Volunteering through the eyes of our young volunteer of the year
• 4 MINUTE READ
There are over 25,000 volunteers in Britain who go above and beyond to help enrich people’s lives through tennis.
Each year, we present the annual British Tennis Awards to recognise the people who dedicate their free time to our sport. So to celebrate International Volunteers’ Day, we’re shining a spotlight on our Young Volunteer of the Year, Roxanne Marshall from Hill Lane Junior Tennis Club.
Roxanne’s volunteering has no limits – from being an integral member of the coaching team to leading on the club’s marketing, she’s on it!
Here, she shares everything there is to know about life as a volunteer, with some fantastic advice for anyone looking to get involved in the world of volunteering..
Where it all began...
I was a fairly latecomer to the game itself and started playing when I was about 13. After only a year of playing I was asked if I would like to help out coaching with some of the mini players on a Saturday morning and that is literally where it all began!
As I started coaching so young I had to wait until I was old enough to undertake my Level 1 (LTA coaching qualification) and then another year later progressed onto my Level 2. This has enabled me to grow and develop my coaching skills, and I am now leading sessions for a whole range of ages; right from minis up to adults, all with various abilities.
It wasn’t until I had been involved with the club for a year or so that I realised how reliant it was on volunteers. All the great work that others were doing to really make the best out of the club for the local community, just meant that I couldn’t help myself from getting involved too!
I then started assisting with the internal competitions we run on a monthly basis. Firstly, I started scoring players’ matches, however have since progressed to virtually running the competitions. During this time, I have been at the forefront of introducing a leaderboard system with certificates and medals.
Aside from this, I have also had an involvement with marketing for the club. This has led to designing flyers to promote the club and open days, as well as producing the club’s monthly newsletter.
My volunteering highlight so far…
I enjoy all aspects of my volunteering, that's why I do it! A massive highlight for me was being nominated for the Young Volunteer Award and getting recognition for what I have done out of enjoyment and satisfaction.
Another special time for me was when I gained my Level 2 coaching qualification. Coaching was the first thing I did as a volunteer and will always be the next biggest part of my tennis life aside from playing.
My week in a snapshot…
During a typical Monday-Friday week I used to be at school for the day (when studying for my A levels), however I am now working. This means that I will either be out on court playing during the evenings, sometimes assisting with coaching or at home doing some admin stuff.
Admin tasks include writing the monthly newsletter with everything that has happened in the month that has just passed, updating the website or producing promotional flyers.
Then a Saturday will literally be taken up with coaching; leading on two sessions in the morning and then assisting at the court parks in the local community in the afternoon.
On a Sunday we have our monthly competition which involves organising the paperwork beforehand, like the certificates and preparing any medals that will be needed. Then on the day itself, I will be officiating and running at least one of the boxes.
On top of all of this I do manage to have a social life and time to just chill out!
The best thing about volunteering…
I absolutely love seeing that the work I do with so many great other volunteers, has such an impact on players; both in the sense of progression and enjoyment.
It’s also great to know that what we do is making a difference in helping to get more people playing tennis more often. In addition, I have met some great people over the time I have been involved, both with those I volunteer with, as well as friends for life!
For anyone thinking about it…
If you are considering volunteering.....then just do it! However big or small, it will have a massive impact and I'm sure you will get such a buzz from it! You get to meet and work with some fantastic people and that is one of the best things!
Anyone can volunteer in tennis – no matter your age, ability or background. Get involved today!