Football League Coordinator and Football Activator
Joel is in his second year at Loughborough and has played a key part in the development of the Social Sport Programme and as a MyLifestyle football activator. He has thrown himself into the deep end with volunteering at Loughborough and is now going on to complete his UG placement year as Loughborough Sport's Men's football operations placement!
Tell us a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests and background):
I am from Chesterfield (a small, unremarkable town!) and I have always loved sport, specifically football since seeing Luka Modric play for Spurs. I love all forms of football – whether it be playing, watching, or analysing it – whatever it is I live and breathe it when it comes to football. I also enjoy running and keeping myself fit and enjoy watching the F1!
How did you first get involved in volunteering within sport at Loughborough?
I first started volunteering after applying to shadow football coaches at an external company but then at the start of my second year, I became a football activator for the My Lifestyle program and then helped out at some of the athletics competitions that take place on campus.
During your years at Loughborough what have you got involved in through volunteering within sport?
Since coming to Loughborough, I have volunteered at athletics events, for the My Lifestyle program as a football activator, coached and played for Telford IMS’ football team and had a role on Exec as one of the Social Sport Football League Coordinators running the 12 6-a-side leagues on campus. I have also volunteered off campus at UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 on the Spectator Services Team and for the Youth Sport Trust as a Team Leader at their camps (all opportunities found on the CVA Portal!).
What has your experience volunteering been like whilst at Loughborough?
My experience has been great. I’ve really enjoyed meeting many different people and meeting so many like-minded people who really want to succeed in the sporting world. The amount of support and help that is here for you is incredible and the number of people I would need to thank for making my experience so great would be endless
How has being involved with Loughborough Sport helped you develop and progress (personally and professionally)?
Being involved with Loughborough Sport has helped me develop quite a thick skin to criticism and things that can go wrong in sport. I feel much more able to ‘take things on the chin’, especially after running the social sport football leagues where it can be hard to please over 600 people every week. Professionally, being exposed to training sessions with experts in leadership and being surrounded by so many people who are experts in sport volunteering has given me vital knowledge to better understand the sport industry and helped me gain many important contacts.
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 say to put yourself out there as much as you can by contacting people who can help you in the CVA or those you know who lead sport or something you want to get involved in across campus. This is difficult to begin with but once you do it you will reap the rewards and the opportunities will come.
Finally, what do you enjoy most about volunteering?
Volunteering is just amazing! I really enjoy meeting so many different people. Talking to those that also lead sport as well as those who take part in what we organise is really rewarding and has allowed me to make some pretty cracking friends! You get the opportunity to make a difference and facilitate opportunities for others which is a great thing to do!