Rural Derbyshire SSP Student Reports on Volunteering at ‘Mini-Olympics’

Earlier this month eight lucky students and two staff from Rural Derbyshire SSP member schools Highfields and Anthony Gell were picked to volunteer at the 2014 National Sainsbury’s School Games in Manchester to help deliver the competitions for the under 18 student squads competing for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

manchester national school games July 2014 RDSSP 17 year old Andy Brough, a platinum Young Leader and member of Highfields’ Sports Leadership Academy, who last week was highly commended for his volunteering work at the Derbyshire School Sports Association Awards, reports back:

“This was great opportunity for us all to see venues and sports up close at high level standard. We were lucky enough to stay in a 4 star hotel. We helped out at two sports – Athletics and Volleyball which was amazing.”

School Games Manchester Highfields July 2014“It was brilliant to help out with the running of such a huge event which is like a mini-Olympics and to know we were really appreciated and that it could not have happened without us. The London 2012 Games Makers were so motivational and helped make the games what they were and it was the same for us at Manchester.”

“It was my second year attending the Games and I felt privileged to be going again and seeing some fantastic sports up close and being able to interact with such high level athletes. We got the chance to meet some amazing volunteers from a variety of places including Ireland and it was great to make friends with them and trade stories between us.”

What other staff and students made of the Games:

manchester national school games volleyball July 2014 RDSSPCallum Rose said, “It truly was great to see some fantastic venues and be so close to some very high standard players in a variety of sports. The management team were so helpful and always full of energy to keep us all motivated and make sure we were having fun.”

Annabel Macgregor said, “I really enjoyed the four days we were there, especially meeting new people from all over the nation and learning new things about the sports. I would definitely love the chance to go again to experience some amazing memories.”

Grace Pickford said, “We had the chance to become Olympic standard ‘Moppers’ on the volleyball court. We wore our new kit with pride – whenever anyone saw us they knew who we were and that we were there to help and motivate people.”

Emily Hancock said, “We saw the volleyball teams use a special hand shake or high 5 routine which we loved and used it ourselves to keep motivated and really show we were having fun.”

James Bates said, “I would definitely recommend the event to others. If they weren’t there, they don’t know what they were missing out on.”

Harry Hurst said, “It was brilliant to experience some sports we may not have seen before, at least not played at such a high standard.”

Sam May said, “It was great to be part of something so big.”

Katy Gigg from Anthony Gell said, “It was incredible seeing different sports performed at elite levels and having the opportunity to visit some pretty big sports facilities around Manchester.”

Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership Management Assistant based at Anthony Gell, Eliot Martin-French said, “I enjoyed meeting other volunteers from around the nation. The standard of all athletes and staff as well as the volunteers made the Games very special. The best thing was the general relationships and attitudes between all involved, most people were happy to talk no matter their role within the event.”

Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership Manager Janice Price said, “It was exciting to be part of a big games event. We really got a feel that they were the stars of the future. To be working as a team with our schools and all the all the volunteers was an unforgettable experience for myself and the students.”


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Students at Sainsbury’s School Games: and

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Press Release: Monday 22nd September