I play rugby for Trojans Rugby club (www.trojansrugby.co.uk) and have been for many years. I’ve never graced their first team and have been skipper of the 2’s or 3’s for at least 5 or 6 years. I love it, it’s the reason I look forward to weekends in the winter and the camaraderie, banter and group of people involved make it worthwhile.
It was always therefore planned that my daughter would at least give it a go when she started in year R at school and of course to try out Trojans minis U6’s. I did the classic thing of emailing someone I knew who took that email of interest to me helping out, to me helping out with some coaching to me being Head Coach!
The club were great at supporting me but I can still feel the fear in my body of 48 little kids and their parents staring at me in a “so what are we doing today coach!” kind of way. Over the weeks myself and the parents who stepped forward to help, perfected the art of making a shambles look organised and we all started really enjoying it.
I’m not going to lie and say it was all sweetness and light, the Sunday morning’s after a late Saturday night are not enjoyable, the attitude of some parents stink and when it’s raining (or haling) and cold you know it’s going to be a struggle. BUT the impact on me personally and the kids was huge. To illustrate, we give a player of the day award (2 actually as numbers increased) and to be honest I thought it was a total waste of time until…. my daughter won it (decided by other coaches, as if up to me I would never award out of fear of bias). She was so happy, she came home and was ridiculously excited about it telling her mum, called her grandparents, ate with it next to her, went to bed with it and took it into school ! Everyone knew she was player of the day.
So to those who do volunteer and help their local community a massive pat on the back and if you don’t please think about it and if you get the opportunity definitely do it as it’s hard work but it really does help you and the people you’re volunteering for.