Ellie Blackley a keen Sport Maker from Cockermouth carried the Olympic Flame in Northallerton on Wednesday 20th June on the torch's route from York up to Carlisle. Ellie was put forward by Active Cumbria to be one of Sport England's Torchbearers to represent all the young people and Sport Makers in Cumbria. Ellie was very lucky to be running on one of the few sunny days of the Torch Relay!
I stated my volunteering in October 2010 by doing Sports Leaders at Cockermouth school. Whilst doing this we got asked to sign up to the Step into Sport online passport so we could register our volunteering hours and hopefully earn our bronze, silver and gold awards.
After hearing this I wanted to get my gold award but needed to get 200 hours volunteering to do so. So I started helping with mini red Tennis in Carlisle, Cockermouth rugby, and my local brownies. I also helped with primary school events through sports leaders which were great fun! The primary children's enthusiasm was amazing!
I also got picked to attend the Allerdale Leadership Academy and was able to undertake young leader training opportunities for free. I did my netball young organisers, cricket leaders, 2 first aid courses, event management and tennis leaders. These were really good as learnt loads of tips to help me when coaching children.
Leadership academy ended with the young leaders who had attended putting on a multi-skills festival for year 9 in July. There was also a school/club evening where you could sign up to assist with after school sessions with the School sport coaching programme. At this evening I also signed to help with the mega camps which ran during the holidays. I signed up for 5 camps, got paid £10 a day, got a really cool coat and T-shirt for free and had great fun doing it too! I got to help with any sport e.g. from cricket to multi-skills.
From doing my volunteering, in the future I would like a career in either, teaching, sports coaching or sports science. I have gained loads of valuable skills. I have become more confident, learnt how to teach children and it has encouraged my independence, as my mum made me find my own way to each mega camp. I really enjoyed helping with the mega camps and volunteering, particularly the self satisfaction and pleasure you get from helping others and seeing them enjoy themselves and develop. For instance the girls I helped with at cricket as they were complete beginners and it was my job to help them. I really enjoyed this and they have just moved up into my school and wave at me every time I see them on the corridor.
Overall, I feel it has been worth while putting the effort in as I have got lots out of it and so far have done 180 volunteering hours and counting.