Case Studies

Below you can read some testimonials from current and previous volunteers and interns, to hear about the inspirational work they've done through the Foundation - and hopefully give you ideas about how you can engage, inspire and achieve during your own time at Northumbria.

Becky Oldroyd

This is Becky’s story about how becoming a part of the foundation helped develop her career prospects.

"This year has been my most rewarding year as a volunteer sports coach as I have worked closely on the EMTEP project. This project, which only started this year, hosts BME women only Boxing sessions in Newcastle, in order to get this community of women active and involved in sport. My role as a coach was a fantastic experience and really helped me develop not only as a coach but as a person as well. This was such a new experience for me but one that excited me the most, knowing every Sunday when our sessions ran, that I was making a difference and having a positive impact on the women and their families. Each week I was very proud to witness their confidence and their self-esteem increase significantly and their motivation and determination to try new things was really inspiring. 

Working with community projects including EMTEP really does shine through on the CV like gold dust, with potential employers at interviews always asking me about my experiences with this project. Employers are always impressed at the work that I have done with this group and I really believe that it helps me stand out from other candidates. I am also more confident in going to job interviews and networking with people who I would never normally have spoken to before. This increase in confidence is 100 per cent down to all of my experience with the volunteering programme as I have been stretched, challenged and have learned so much."

Joshua Renwick

Hi, my name is Joshua Renwick and I am the lead coach for the Northumbria Sport Foundation. I am currently in my second year studying Sports Coaching, alongside playing rugby for Team Northumbria.

My role as the lead coach for the Northumbria Sport Foundation involves taking a leadership role in the summer camps and sports sessions (such as Brownies), which are ran for children of a range of ages. I believe teaching children sport skills is important as it develops their confidence, team working skills and helps them to stay active during holidays. It was very rewarding to see that as the children's coach I was able to teach new skills and allow the children to have fun.

Since becoming involved in this role I have met some inspiring coaches and have developed my own skills and knowledge. When I first started working for the foundation I had a level 2 multi skills and rugby coaching qualification; since joining the team I have had the opportunity to attend courses such as fencing, boxing and dance. The opportunity to attend these courses is excellent for my future as they enable me to stand out from other students due to their diversity.

In addition to regular coaching I believe the summer camps have offered me the valuable experience of supervising children, dealing with their behaviour and ways of discipline, reporting and recording any accidents, dealing with any safeguarding concerns and liaising with parents. Additionally, I feel my confidence and interpersonal skills have developed as a direct result and the overall experience of being part of the Northumbria Sport Foundation will support me to achieve my ambition of becoming a sports teacher when I graduate.

Lizzie Patterson

Although I am only at the beginning of my Internship with Northumbria Sport Foundation, it has already given me so many great opportunities, such as earning my first aid and opening doors for me to deliver sessions within Northumbria Sport. This for me is vital to be able to develop myself as a coach and without Northumbria Sport Foundation I don't think I would have gained these opportunities and the many more that will come. 

I am very excited to get started with my internship and the many experiences it is going to hold as I'm sure it will open many doors for me. I hope to learn and develop my knowledge and I am on the best platform to do so as a Northumbria Sport Foundation Intern.

Sam Orridge

This year I was selected to be one of the students to represent Northumbria on the IDEALS Zambia project. This was a massive honour for me as it is a competitive programme that has been running for 11 years. Each summer the project sends out students from 7 universities to conduct 6 week placements coaching sport in disadvantaged communities. Whilst out there I coached football at an all-girls catholic school and in the local community at an orphanage. Coaching these two teams was one of the best coaching experiences I’ve ever had. Every day the kids would bring so much energy and life to the training session you couldn’t help but to always go home smiling and not wanting to leave. We were primarily there to coach but whilst over there it was so much more than that. I had the opportunity to cook for over 100 people at the orphanage, run PE classes, I managed to teach in the classrooms and even coach sport at UTH special school which was a first for me. It was great to see the kids develop and grow from week to week and become more united as a team. We were welcomed into the community with open arms and they soon became like family to us.

This experience is something that really does make your CV stand out from the crowd, as it is an opportunity not many people are lucky enough to experience. More than enhancing my CV the Zambia project helped me develop as a person. I was able to enrich my leadership skills, especially with decision making and problem solving and it has made me become more confident as a person. I have been lucky enough to be involved in many volunteer roles within the university however this project really is like no other, it’s one you could talk about for hours. It is of great interest as a topic of conversation especially with employers. I couldn’t recommend getting involved with this project enough.  

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Engage, Inspire, Achieve