Read how third year English and Creative Writing student Harriet balances her studies with playing hockey as well as volunteering for MMU Sport…
It’s been a manic start to the year! What with starting my third and final year as well as being the chair of the hockey club, it’s safe to stay I’ve had plenty to keep me busy. I think people tend to assume that sports volunteering is a lot of endless hard work and that you must go above and beyond what you normally do, or that perhaps you have to be in the midst of ‘all things uni’ in order to make a difference. This is not the case! I believe anyone can volunteer, and everyone can make a difference.
As one of the biggest clubs in the AU, Freshers Fair is one of the most important events in the Hockey calendar. It’s our first chance to get sign-ups for the new season and to meet some of the freshers who are looking to play hockey, as well as perhaps convince some people to give it a go! Everyone in hockey loves getting involved with the Freshers Fair, not just those who are on the committee.
At the Freshers Fair, each club has their own stall which they can decorate and from about 10am to 4pm, there is an endless flow of new students hoping to find their sport and sign up. It’s exciting talking to the new students and seeing them in this sport society atmosphere, and it took me straight back to when I was in their position two short years ago, eagerly trying to find the dotted line to sign my name. Given that we were on a stall surrounded by other sports, it’s also a great chance to meet other sports clubs and create ties that you perhaps wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Joining a sports club at MMU has been the best thing about my university experience. I believe it is true that you go to university to gain a degree, but I don’t think it is the be all and end all of university. I think university is nearly just as much about the other skills you learn – your independence, your social skills in meeting so many new people, and the extra-curricular activities you take part in – sport or not sport! I have met a huge amount of new people through sport volunteering, all from different backgrounds and on different courses, but who I would have otherwise not met. It gives you a chance to mingle with those who you have a common interest with and build from there. In doing so, I enjoy being at university. I enjoy studying for my course and reading the books and writing the stories. Then on a different day I can put the books down and allow time to focus on the other, sporting aspect of my experience.
The reason I volunteer is simple – I want other students to have the same experience as I am having, and I am working hard to make that possible within my club, and MMU Sport in general.
So, volunteering isn’t as much of a huge step out of the norm as some may think. We managed to get about twenty members of hockey to willingly help in the build-up to the Freshers fair and throughout the day itself – and henceforth volunteer! It was as easy as that!
There are endless opportunities volunteering – anyone can make a difference in, and out of, sport.