What is V100?
Volunteer 100 (V100) is a great opportunity for our Blackpool FC Sports College learners who are looking to pursue a career in the sports industry to shadow Blackpool FC Community Trust Coaches, gaining an insight into what working in sport can offer as well as gaining valuable experience in doing so. There are a number of sessions and activities that they can get involved in including; sports camps, PL Kicks sessions, disability sessions and NCS. There are also opportunities to volunteer in schools with the PL Primary Stars team or the Fit2go team.
In addition to gaining invaluable experience in the world of sport, the volunteers will then be rewarded for their commitment by being put through a sporting qualification of their choice.
Will’s journey with the Community Trust started a long time before he enrolled onto the V100 initiative as he has been a participant on the Trust’s PL Kicks programme for a number of years since being a young child.
As Will progressed through school and came towards his GCSE years, his interest changed from being a participant too wanting to become a coach so he began volunteering at different sessions through the week and helping staff out at sessions.
Ryan Searle, a PL Kicks staff member who has known Will for years now commented, “Will has always shown an immense commitment to Kicks. He started as a participant and attended multiple sessions per week, some of them miles from his house. As he got older he decided he wanted to volunteer with the aim of becoming a staff member when he gets older and his reliability has been exceptional. He now volunteers almost every night of the week and is always there no matter what the weather conditions are”.
Will has always been a massive Blackpool FC fan and has a season ticket to watch his beloved Blackpool FC at any given opportunity. When staff told him about the opportunity to come and study at the stadium with Blackpool FC Sports College on a BTEC sports course he was delighted and signed up at the first opportunity. It was during the first month of his studies that Will approached the Community Youth Sport Manager, Adam Aspinall, to ask about beginning his journey on the V100.
Adam said, “In the few short months that I have been running PL Kicks, Will has always been really proactive and helpful to the coaches, and really added value to what we offer. Not only has he volunteered on multiple evenings per week at PL Kicks, he has also been a part of the Premier League’s youth summit, took part in social action, helped to deliver a HAF camp and refereed in both PL Kicks fixtures and the EFL Girls Cup that we recently hosted. When Will came to me in early September to get his V100 booklet, I had an idea that he was going to complete this fairly quickly, but even I couldn’t anticipate the record time it was about to take him”.
Will volunteered at his first session in late September and came back to hand in his booklet having completed his 100 hours by the end of October.
During this time he went from delivering around three evenings per week to volunteering at as many sessions as he possibly could. By the end of October he was out every single evening, had volunteered for 20 hours on the half term HAF camp and helped to deliver some social action fundraising for Children in Need. This is made all the more impressive as he doesn’t drive, yet still managed to attend sessions in Talbot & Brunswick, Bloomfield Rd, Claremont, Grange Park and Stanley Park areas of Blackpool by being dropped off by his mum each week. (Well done mum too!)
Will is now enjoying his studies and in a place where we can put him through his first accredited sporting qualification, which is likely to be his FA Level 1. Alongside this, he will continue to be an asset to the PL Kicks programme.
Will has described his experience with the Trust so far saying, “PL Kicks has been a big part of my life and I hope to continue helping out staff and one day hopefully become a staff member myself”.