Serena’s journey from participant to coach is extraordinary. Taking part in sport has given her the confidence to face challenges head on. Now she is more than capable to deliver sessions to young people of all abilities. Her determination to succeed both has a competitor and coach is commendable. Many young girls give up sport in their teens. Serena has broken the mould and has gone from strength to strength.
Serena is 20 years old, and studying Sport at Hopwood Hall College in Manchester. She first got into sport when she was at Charlestown Primary School at eight years old and her first passion being swimming.
Serena entered the Disability Swimming Gala where she got the appetite for competition. Through this Serena’s Mum found out there were lots of opportunities for Serena to take part in sport outside of school. Serena started attending the Sportcity Athletics Club where she made many friends. She realised that sport is not just about being active, but also about socialising, having fun and adopting a habit for life.
Through hard work and regular training, Serena now has won over 60 medals and been a national champion in shot put, javelin and 100 metres. She also continues to swim at Harpurhey Club, competing at a national level.
Serena has participated in many sports and taken part regularly at the CADS school holiday camps and took her younger sister when she was old enough. She has made many friends at these camps and realised she wants to become a sports coach when she leaves school.
Serena regularly supports the younger children on the camp, especially young disabled people, as she wants them to enjoy and benefit from taking part and playing sport too.
Serena is now a regular volunteer at the Inclusive Active Family session at Abraham Moss Leisure Centre along with being an MCRVIP volunteer. She volunteers at major sporting events and holiday community camps for disabled people. Through this programme, Serena has gained a number of qualifications that will support her in her journey to become a sports coach.
I am a volunteer for the GOGA programme working as a sports coach with young people and their families, to get them involved in inclusive sport. The sessions are held at the Abraham Moss Leisure centre on Saturday afternoons 2- 4pm.
I like working here as the Lead coach helps me plan some of the activities. So I can look at how to adapt the session for the group. I get to meet new people too and work with other volunteers. We also have a swimming session, and I hope to gain a swimming qualification, so I can help deliver activities in the pool too.
The coach added:
Serena is also part of the session planning along with the main coaches and other volunteers. She is very focused on the session and wants to enhance the chances and opportunities to all young people wanting to do sport but especially being a strong advocate and motivator for all young people with a disability.
Serena also volunteers at the local church, where she helps at the Sunday School alongside the Sunday School teachers. The children enjoy the games and sports she plays with them.
I have received lots of support from my family who encourage me to take part. People involved in the sessions have told me about opportunities that I can get involved in. From attending training sessions, I feel more confident in coaching sport, adapting activities for people with disabilities and working with different people.
I received the Inclusion Volunteer of the year at a recent awards ceremony as I had completed over 200 hours of volunteering in a year as a Young Leader. I was shocked and amazed, as I didn't expect to receive it. I would like to be an inclusive sports coach and compete in the Paralympics or even the Olympics in the future
Article taken from Get Out Get Active.
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