The Join In blog: Tagged "coaching"

Dawn, centre, runs Guildford Saints FC with a great team of volunteers and members
Dawn, centre, with the walking footballers.

“Why not make a difference?”

Like many grassroots clubs across the UK, Guildford Saints FC wouldn’t survive without volunteers. But they do, thanks to having their very own saint, Dawn Davies: coach, director, mother, grandmother, administrator and BBC Unsung Hero award winner.

Why did you start volunteering?

My son started playing football at Guildford Saints FC aged 6. I felt it was a very well run club, well supported with lots of members. When the committee asked for more volunteers, I didn’t hesitate to put my hand up and say “I can do that!”. (more…)

Recent News

Why Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club is taking part in the nation's biggest sports day
Why Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club is taking part in the nation's biggest sports day

A London 2012 tennis legacy

Since setting up during London 2012, Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club has grown to over 200 people taking part every week. Here they talk about being open to all and how they are looking forward to I Am Team GB.

How important do you think the Olympic legacy has been for the club?

“The London 2012 Olympics inspired young people to take part in sport whatever their ability. There was a massive buzz four years ago and the legacy must continue. Now it is the role of community sports clubs around the country to take the lead and ensure young people continue playing sport. Through providing enjoyable and positive experiences it will hopefully leave them wanting to come back for more!

How has the club grown since then?


Team GB athletes and volunteers inspire the next generation of gymnasts.

Springboard to success

For Kieran Bird, volunteering has led to paid job in the sport he loves. He tells us about his time at Milton Keynes Springers Gymnastics Club.

Why did you choose to help out in gymnastics?

I’ve been around sports all my life, either playing or watching them on TV, and gymnastics was always something I had an interest in. I mean, some of things gymnasts can do are incredible – truly a piece of art as I like to think in the back of my mind.

What made you decide to volunteer?

After finishing college, I was looking for work but it was hard to come by especially in sport. So I decided to go the old fashioned route and volunteer (via the Join In website). That way, I could get experience and improve my coaching.


Going to extraordinary lengths for Sport Relief.

100 sports in 100 days

What lengths would you go to for a great cause? We spoke to Liu Batchelor, who is trying her hand at every sport imaginable to help Sport Relief.

What are you doing?

“I’ve taken on the fundraising challenge of participating in 100 different sports over 100 consecutive days to raise £10,000 for Sport Relief↑. I started my challenge on 11 December, and will complete it on 19 March – the weekend of Sport Relief 2016.

Along the way, I’m doing a video diary showcasing every sport I take part in. The aim of the videos is to inspire people to find a sport that is perfect for them – especially if they haven’t found a sport that excites them.

You can see all the videos from the sports I’ve completed so far here↑.

100 sports in 100 days on You Tube (more…)

Leamington Athletics Academy Summer Camp. Peter is the one carrying the Olympic torch
Leamington Athletics Academy Summer Camp. Peter has the Olympic torch.

My Big Help Out story – Peter Frazier

Peter Frazier overcame adversity to become the world’s first transplant survivor to run a marathon. Last July, he signed up to the #BigHelpOut to give something back to the sport he loves.

In 1978, Peter Frazier had a kidney transplant, and after six years of dialysis he became the first transplant survivor in the world to run a marathon. He then ran seven more and went on to represent Great Britain six times in the World Transplant Games, winning two gold medals. To top it all off, he carried the Olympic torch through Leamington Spa in 2012.

But, like many athletes before him, Peter’s story started at grassroots level. “I joined a local jogging club to get fit,” he said. “The club was called the Centurion Joggers. My club organised a mass marathon in 1980 in Chelmsley Wood. I ran my first marathon – the People’s Marathon – there in 1981. This is where I did most of my training for the Transplant Games.” (more…)

Leighton Morgan (left) gives back to the sport he loves.

The Big Help Out in your words

This year’s televised #BigHelpOut campaign inspired Leighton Morgan back into local boxing. He now helps out at Peterborough Police ABC, but there’s a lot more to Leighton’s story than that. Here it is, in his own words.

“I grew up in the South Wales valleys where amateur boxing was quite popular, along with rugby, of course. I had a number of contests and even became Welsh Boxing Federation Champion in 2000 while I was at university in Cardiff.

I moved to Bristol after graduating and decided to try professional boxing as a heavyweight, but only had five fights before coming to the conclusion that I couldn’t dedicate myself fully to the training required while also continuing with my day job as a marketing manager.


Fife star gymnastics

How volunteering solved an Enigma

Jennifer Mann knew there was the will for another gymnastics club in Fife. So she teamed up with her fellow volunteers to make it happen.

Four years ago Enigma Gymnastics Club, in Fife, was made up of just 13 teenage girls. Now the club boasts more than 200 members, both boys and girls, age 3-17. The growth and success of the club has been down to the hard work and dedication of volunteer Jennifer Mann. Jennifer hopes to inspire a new generation of young volunteers to continue this success and realise their sporting aspirations.

From ballet to gymnastics

Jennifer’s journey in gymnastics began aged just 6 years old when she swapped the ballet barre for the balance beam and joined her local gymnastics club, Kirkcaldy G.C. In her 30 years at the club, Jennifer took part as gymnast, assistant coach, class coach and, finally, as head coach. (more…)

Kids enjoying rugby
What are your funniest moments from your local club?

10 things only a rugby coach will understand

Everyone may be glued to the Six Nations at the moment, but community rugby clubs across the UK will still be out in full force this weekend (no doubt looking for the next Billy Vunipola or George North). Join In highlights the emotional rollercoaster that rugby coaches across the UK go through week in, week out.

I’m sure Eddie Jones can empathise with a few of these…

When you try to fit in with your U11s team…


Mara Yamauchi re-traces the path to marathon success/marimo images.

Mara and the long road

How many athletes grow up in Kenya, study at the University of Oxford, find a new name in Japan and finish second in the London Marathon? Mara Yamauchi told us her story.

It’s not often you see a sportsperson tweeting this way. Indeed, you’ll struggle to find many writers with such a vivid touch.

But Yamauchi wasn’t made the same way as other athletes. For years, she bounced in a bunch of the world’s best marathon runners, yet her route to the top was very different to the rest. (more…)

Afewee Boxing Club provides an outlet for young people in Brixton.

London riots inspire boxing club

11 August 2011. Thousands of young people rioted in London. But on that very day, the riots inspired legendary football coach Steadman Scott to give these young people something positive to focus on. So Steadman set up Afewee Boxing Club in Brixton.

Four years on from the London riots, Afewee Boxing club is going from strength to strength. Join In helped sport enthusiast Laurie Cooper to volunteer at Afewee. She talks about her experience and the club’s impact in Brixton, as does Head Coach Bobby Miltiadous.