Our volunteer of the month for November is Emily Coulson, who is on our Coach Scholar programme. She helps to coach the women’s football club by planning and delivering their weekly sessions at Sports Park Weetwood.
Which volunteering programme are you on & what does your role involve?
On campus I am on the Level Two Coach Scholar programme representing football and I help coach at the women’s football club by planning and delivering weekly sessions at Weetwood. I have my Level 1 and hope to work towards my Level 2. Outside of University I also volunteer as a coach at Leeds Hyde Park Football club which is a local community club. I am the manager of the u15 team so plan and deliver their sessions and manage them during fixtures.
How much time do you commit to volunteering per week and how do you manage this alongside your studies?
I usually spend around 2-3 hours per week during term time volunteering which fits well around my university work as I volunteer in the evening. For LHPFC I coach on a Saturday morning and often have a fixture on a Sunday so that gets me out of bed at the weekend!
What made you want to volunteer?
I am very passionate about women’s football and wanted to offer my time to both develop my skills and help the club. I also wanted to be more involved in the local community.
What is the best thing about volunteering?
The best thing about volunteering is it allows me to become more confident as a coach as the club provides a very welcoming and safe environment. It also is very fulfilling as the people I coach are often very appreciative of me giving up my time.
What are the challenges?
The cold. Even as a Geordie coaching outside in the winter is not as enjoyable as in the summer.
Would you recommend volunteering to others?
Yes, definitely it allows you to get more involved with university life and the community. Plus, you’ll be developing skills such as time management, communication and teamwork that come in handy after you graduate. Also, LHPFC are forever expanding so would have a role for anyone who would show commitment and passion for the club.
How does it feel to win Volunteer of the Month?
A great and welcomed surprise during these crazy times.
Emily stands out from the rest because of her personality. She is enthusiastic, passionate about football and you can see she loves to coach. She has being volunteering for Leeds Hyde Park FC for the past three years managing & coaching our under 15’s team. Most of all Emily makes football fun for all, the players get equal playing time and the opportunity to play in all positions. She also a fantastic advocate of girls football – she is the Girls Development Manager of the club, promoting and supporting new existing coaches and cheering on players across all teams. We would be lost without Emily helping out across our club!’ – Adel Chermiti, Hyde Park FC
Emily is in her final year now but has been extremely generous with her time, volunteering throughout her 4 years with us at Leeds. She has grabbed hold of opportunities to develop her skills to support her future aspirations in teaching. Her passion for football is clear and she is a great role model for women & girls in football. Well done Emily & good luck with your PGCE application – Suzzi Garnett, Sports Volunteering Officer, University of Leeds
If you are interested in volunteering next year, take a look at our programme to see what you can get involved with.