VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH – AMY TRAN, Mechanical Engineering – President of LUU Volleyball & Gryphons Into Schools Volunteer. 

Semester 1 saw the return of our fantastic sports clubs & societies as well as our schools volunteering programme. It’s great to see so many students back enjoying the sports they love as well as contributing as volunteers on campus and in the wider community. Our volunteer of the month for December is volleyball president, Amy Tran who has been busy leading the volleyball club as well as helping out in a local school.

Which volunteering programme are you on & what does your role involve?

I am part of the Gryphons into Schools scheme more specifically the Gorse Volleyball Program. This involves coaching students at the local Gorse Academy at their after-school volleyball club. I help to come up with the drills and overall structure of the session, making sure they are developing their skills but more importantly having fun.

How much time do you commit to volunteering per week and how do you manage this alongside your studies?

A few hours a week (I am also the President of the Volleyball society). There are plenty of sessions you can get involved with throughout the week. This made it a lot easier to fit volunteering around my Masters and the running of the society!

What made you want to volunteer?

I’ve been involved in the Volleyball society since my first year, taking on roles of Treasurer, Secretary and now President. I am really passionate about the sport and the amazing community it cultivates. I’ve coached sessions for the society but really wanted to help encourage more young people into the sport. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if I hadn’t discovered volleyball and I want others to have that same positive experience.

What is the best thing about volunteering?

Working with the kids – they are all so lovely. They just have so much energy and enthusiasm for the sport! It’s really fulfilling to see them enjoy volleyball and see their technique improve over time.

Volunteering has also really developed my employable skills. My communication has definitely improved – having to coach 11-year-olds is very different to coaching university students so it’s been challenging/interesting to adapt to that! It’s also given me a lot more confidence communicating to large groups.

What are the challenges?

The club caters for kids between the ages of 11 and 16 so there is a real range of abilities within the session. It makes it an interesting challenge adapting drills for such a broad range of abilities whilst keeping them all engaged with the activities.

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

Absolutely! I’ve enjoyed it so much this semester and I felt very well-supported when going through the application and induction process.

How does it feel to win Volunteer of the Month?

Really unexpected – it was a lovely Christmas present!

Suzanne Garnett, Sports Volunteering Officer said:

‘The volleyball club have shown so much commitment to delivering high quality activities on campus as well as developing some outreach into local schools this semester and Amy has been absolutely critical in driving all of this activity forward. It’s great to see a different sport represented in schools and the work of volunteers like Amy is crucial in inspiring young people to try volleyball’

Well done Amy for all of your hard work!