw yourself into every opportunity you get at Loughborough. It’s always going to be a great learning experience and you’ll come away with friends, mentors and networks of experts for a lifetime. Make the most of every opportunity you get because time at Loughborough flies by and without realising it, it maybe time for a new chapter in your life. Trust me, it’s something you don’t want to miss out on.
Finally, what have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
As a Post-graduate student, I only had one year at Loughborough, but I was determined to take in all that Loughborough had to offer. Volunteering with Loughborough Sport made me feel like an important and valuable part of their family and culture. It was a way that I felt like I most belonged to Loughborough. I’ve met some amazing people, not only students, but other volunteers within Loughborough town, and an amazing CVA support team. I worked with Stacey and Matt in many of my roles and they were an absolute pleasure to work with. Even during my last weekend at Loughborough, I volunteered for the Rugby game, and the goodbye hugs and messages from everyone, made me extremely nostalgic. I wish I could have stayed on and worked with the CVA much longer.