Volunteers’ Week: An international flavour to volunteering
As part of Volunteers’ Week – the annual campaign to celebrate volunteers across all sectors and communities – AoC Sport is highlighting some of our student volunteers recruited through our Leadership Academy process.
Evelina Jurovickaja has an interesting story, which shows the diversity of applicants AoC Sport receives for the volunteering programme.
Evelina is 18 years old, and studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at Wakefield College and was chosen to volunteer at this year’s National Championships.
The first barrier Evelina had to overcome was the language. Evelina is from Lithuania and has only been in the UK for just over 18 months.
As English was not her first language, she was very worried about applying. However, her enthusiasm and interest came through and she went on to have an excellent experience at the Championships in Nottingham.
She said: “Honestly, I was very worried and afraid that I would not get the opportunity to become a part of this wonderful programme. I am grateful to those people who accepted my application form and made it possible to be part of this.
“It was hard work sometimes but I saw lots of interesting things. I am so glad that I took part in this.”
Improving her confidence and making new friends were key reasons for wanting to volunteer.
At college she helps the sports activator run the volleyball club – setting up the and planning different skills to work on each week and is also working towards her bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Evelina’s role during the Championships weekend was to monitor the results of the volleyball – her favourite sport.
“I learnt how to use a scoreboard and learnt new game tactics. During this experience I gained new knowledge that I hope will help in the future.
“The last two days I watched the boys’ matches, which were really interesting. They played so professionally that it looked unreal and exciting.”
Volunteering is a necessary part of the ESOL programme but for Evelina this was a truly unique opportunity to experience a major student event in a completely different part of the country.
It also gave her a flavour of what it’s like to stay at a university campus in England.
Not only did she improve her English, but she also met and interacted with students from across the country, which could be an invaluable experience of her time in the UK.