On Wednesday 29th June 2016, 36 young sports leaders and their parents attended an ELITE Sports Leadership Academy Celebration Event at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, organised by Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport.
The event celebrated the achievements of young leaders in the Academy over the last year and welcomed the new intake of leaders who have recently been selected to join the programme.
The leaders were joined by Irish International and Leicestershire County Cricket Club player Niall O'Brien who spoke about how important volunteers have been in his career as a professional cricketer. The audience also heard from a club volunteer, parent and three ELITE leaders who talked about the impact of the Academy and how much their confidence and skills had developed through the training and opportunities on offer.
The countywide ELITE Sports Leadership Academy was launched in 2014 and aims to identify and bring together the most talented and committed young leaders aged 15-19 from across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland to develop, enhance and refine their skills by working alongside other young people and sports professionals.
Harry Taylor, who was involved in the first year of the ELITE Leadership Academy, has since gone on to find employment at a local primary school said: "Without the ELITE Leadership Academy, I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today. The Academy gave me numerous opportunities such as volunteering at the Rugby World Cup and the National School Games. The ELITE Leadership Academy enhanced my CV, got me offers at University and got me my dream job straight away.
The ELITE Leadership Academy gave me an insight into volunteering and different aspects of sport. My confidence and social skills improved dramatically. I wouldn't previously have been able to talk to over 3,000 people at the School Games or stand up in front of my school and talk in assembly."
25 young leaders have been selected to join the 2016/17 ELITE Sports Leadership Academy and will have access to bespoke training sessions over the next year. They will also be deployed to support the delivery of sport and physical activity at local schools, sports clubs and events.
Photographs from the evening can be viewing on our Facebook page.
More information: http://www.lrsport.org/volunteering