Young Ambassadors Ella and Ed receiving their 10 hour volunteering certificate from coach Nathan Downes, alongside some of the young players they work with.

Young Ambassador Programme proves successful for Wensum

Gemma Parry

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Please note - this news article was published more than two years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Wensum Table Tennis Club, like many clubs, have struggled to find volunteers, especially young volunteers. When the Table Tennis Young Ambassadors scheme was launched, it provided an opportunity to engage a new generation of volunteers.

Wensum Table Tennis Club had two Young Ambassadors who really took it in their stride to get involved,

Club coach, Mark Dare, said: “We had two Young Ambassadors who really took it in their stride to get involved and have been a great help.

“They’ve been working under the guidance of qualified coaches to help the younger players develop, and they have become very popular figures at the sessions.

“The session has a number of young female players, and our ambassador Ella has become a role model for the girls.”

Through the Young Ambassador Programme, ambassadors can earn bursaries towards coaching qualifications. Both have achieved this at Wensum, with Ed currently working towards completing his Level 1, and Ella waiting to be old enough.

Speaking about her experience as a young volunteer and her continued involved in Wensusm, Ella said: “As a young volunteer in the programme, I help to plan sessions and execute them by setting up the equipment needed, carrying out warm-ups and stretches, doing demonstrations, giving advice to players and encouraging them, and finally packing everything away when finished.

“I also take part in events including structuring the Wensum Awards, which is an event that is celebrated each year for players who have completed outstanding achievements and overcome incredible milestones in the last season.

“All of the events and coaching I take part in are enjoyable as the tasks are not only beneficial to help with teamwork and organisational skills, but seeing the entire group develop is rewarding in itself as no doubt if they continue to work hard, they will all achieve their goals.”

She also spoke about how the programme helped her gain useful skills.

“This experience has helped me to gain an extra skills to help with my application for college.

“As a Table Tennis Young Ambassador, hard work, passion and enthusiasm are just a few of the many qualities needed to take on this role.

“If any young person is thinking of trying a volunteering aspect, this is an extraordinary opportunity that can help give something back to the community.”

Wensum Table Tennis Club believes the Young Ambassadors scheme is an important way to develop future volunteers, and will look to introduce more young people to the scheme in future.

Colette Gooding, Development and Volunteering Officer at Table Tennis England, said: “It’s great to see the scheme has been successful and that we are engaging younger volunteers who are passionate about the sport.”

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