Malcolm – volunteer for The WheelPower National Junior Games

Malcolm was a volunteer for the annual residential sports event where young people have an opportunity to try a variety of wheelchair sports.

What is your volunteer role and what does this involve you doing?

I volunteered for the WheelPower National Games in June 2023. The annual event provides children with disabilities to try a variety of sports and my role was to support the coaches and children.

Over the two days that I volunteered, I assisted with Badminton, Boccia, Hand Cycling and Tennis.  This involved collecting tennis balls, helping children into and out of the hand cycle and fixing chains, throwing, hitting shuttlecocks for the children to hit, and helping them to use the racket to hit the shuttlecocks.

Why do you volunteer?

I have always volunteered when I can. I currently volunteer as a team member for the Volunteer Matching Service – matching other volunteers – and enjoy talking to some great people who are willing to give up their time for others. I see a lot of volunteer opportunities through my role at the Volunteer Matching Service and the WheelPower National Junior Games caught my interest, so I offered to help.

I had previously volunteered as a marshal with WheelPower for the Tour De Vale Cycle ride earlier in the month and had a very positive experience.

What attracted you to this role?

I have always had an interest in sports and once volunteered as a youth leader when I trained children in track events.  I thought I would enjoy and be able to bring something to the role.

What are the best bits about volunteering in this role?

The energy and willingness of the children to take part, especially the smiles and laughter from them as they succeeded and improved in the events.

Are there any challenging aspects to this role?

It was a physical and tiring couple of days, but well worth it to see the joy on their faces.

Have you found anything surprising about the role?

The energy and joy of those taking part.

What do you gain personally or professionally from volunteering?

The satisfaction that I made a difference to a number of children, enabling them to take part and meet their goals.

Would you recommend volunteering and if so, why?

I have volunteered in a number of roles during my life – some short term, some long term and some very exacting (Chair of Governors for a school for 12 years.)  I have always felt that I have learnt from these experiences and that it has helped me to understand others better.

Further information:

To find out more about WheelPower and the National Junior Games, visit the WheelPower website.

If you are looking for a volunteering role, register your interest with the Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service and have a look at see some examples of roles currently available.

Updated on September 5, 2023

Images courtesy of St Francis's Children Society, WheelPower