Blog: 1: 16th February 2013
I’ve done many hours of volunteering but never written a blog before. So yesterday was the start of my platinum volunteering on the same day of my first mountain bike race of the season ‘Hit the North’ in Manchester.
So after the race I started out by demonstrating to the younger riders how to get on and off your bike whilst moving (Cyclo-Cross style). It had been a while since I’d had to do this because I usually do this with a mountain bike, and the Cyclo-Cross season ended in January, but I managed it quite well. No embarrassing incidents!
After a few mini team races and some cornering skills there was a time trial where it was my job to be time keeper for the races. It was a challenge I had to face because I found it quite confusing but I managed to complete the task with only a few hiccups!
To end the session there was a series of races between groups of around the same age and ability. There were three races in total with a maximum of four laps. With the incentive of finishing in a podium position all of the young riders were anxious to begin so at the sound of ‘Go’ they all raced off down the track after one another!
When it came to the presentation it was my job to hand out the silver medals to the second place riders however none of the other children were upset about not finishing in the top three because there was enough sweets, bottles and Spiderman snoods to go around.
After all the young riders had gone home I helped to pack away most of the sticks that mapped out the course until it was my turn to head off home as well; tired and hungry.
Overall the session went well with all of the young riders and their parents giving positive feedback - they also smiled and waved when they saw us in the car park after the session had finished; always a good sign.
The session was around 2-2 ½ hours in total and was from around 11am to around 1.30pm.
I think the things I need to work on for the next session are my confidence around the younger riders and to be louder because sometimes they didn’t hear me (or didn’t listen to me……).
Blog 2: 1st March 2013
Night before the British Cycling Conference in Dartford
So after arriving quite late at the Hilton hotel in Dartford it was decided to eat and then set up a few of the displays for the next day’s conference.
working with Kelly and Steph we started by putting together and setting up the CAYV and CAYV Platinum display. We pinned up the current t-shirts, posters, jackets and relevant information including the current blogs for the CAYV Platinum volunteers, this also included
one of mine.
It only took us an hour to put the board together, pride of place in the hallway of the conference rooms. It would have gone better if we had something other than pins to attach the t-shirts, jackets and info to the board.
All in all it was pretty fun to see it develop from a plain red board to a CAYV and CAYV Platinum display and good to be a part of putting together for other volunteers to view the work of the young volunteers on the programme.
Blog 3: 2nd March 2013
British Cycling Dartford Conference 2013
So after getting up we all started by setting up the conference suites, putting up the display we made the night before and setting up the reception area. Then it was breakfast time and the anticipation of the day.
To start with I helped out at registration; handing out name badges, ticking the names off and giving out registration lanyards.
Whilst everyone was in the main room for the introduction I was getting used to the camera and taking a few snap shots! In our master class I helped out by demonstrating what we had to do and presenting some of my experiences within cycling and volunteering.
After the conference had finished I helped by handing out the conference t-shirts and leaflets.
We were heading to Leicester next that night because there was a conference the next day so we had to pack up and put everything into the van. Then we hit the road for the two hour trip to Leicester and I was lucky enough to look after one of the display bikes in the hotel room for the next day; shame it wasn’t Sir Chris Hoys, maybe next time!
I found it difficult interacting with the other volunteers but I think that something I will have to work on for my next conference tomorrow I’m sure I’ll be more confident.
Blog 4: 3rd March 2013
British Cycling Leicester Conference
Well after perfecting my skills with the camera yesterday one of todays jobs was to take some photos and I really did take a lot! I also was part of one of the workshops but helped to set up and pack away from the day as well.
Having already spent two days at the conferences I didn’t find much that I could improve on having already done what I’d set out to do on the previous days but it was difficult choosing what to photograph.
Later that day I did find it difficult making a speech in front of everyone as I was very nervous - I’ve never made group speeches before and didn’t know what to say but after I had finished it didn’t seem like I done so badly. Therefore what I learned was to trust myself when speaking in big groups and to speak louder!
I think next time I should manage my time more efficiently but all in all the day was a success and I really enjoyed myself!
Blog 5: 18th April, 25th April & 8th May
Broughton High School after school sessions
Having started a few weeks of cycling sessions with Dylan one of our local coaches, Jack (my brother and I helped to coach the kids through the basic skills of mountain biking for example the M check, cornering, riding in a group and the ready position. Being unable to complete all six weeks of the course due to exam revision lessons I was quite clear that when I did get to see the young riders, they had definitely improved and when I did participate it was great fun especially when we held challenges and races.
What was good was that although we only had a small group many of the young riders go along and were very friendly and even though we had a few competitive scrapes and falls it was all okay, and many of the young riders remembered the lessons and skills easier that way. We did have quite a bit of trouble with the weather in a number of weeks but it taught everyone to dress warm and wear gloves next time!
I think over the weeks that I did attend my confidence grew with regards to taking the kids and getting to know them and I think it will help me with future opportunities. What went well was that the young riders were interested in joining the club and we have managed to start arranging a ride to introduce those people to the rest of our club members and hopefully the sport in general.