"University is as much about the experience as the academic pursuits, and this has really broadened my Durham experience. It is so rewarding to see the people we help improve and respond to me as a coach and mentor."Emma-Jane Cowey, Student volunteer
University volunteers are rewarded for their hard work and commitment through opportunities to undertake National Governing Body coaching courses in various sports, as outlined above in the coaching calendar. These courses can strengthen a C.V. aimed at securing work in the challenging job market. Specific training opportunities relevant to working with hard to reach and disengaged groups are also offered. Volunteers are also provided with full Team Durham Community Kit, and an opportunity to win ‘Volunteer of the Month’ and ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Awards.
"I wish to be a consultant in my career, and developing my ability to coach other people helps me in pursuit of this goal. The voluntary opportunities the department have given me means learning skills I can use throughout my life. It has also given me the chance to take me F.A. Level 1 Badge, enabling me to coach football in the future."Greg Weegenaar, Student Volunteer.
Team Durham Community provides important youth apprenticeships and gives opportunities to other young people wishing to undertake work experience. Pupils are often taken on from schools in the Durham area as well as other universities. Sarah Todd, who undertook a work experience placement with the department as part of her Sport degree at Northumbria University, said: ‘It gave me a huge advantage when applying to go to Zambia through university, as I had worked with hard to reach groups. My work with Team Durham Community has made me want to go into sport development work now, it’s just an amazing experience overall.’
Team Durham has also appointed seven Career Development Scholars working on a specific focus area over the academic year. The scholars provide seven hours a week during undergraduate term time. In exchange, the scholars are provided with a £1,000 bursary to access further professional support. The scholars will come out of the year with an invaluable experience of work on projects related to their interests and skills, and will have an excellent point of reference to boost their career prospects.