Changing the landscape of volunteering in Sport during lockdown!

What is Game Changers?

Game Changers is our Sport, Leadership & Volunteering programme, led by the University of Bristol Sport, Exercise and Health Division. The programme provides students on campus with the opportunity to gain valuable leadership and coaching experience, by volunteering in a Sports environment alongside our Sporting community partners. Throughout the free programme, students have widen their skill set through taking on specific training modules, workshops, and qualifications.

This year, as with many of our Sports programmes, our Game Changers were interrupted by UK lockdown. However, with help from the staff behind the programme, and flexibility and motivation of our students, we have been able to work with our community partners to continue the programme.

Over the past 12 weeks, our Game Changer volunteers and leaders have been working to deliver training and volunteering opportunities online. Below are some examples of how our Game Changers completed their award during lockdown…


Meet our Game Changers

Hannah

What year of study are you in? I am a 2nd Year Film and Television student

How did you hear about Game Changers? I heard about Game Changers through the Bristol Plus Award as I wanted to find an opportunity to volunteer whilst learning new skills.

What volunteering opportunities have you taken part in as part of the Game Changers programme? Before lockdown I planned to help with the Student-led Walking Tours – specifically I was going to lead a group to Mill Farm in Bristol, but unfortunately the walk was cancelled due to COVID-19. To lead this group I took part in an Event Management workshop as part of my training.

As a result of lockdown, I contacted Access Sport regarding a videography opportunity. Since then I have created an online awards platform for them, which digitally promoted their annual awards. In addition I used archive footage to compile a promotional video to for their initiatives. I have found this opportunity really beneficial as it has allowed me to develop my technical skills whilst supporting an important charity.

I hope to continue my volunteering for another 10 hours so that I can achieve the Advanced Game Changers award.


Solamipe

What year of study are you in? I’m currently in my 2nd year, studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

How did you hear about Game Changers? I heard about Game Changers while undertaking the Bristol PLUS Award. I found out about the Sport, Health and Exercise volunteering opportunities available, and I was particularly drawn to how you don’t have to be ‘sporty’ to take part in community outreach activities.

What volunteering opportunities have you taken part in as part of the Game Changers programme? Before lockdown, I participated in a Disability Inclusion workshop with Access Sport. This gave me an introduction to adapting physical activity to make it more inclusive. I found it an informative and engaging session about working with disadvantaged groups.

However, since the lockdown began, I have taken on some online volunteering for Zooniverse and helped find homes in Uganda to provide electricity. I have really appreciate how the Award was been adapted to enable me to still help and make a difference from my home.

Example of Solamipe’s volunteering

Jade

What year of study are you in? I’m currently in my 2nd year of a degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

How did you hear about Game Changers? I first heard about Game Changers from a friend who was in the process of completing the award. This encouraged me to find out more about the program online. The structure of the Game Changers award was also explained as part of a Bristol Plus talk that I attended.

What volunteering opportunities have you taken part in as part of the Game Changers programme? Before lockdown, I attended a workshop organised by Access Sport. This provided training to volunteer at Bristol Children’s Hospital, leading fun sports sessions with current inpatients. The workshop was super fun and gave me valuable insight into sports leadership, disability inclusion and the need to adapt activities. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to run any sessions at the hospital before lockdown began.

Since lockdown, I have started volunteering with the Coronavirus Tutoring Initiative. This is a tutoring platform that offers completely free tuition for those who might otherwise be unable to access tutoring. The aim is to reduce the educational inequalities which may be exacerbated during COVID-19 and learning at home. Seeing my ‘tutees’ progress and grow in confidence has been incredibly rewarding and it is fulfilling to know that I am supporting an initiative that is tackling important social issues.

I look forward to continuing to be a volunteer tutor during lockdown and possibly beyond!

I would definitely recommend this opportunity and Game Changers – it is really easy to start volunteering. I find it a rewarding way to spend time and remain connected with others during lockdown.


Find out more

If you are interested in taking part in the Game Changers programme next year (2020/21) you can find out more information on our website.

You can also email the Game Changers team to ask any questions: sport-active@bristol.ac.uk

Don’t forget to follow University of Bristol Sport, Exercise and Health on Facebook and Instagram for updates on when new Game Changers programmes will be starting, including pre-registration information evenings.

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