Platinum Profile - William

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Club - CS Dynamo

Q: What level are you currently at on the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers Programme?

A: I have just completed 36 hours for the Gold Award in volunteering.

Q: What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

A: I enjoy taking part in the running of the club and also helping others to get involved in cycling through Go-Ride Events.

Q: How do you think being a volunteer has helped you?

A: It has helped me to build my confidence and my communication skills with adults.

Q: Is there anything you would change about your volunteering experience?

A: I wouldn’t change anything as I have really enjoyed it.

 Q: Where would you like your volunteering to take you in the future?

 A: I would like to become a level 2 coach, so I can run my own Go-Ride coaching sessions.

William's blogs...

Blog 1: 23/5/12

Organising Time trial

Prior to the event I sent out an email to all club members asking for marshals (as I needed four to run the event) and also I contacted the Timekeepers to check whether they would be available on the night. On the night I signed on the riders and gave them their numbers and asked them to put the number on the left hand side off their jersey. When all the riders had left I wrote their names and numbers on to the results board.

The turnout was very good which helped the event become a success. I also had the required number of Marshals to make sure the event ran smoothly and was safe. I arrived there in plenty of time but next time I would have arrived slightly earlier in order to avoid the queue with riders waiting to sign up.

It felt really good and I feel this was because I had organised it well so I had everything ready for the Wednesday night. It affected others very little as everyone knew what they had to do when they arrived. 

There weren’t any big challenges, except when I wrote up the results I got one out of place so all the results that preceded it were one out. Though this was corrected by the timekeeper so no harm was done.

I used communication skills as I interacted with adults and teenagers, and also organisation skills to have everything ready for the evening. I also developed my understanding of what it takes to hold a successful Time Trial.

Next time I would want to arrive about 10 minutes earlier as to avoid having a rush.

Blog 2: 20/5/12

Assisting at Regional Road

In the morning I helped the riders at the headquarters, I helped put out the signs and inspected the course with the organiser for safety. In the afternoon, which was the senior race, I and one other acted as the neutral service car assisting the riders and being part of the race convoy.

The event went well and there were no major incidents. The only thing that I could improve on if I was to be in the service car again would be to learn how to put in a wheel quickly so as to be able to help the rider rather than making them do it themselves.

It was really good to see how a regional road race is run and to be with the organiser so that I could ask them questions. Being in the service car was exhilarating as it felt as if we were in a professional race.

I had to use communication skills, an example is when I gave the riders clear instructions to make sure that they knew what would be happening. I also had to use presentation skills when writing signs for inside the headquarters.

There isn’t anything that I would do differently. All I would say that it was brilliant to go and see/experience how a regional road race was ran. 

Blog 3: 09/07/2012

 Line Judge at Go-Ride Event

  When I arrived I assisted the Commissaire in walking around the circuit to check that there was no gravel on the course. We then moved the barriers to make the circuit. During each race I called out the number of each rider that passed to the other line judge for him to jot them down and judged the sprint finish when they occurred, after we collated the results to give final positions.

There weren’t any accidents which meant that the course was gravel free. As far as we knew all the positioning was correct so everyone got the correct finishing places. I don’t feel there was anything in particular that I could improve on. The only challenge that we faced was the weather, it poured down that night and we had to avoid all the paper getting wet. 

I had to be organised to write down the numbers and to collate the results. I also had to use good communication skills as I was talking to both adults and children. It felt really good and I really enjoyed seeing the young riders enjoying themselves. It affected others as without line judges at the event there wouldn’t be any positioning so the event would not have been a success. As I feel the event was a success, there is nothing that I could do differently. Though at the next event I would like to take on more responsibility.

Blog 4: 01/10/2012

Taking Minutes at a Committee Meeting

At the Committee meeting I took the minutes and engaged in the discussion and decision making. I took the minutes down in note form and then typed them up to make them presentable and easy to read. It was then distributed to all Committee members so they would have a record of the meeting.

My minutes were accurate, so my note taking was successful. The only thing that I could improve on would be my writing speed which would mean that I would be able to write exactly what was said.  The only challenge I faced was how to check that my minutes were accurate. I overcame this by asking the club secretary to also take the minutes and then to compare them at the end to see if they were accurate.

I needed to use organisation and listening skills.  Attention to detail was also important, to make sure that I recorded accurate details on what was discussed and decided.  I felt confident as I had been to a number of committee meetings before. It was a good experience as I had to multi-task and I also took a more active role in the meeting.

There isn’t anything that I would dramatically change the only thing being would be to try and write the minutes in as much detail as possible, so I would need to improve my handwriting speed if I was regularly going to take the minutes.

Blog 5: 21/10/2012

Coaching on Youth Club Ride

Myself and an experienced coach took 7 riders out on the road and he let me run the skills session. We focussed on chain gang skills as they would be of use in a race. This involved teaching them the space to leave when following a wheel, how to re-join the group safely and how to pull off safely at the front. We showed them this and then put it into practise, and to make it more difficult we slowly increased the speed.

The event was a success and most notably there weren’t any crashes. The riders were taught the basic skills successfully. I could have improved on my communication skills, although to make sure the participants did not get confused at regular intervals, and when it was safe to, we stopped to give advice.

I used communication skills as I had to give clear instructions and before the event organisational skills to organise the ride and who would be attending. It felt really good; especially as I was able to use the skills I had developed and learnt on my Level 1 Coaching Course. It affected others as it gave them the basic skills that are essential when riding in a group or in a race.  Next time I would invite either another experienced rider or another coach to allow more people to be able to attend and be able to give them more one to one coaching.