Platinum Profile - Conor

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Club - Thanet RC, VC Deal & Rowlmead Cycle Club

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

A: I have recently completed the Gold Award in volunteering.

Q: What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

A: I enjoy helping out at coaching sessions and racing events.

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

A: It has helped me to gain leadership skills.

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

A: I wish I had been more organised in keeping track of the hours I spent volunteering.

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

 A: Possibly to becoming a level 2 qualified coach.

Conor's third blog coming soon...

Blog 1: 27.10.2012

Race Making

Head coach (Martin Bullock) and I decided to hold a mini downhill enduro style race for the children of Fowlmead Cycle Club, the race had a Halloween theme as it was held on Halloween weekend. We. Along withthe other volunteers, arrived early and our first task was to decide on the course and tape it off. The next was to sign the children on and allocate numbers. After this we performed a bike check and cycled to the first section. When I arrived my task was to arrange the riders in number order and start them at 30 second intervals. We then travelled to the next two sections where my task was the same. Once all racing had ended we returned to Fowlmead Visitor Centre, where we faced the almost impossible task of adding up all the riders’ points and times. Once this was completed all we had to do was the prize giving and take the course down.

During the activity I used leadership, organisation and race making skills. I felt that both the sign on and number allocation went well however, I could improve on getting the riders lined up in order. The challenges we faced were that we did not have time to set up all the courses we wished to, so we chose our favorites and set these up. It felt good to hold an event that all the riders thoroughly enjoyed.

Next time I would arrive earlier to set up the course as our initial plan was to use four downhill sections but due to time limits we only managed to set up three courses.

Blog 2: 2/04/2013

Meeting with British Cycling

The Head Coach of our cycling club Martin Bullock and I had a meeting with Luke Anderson and Roy Page from British Cycling to discuss how we could bring the club forward this year. I had lots of ideas that would help us to bring the club forward and discussed these at the meeting, it felt good to be viewed as an active part of the club.

Even though this was a new situation I didn’t feel like I faced any challenges during the meeting with Luke, Roy and Martin. I had to use people skills to be a part of the meeting and enjoyed being a part of something that I knew would help the club be better in the long term.

Blog 3:
28/29 August 2013

Summer Holiday Coaching

(Go-Ride Road and Mountain Bike Skills – Road and MTB training)

I assisted the riders who had borrowed equipment in selecting the right size bike and helmet, and ensuring their saddle was at the correct height. During the MTB trail ride I rode at the back of the group to ensure we did not lose anyone and gave the slower riders advice on gear selection, braking, cornering, ascending and descending as we approached relevant obstacles in the trail. During the road coaching session I assisted the coaches in putting out cones for the coaching session and demonstrated to the riders what they had to do.

The MTB trail ride and coaching went well. To improve these sessions more advertising would have been good as rider numbers where very low. I introduced my two young cousins to the event and it was rewarding to know they learnt a lot and also became members of British Cycling.

The biggest challenge was that there were no British Cycling bikes available and on the flyer it stated there was. We overcame this by hiring bikes from Fowlmead country park for the riders who needed them and ensured that the coach remembered the bikes for the next session!

Next time, I think more wider advertisement (perhaps in the local papers) would encourage more riders, and emphasise that novice riders, and non-British Cycling members welcome.

Blog 4: Fowlmead Cycle Club – Saturday Club

24 August 2013

I took the money for the session from the riders and signed them on to the register. I then led the bike check. Once this was complete, I rode at the front of the group and led the riders round the NTB trails.

The trail ride went well and all riders were able to follow instructions.  To improve, I would try and ensure that the club started on time and all riders were ready to ride at the start time.  I wanted the session to go well and for all riders to enjoy and learn from their time.  It felt like I had achieved this when the session finished and everyone had gained a bit more experience.

My main challenge was that some of the younger riders were inclined to stray from the group, by encouraging and praising their efforts this was overcome. I believe the session went extremely well but I might include some easier parts to the session to encourage the less experienced riders.

Blog 5: 31st August 2013

I assisted the head coach with sign on and led the bike check. I then rode at the front of the group and led the riders onto suitable trails. I was eager to do the session and was looking forward to the ride – others in the group reflected this and were anticipating an enjoyable session. The sign on and the bike check went well, to improve I could stop more frequently to allow the slower riders to catch up with the faster riders.

I used communication and people skills throughout the session, and gave verbal encouragement and made the instructions interesting as well as challenging. Next time, I would use my judgement on the ability of the riders to keep pace and cater for the slower riders. The session went pretty smoothly and I faced no real challenges.