|Tell us about yourself|
|Club - Tiverton BMX|
Q: What level are you currently at on the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers Programme?A: Completed bronze, silver and gold.
Q: What do you enjoy most about volunteering?A: Helping out at my club, supporting the coaches and watching the riders improve.
Q: How do you think being a volunteer has helped you?A: It has helped my confidence grow.
Q: Is there anything you would change about your volunteering experience?A: I wish I could take the coaching qualification before I reached 16 years old.
Q: Where would you like your volunteering to take you in the future?A: To become a British Cycling qualified cycling coach.
Blog 1: 13th April 2013
The whole day went extremely well despite the atrocious weather conditions. We managed to get a lot done in preparation for the regional race. I felt that all of the participants and parents enjoyed helping the club prepare for its regional race.
My job for the day along with other club members was to get all the weeds and grass off the track in order for it to be resurfaced. After that I began to resurface the track with the help of other club members. Pushing the wheel barrow and shovelling out the dust coating onto the track was back breaking work, but it had to be done. At this point everyone was soaking wet and cold. We all had to maintain perseverance with the vision of a finished track plus a warm bath when we all got home.
We faced some challenges in the day such as the berm getting changed at the last minute in the pouring rain but we managed to overcome it as we had lots of people willing to help. To improve the day we should have chose a day with better weather conditions. This would have meant that we could have got more done and it would have taken less time.
Blog 2: Tuesday 16th of April
I helped to coach two of our youngest riders by setting up a cone obstacle course on the start hill and on the flat. I got them to weave in and out of the cones to help build up their core skills. I also did some balance work with them by getting them to go as slow as they can without putting their feet on the floor.
As they are only 4 and 6 there were a few challenges that I faced, one being that that they got confused with there being so many cones. As there were only two of them it enabled me to give them more attention and help them achieve more. I demonstrated to them what was required by riding my bike through the obstacles, whilst they observed. This enabled them to visually learn what was required.
If I was to improve anything it would be to use a wider variety of equipment to make it more interesting for them. I felt that the session went well, they seemed to enjoy it and they learnt new skills. I also felt that I communicated well with both of them, it is important to communicate well and be clear on instructions so the riders understand what I am asking them to do.
I started the day by arriving at 8am. I then helped to put up all of the gazebos and helped set up the drinks. As the practise started I was in charge of not letting the riders wait for too long. As racing got underway I was then in charge of call up. I had to make sure that everyone was there and that they were in the right gate before the race was allowed to start.
I was a little nervous at first, as this was an important job to ensure the smooth running of the racing. I received a lot of encouragement from the commissaires and my nerves soon changed to confidence.
The day went very well and everyone enjoyed themselves and had a wonderful time. It ran as smoothly as possible due to a lot of planning and preparation that went into it. Next time I take part in helping at a regional race I would try a different role to gain more experience in a wider variety of things.
I felt that I communicated well throughout the day, the riders listened and understood what I was telling them and there were no complications. Overall I think the day was a huge success and went extremely well and the participants enjoyed the days racing.
Blog 4: 1st June 2013
Burnham-on-sea works party
The entire day was a huge success and the weather was great. We managed to get everything done in preparation for the regional race. Everyone enjoyed helping out and really pulled together helping the club prepare for its regional race.
My job for the day along with other club members was to clean the kitchen area and sweep the hut out in preparation for the race. After that I helped with putting up the gazebos and later on that day I had to sign in all the riders for gate practice.
I faced some challenges that day such as the coping with the vast amount of people wanting to quickly sign in and get on the track. I managed to overcome it as I had to be verbally assertive and insist that people wait their turn. I learnt how to do lots of signing in all at once with lots of people shouting names at me and talking all at the same time.
It was a positive experience volunteering at another club. It enabled me to meet new people, broaden my knowledge and gain respect from other club members
Blog 5: 13th June 2013
Go Ride race
I started the session by helping to set up the gate and signing riders in. Once I had done this I was then on call up letting Paula know when to send the next race up; I was also in charge of making sure the race was ready to go and doing the gate. For the more experienced riders, it was important that prior to pressing the gate start button, they were correctly clipped in and ready for the gate. This meant that I had to make visual checks.
The racing went very well and we had lots of new novice riders turn up ready to try something new. A challenge that I faced was the fact that there were lots of new riders that had never raced before. They were very nervous and most of them didn’t know where they had to go. They needed clear instructions about which motos they were in and which pen to enter. There were also a range of abilities so we had to improvise by swapping people in and out of different age groups.
Overall I felt like I communicated well during the races and I gave help and advice where it was needed. I think the session went very well and the participants enjoyed the mini races; most of them said they would do it again.