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Personal Narrative: A Career As A Volunteer Essay

Volunteering is a perfect way to get involved in the community. It not only helps the organization itself but it also gives you the opportunity to get experience in the different sectors. Volunteers give out their personal time to the community without being paid and that is exactly what I got to do in one of my classes I am enrolled in at Brock University (SPMA 1P92). All students were asked to complete eight hours of volunteer work with a sport organization. I decided to complete my hours for the Niagara Rapids Volleyball Club in St. Catharines. Throughout this paper, I am going to talk about the organization itself and the roles I took on.

I am also going to talk about how this volunteer experience will benefit me in my future career. This opportunity allowed me get involved with a variety of tasks and really helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses. Volunteer Experience On September 11, 2016, I volunteered for the Niagara Rapids Volleyball Club from 8:00am to 6:00pm. The Niagara Rapids is a non-profit amateur organization which are governed by an executive. As said on the Niagara Rapids website (2016) their mission is to “provide quality training and a competitive athletic experience for young players at all levels of development. (para. 1). The volunteering took place at Eden High School located on 535 Lake St, St. Catharines where I got the opportunity to welcome and direct athletes to the gym, help with registration, hand out t-shirts, collect funds and assist the 13u girl’s tryouts. Registrations was a lot of work; there were many young athletes all packed into the school’s front foie where I had to collect all their personal information, write it onto a form and put their fee into an envelope.

After every athlete was registered I then gave them a “tryout shirt” where they got the option to wear it for tryouts. My next job was to direct athletes to the gymnasium where the tryouts took place. Lastly, I got the chance to help coach the 13u girls team, which was my favourite part of the day. I got to teach girls the basic skills of volleyball, as well as help the coaches pick the team. I chose to volunteer for this organization because I used to play for the Barrie elites which is governed by the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) and I thought it was time to give back.

My expectations were low, I was expecting to just help with the registration of the athletes but I was lucky enough to also help with the tryouts and learn from some great coaches. It was such an amazing experience that still till this day I am helping with the club, by being an assistant coach for the Niagara Rapids 17u girls blue team because I enjoyed the volunteer experience so much. Observations and Reflections on Experience During my experience volunteering with the Niagara Rapids Volleyball club, I felt like it was a great opportunity for me to learn and grow.

I had the chance to work with adults and children. At the start of the day the very first thing that came to mind was that maybe I could eventually be working for the OVA. I was so excited to see what it would be like to be in the shoes of someone who does something I may want to pursue in life. I personally feel like I had an impact on many people throughout the day. There were over fifty 13u girls trying out and I could tell many were extremely nervous and intimidated by the other girls. So, as a volunteer I felt like it was my responsibility to make them feel welcomed and comfortable in that environment.

When athletes arrived, I would try and look for girls who looked lost or nervous and I would introduce myself to make them feel more welcomed and sometimes I would even ask if they wanted to warm up with me until they found a partner. By doing that I hope I made them feel more comfortable in the surroundings. I also feel like I may have impacted some of the young girls when I was in the gym helping the coaches. Whenever I saw something wrong I would pull aside the girl/girls and try and fix their technique, which should hopefully help them in the future. Personally, I did not have any specific questions going into this volunteer experience.

Since I have been playing volleyball for 6 years I felt confident with the roles I took on. The only question I had was how to register each athlete. It ended up being very straight forward and it only took me a few tries to be able to do it without any supervision. Application to Sport Industry Sector The Niagara Rapids Volleyball Club is a not-for-profit amateur organization. The Free Dictionary (2008) describes a non-profit organization as “a corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive. (para. 1). There are many traits that contribute to the organization itself; such as the key actors, governance, and the issues and trends. I am also going to go through how volunteers can impact the organization itself by referring to my own experience with the Niagara Rapids. Key Actors are what make an organization run. Both Key Actors and governance are a huge factor to this organization. Spence (2016) considers a key actor as “the specific individuals, groups or organizations which interact with, depend upon, and/or shape and constrain an organization. ” (para. 1).

In the Niagara Rapids, there are a variety of key actors that contribute to this organization. Albino Pereira, is the president of the club and he gets to over see everyone. He must plan the duties of all executive members, organize how the club runs and must always refer to the club’s mission statement, which he created. He is also responsible for hiring volunteers, planning the registration process and the wagers. Bill Markham is the Vice President of the Niagara Rapids, his role is to manage the organization by making sure all tasks and jobs are getting done correctly.

He also must keep record of all members of the organization to assure they are behaving and doing what is asked. Bob Wines is the treasurer for the Niagara Rapids. His role is to handle all the club’s money by collecting the profit from each team, counting it and depositing it into the bank. Without a Vice President, an organization would be hard to manage. Rich Vickers is the tournament director for the Niagara Rapids. His role is to find out from the OVA where all tournament is located. He then must inform all teams where their tournament is located.

Lastly the website coordinator, Nikky Giguere role is to make the Niagara Rapids website to help promote their club by including their mission statement, about them, volleyball camps they run and the OVA schedule by getting the information from Vickers. Although the people above are key actors for the Niagara Rapids, they are not the only ones who make up the organization. Coaches, athletes, volunteers and sponsors are also crucial for the Rapids because without them there would be no club. I personally believe I am a key actor because as a volunteer I helped run the tryouts and without volunteers it would be hard to complete all tasks.

S. C. R. A. P. Centre, Sports Chiropractic and Performance Centre, and Strade West, Eat & Sip House all sponsor the Niagara Rapids. The sponsors pay the Rapids a certain amount of money to put their sponsors on their jerseys to get recognized quicker. The sponsors are considered a key actor because without them the organization would not be able to run. Hums and Maclean (2013) define governance as “the power, authority, control, and high-level policy making in organizations. People involved in governance make decisions that set the tone for the entire organization. (pg. 3-4).

At the Niagara Rapids tryouts, everything was governed perfectly. The president of the Niagara Rapids was there in all control of everything. He oversaw all coaches, volunteers, players and parents guiding them to success. The Niagara Rapids Volleyball Club is a member governed by the OVA. The OVA websites (2016) mission statement states that “the OVA is an athlete-centred association where dedicated volunteers and professional staff provide leadership in the growth and development of volleyball for all Ontarians. ” (para. 1).

The OVA truly wants success for all volleyball athletes in the volleyball world. The OVA’s mission statement is similar to the Niagara Rapids mission statement (mentioned earlier in the paper) where they are both hoping to make an impact on their athletes. The only difference between the two is that the Niagara Rapids are trying to train just their playing in their club and the OVA is that they want to improve Ontario. Although the Niagara Rapids are a not-for-profit organization, they still have fees, for example at the tryouts there was a fee of $25.

Stated by Investopedia (2016), “all of the money earned by or donated to a not-for-profit organization is used in pursuing the organization’s objectives and keeping it running. ” (para. 1). So, the Rapids do not invest in any of the profit but put it back into the organization to pay for facilities for practices and athletes wear. In the organization, the vice president must keep an eye out for trends. By applying trends to the Niagara Rapids Volleyball club, one common trend is at a certain age athletes begin to get too overwhelmed and stressed, possibly with school and clubs start to lose athletes and even teams.

For example, the Niagara Rapids do not have a 18u boys team because they decided to stop playing for their grade 12 year because they were all too overwhelmed. Some issues with the organization is that sometimes coaches or volunteers are not full committed to their role by attending all practices and tournaments. Another issue in the organization is that teams are dropping out of tournaments days before it happens. This may have a huge impact on the OVA because they then must re-rank tournaments and enter new teams into the tournament which may cause frustration for other teams.

Most non-profit organizations rely deeply on volunteers. Mahesh and Rai (2016) states that volunteering “is an activity that is done for the benefit of others who are not related and often not even known to the person. ” (para. 1). By having volunteers, it helps events run smoother and more efficiently. Shagurovaa, Ivanovnaa, Aleksandrovna, Denisenkob, Valerievich, Viktorovna and Potutkovac (2016) all state “volunteering has become one of the main forms of expression of social activity of citizens. ” (para. 1).

I feel like by me volunteering for the Niagara Rapids it made me feel good about myself because I knew I was helping people out, including coaches and athletes. I also feel like I truly took pressure off some of the coahces at the tryouts by doing some of their work. There is a countless amount of benefits by volunteering. According to Crust (2015) he lists many benefits such as gathering and developing new skills, exploring and learning about new career options, developing your leadership style and building your resume.

I personally feel like I gained all of those benefits during my volunteering experience with the Niagara Rapids. When I was volunteering, I believe I developed better social skills when I had to welcome athletes to tryouts and when I was asked to assist in the 13u girl’s tryouts. I also gained a new respect for the administration working for the Rapids. It made me want to be part of their staff or work for the OVA so I could help manage all clubs including the Rapids. By volunteering it also helped buff up my resume by allowing me to talk about this experience. Application to my Future Sport Management Plans

Throughout my volunteer experience there were many events that I was apart of that surprised me but also made me feel honoured to be a part of. I was so honoured that they had so much trust in me throughout the day. After being taught how to register athletes, they left me alone and which allowed me take charge. It just surprised me because I felt like they were putting a lot on the line in case I messed up, because that may have caused a lot of stress and confusion. It also surprised me how much the coaches allowed me to get involved with the athletes by demonstrating drills and interacting with the players.

They also allowed me to put in input with some of the drills they ran which validated how much I knew and how confident I am with my skills. There was truly nothing that disappointed me during the day. The tryouts were very organized by spacing everything out because of the number of athletes who attended tryouts that day, they had all the registration papers ready to be filled out and they had all the t-shirts laid out in the cafeteria. Also, everyone who was at the tryouts respected me as a volunteer which made me feel more comfortable in that environment.

It confirmed my previous knowledge when I had the opportunity to help assist the 13u girls. It confirmed my volleyball skills but also just my social skills as well. By constantly interacting with the young girls I found that I continuously relied on my social skills by getting involved as well as when I was welcoming the athletes. It also reassured me how organized I am; when I was registering the athletes, I found that I had to be organized when getting the athletes to fill out forms because if any form gets in a different order, or pile it could mess up the whole registration process.

There are many goals I hope to achieve during my journey at Brock University to help develop my future Sports Management plans; I want to continue coaching a rep volleyball team in St. Catharines, secondly, I want to get an apprenticeship for the OVA and lastly, I am going to try and volunteer for the Brock women’s volleyball team. I believe by coaching for a rep volleyball team in the OVA could be the beginning of getting a job for the OVA in the future. I also think that by volunteering with the Brock U women’s volleyball team would give me more experience.

By volunteering with the Niagara Rapids, it defiantly fit in with my future career. I hope one day after graduating with my four-year degree that I will have the chance to work for the OVA. I hope to help doing the rankings of all the teams, help organize tournaments and help organize and set up provincial’s which take place and the RIM centre in Waterloo every year. I can not wait to see where this program and more experiences take me in the near future. Conclusion Volunteering with the Niagara Rapids Volleyball Club was such amazing experience.

As you can see I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do a variety of different tasks from welcoming guests, registering athletes, collecting funds and even assisting with the 13u girls team. I feel like this experience helped identify both my strengths and weaknesses which I hope to continue to work on and grow as a person. I believe by doing this volunteer work, it helped me start my journey by reaching my end goal of working for the OVA. I am going to continue working by getting involved with the sport industry and volunteering with different organizations to get more experience.

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