The Extra Mile programme enables students to register their interests and qualifications, and be offered volunteering positions at the university. By logging volunteer hours, students can receive merchandise and the chance to apply for a bursary. We caught up with one UBSport volunteer Daniel Martin, a 3rd year Physics student, to ask about his volunteering career during his time at university.
How did you get involved with volunteering at UoB?
I did it simply because I love coaching the game and working with teams. I was also very fortunate to have been contacted by the extra mile program in my fresher’s week at uni. I registered my FA Level One football coaching award on their system and soon after I was contacted by the men’s football team and asked to coach the development squad.
What is it like coaching players your own age?
I was very happy to coach people my own age – I had never coached adults before but took on the challenge and ended up loving it. Working with a team is inherently about what you can do to improve them as footballers. I’ve found that once I work with a group and show them I can help them better their game, the age isn’t really important.
What did your coaching role entail?
In my role with the Men’s Devs I coached squads of 30 players, running large training sessions, managing the teams and taking the squad for games. In this process I vastly increased my abilities as a coach, my tactical understanding of football and my interpersonal skills.
How did the Extra Mile programme help you?
The extra mile bursary helped fund my FA Level 2 Coaching Award which I achieved in October 2018.
How have you developed as a volunteer coach?
At the end of my second season I was looking for a new challenge to take me out of my comfort zone. So since then, I was allowed to volunteer as the assistant coach for the University’s women’s football 2nd team who play BUCS football. In this role I have prepared, led and reviewed their two hour session on a Monday night; tailoring activities to the ability of the players, the desired style of play and upcoming opposition.
Is it tricky balancing academics and volunteering?
Balancing coaching and a degree can be challenging at times. I’m fortunate in women’s football to have a good group of coaches around me who can cover and plan things when I can’t. But generally I will always make time so that I can plan and attend sessions and games as it’s something I really enjoy doing.
Have you enjoyed being a volunteer with the football club?
I have really enjoyed my role within the UOBWFC and hope to work with them again next year in a coaching capacity. It was a fantastically enjoyable experience working with a great group of players in the Devs and winning two league titles and the BCFA University’s cup in my second season. Overall, I have massively enjoyed my time as a volunteer and really improved my skill set because of it.
Sign up to the Extra Mile here!