Platinum Profile - Kurtis

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Club - Stratford Cycling Club

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

A: I have completed the Gold award and I am about to start my coaching level 1.

Q: What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

A: Being able to learn new skills that I can use; I also like getting more involved in the club.

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

A: It has helped me come out a bit more and helped me to organise things. I have been able to use my skills to help others in my club and during Go-Ride sessions.

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

A: I would make it more accessible to people with learning difficulties.

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

A: To be able to coach at my club and help more at races. I would also like to improve my skills further, maybe do a Level 2 Coaching qualification and run sessions at the club by myself.

 
Kurtis's blogs...


Blog 1: 21.04.2012

Marshalling West Midland Youth Circuit Series

My first role of the day was to assist in the setting up of the race, placing barriers up at the start/finish line and marking out and taping the corners of the course. I then helped my dad to set up the area for Gear Checking. During the actual race I marshalled at one of the corners of the course; after the races I also cleared the course and put the barrier tape and signs away ready for the next event.

During this activity I used crowd control skills, course awareness and health and safety skills. All of these were used to make sure the area that I was marshalling was ready and safe for racing and remained that way during all the races. The race set up went well, maybe a marshals briefing before the start of the races would have helped. Also to get more supporters there, not just parents.

This was my first real marshalling experience, it was quite exciting to do and watch and support at the club and my dad. There were no real challenges to cope with, I think I was fairly prepared to deal with the day from speaking to others at the club and my dad.

Things to do before the event next time: Get a plan of the race schedule, estimate riders per race, layout of the course (with any pinch points, hills, tight corners etc) and safety info for the day.

Blog 2: July 30th-Aug 3rd 2012

Go-Ride Week at Stratford Cycling Club

 

I helped Louise Day the British Cycling coach during the week, I helped to set up and assisted the coaching of the riders during the 5 day sessions of which there were 4 hours each day.  The riders were children between the ages of 6 - 13. I marked out courses, set up equipment and cleared it all away at the end. I also helped to direct riders at various stages under supervision of the BC coach.

I used many coaching skills during this session that I had learnt from Louise and club coaches from my club. I have done this a few times before with Louise as I started as a rider, graduating to assisting her during the events at the club. It always feels useful that I’m learning extra skills which I can use during club sessions and events. The only challenge we had on this occasion was the weather so we set up shelters from the rain to have breaks and lunch under. Mostly the event went well, we even put up a gazebo for the riders during the rain!

Next time I do a session like this I think I might get a session plan from Louise, find out the skill level of the riders, their age range and whether the riders have any disability that might need additional support.

Blog 3: 28th & 29th December

WMCCL Stratford Cycling Club Christmas CycloX

 

I helped set up, arrange and mark out the course on the Saturday adjusting it in the rain and wind ready for the races on the Sunday. On Sunday, I checked the safety of the course, race schedule and then marshalled an area during the races.

The event went really well considering the weather, although we should have thought about each of us having a map of the course during the set up as this would have made it easier. I thought it was well organised and the course was good, even with the muddy, cold & wet conditions. Riders, spectators and all the marshals were muddy, but happy with the event.

Blog 4: 12th January – 9th February

Level 1 Cycle Coaching Course

I took part in a two-day coaching course in Nottingham that was split over 4 weeks, with homework to complete before the second day for the Level 1 Coaching Cycling Award. I found this a really useful course that I can put into good practice at my club sessions and at events. I was very happy to have passed, as well as two others at my club who are both also doing the various levels of the young volunteer’s scheme.

There were a few challenges around generally understanding some of the content, but the tutors teaching the course, coaches at my club and the staff at British Cycling and my dad have all helped me to overcome and understand all of the content.

The two days went well and were very informative and useful. Considering my learning difficulties (ADHD and Autism) they were very understanding and helpful. If I were to take part again I think I would probably take more notes during the classroom sessions, but all in all I had a good couple of days.

Blog 5: 5th April

Monday Evening Club Juniors Track Session

I was given a session plan before Easter to read through and understand. I then on the evening helped layout the course and ran part of the younger rider’s sessions with the other coaches. After the session had finished we all cleared the area for the next session to start.

It felt great to use all my skills and the Level 1 cycling coaching course skills during a regular session at my club. I think all the riders enjoyed it and understood what to do. I used all the skills that I have learnt over the past year or so during club sessions, club events, Go-Ride sessions and at the Level 1 that I attended recently as well as everything that I have learnt in my 3 levels of the young volunteers scheme.

It all went very well, apart from the limbo which kept being blown in the wind. The only thing that I would change would be for the equipment to withstand the extreme of the British weather we are now having. My dad will address this problem ready for next week’s coaching session.