Q & A: Yash's Volunteer Story
The Yorkies are matchday volunteers who play a pivotal role in helping matchdays run smoothly and ensuring match goers get the support, guidance and help they need. From the train station to your seat, the Yorkies are there every step of the way to make sure the experience for all attendees is enjoyable and hassle free.
Each Yorkie has their own unique story – from why they joined to what they hope to achieve from volunteering.
This is the volunteering story of Yashvanth Raghu, 23, a Master’s student in Sports Event Management at Leeds Beckett University, who was keen to utilise his academic skills in an area he is truly passionate about – cricket.
Since joining our Yorkies team in May this year, Yash has shown true dedication and passion as a Yorkie and in just a month of volunteering he is now a volunteer assistant at YCF. This has opened him up to new opportunities he never thought possible, and he has even had the chance to meet a cricketing legend.
The chance to welcome the audience to the game in a way that they feel excited from start to finish felt like something I could help with – Yashvanth Raghu
Yash spoke about his volunteer story…
What inspired you to become a Yorkie?
The whole part of being a Yorkie is to get involved in the community, which is something I am passionate about, I wanted to give back. The chance to welcome the audience to the game in a way that they feel excited from start to finish felt like something I could help with.
A further inspiration was seeing the Yorkies before me. I admired their hard-work and enthusiasm and that was something I wanted to emulate. Anyone can become a Yorkie regardless of ethnicity, background or age – this inclusive nature made me feel confident when joining and was a big driving force behind me becoming a volunteer.
My inspiration hasn’t just come for my keen interest in volunteering but my passion for cricket. I love cricket, every matchday at home I would wake up early and watch from start to finish. Now, being a Yorkie, I get to watch the game from beginning to end in person and that is a whole experience in itself.
I do Sports Events Management at Leeds Beckett and wanted to direct the skills I have learnt there into real sporting events. Seeing the inclusivity of the Yorkie scheme mixed with my academic skills and love for the game made the decision to join a no-brainer.
What are some highlights and achievements you have had as a volunteer?
Being a Yorkie is a big achievement in itself. I feel proud to be a volunteer for the foundation, doing my bit. The fact that I can say I am making an active contribution towards the club and the local community is one of my biggest accomplishments yet.
A standout achievement of mine was the first test match I volunteered this summer against New Zealand. The test match was by far the biggest match I have volunteered in terms of, attendance, magnitude, and the general busyness of the day. It put the skills I have learnt and my patience to the test, and I am proud to say the test was a huge success for me and everything ran smoothly.
A personal highlight for me was at most recent test match at Headingley between England and New Zealand. I was standing at the gates helping people out – my usual duties. Before I know it, I saw ex Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara and had a chance to meet him, that was a great moment.
How has being a Yorkie benefitted you?
For most matchdays you will encounter up to a thousand people, because of this it has drastically improved my communication skills. Talking and helping with the amount of people I do has helped me grow in confidence and as person.
The experience and skills I have gained from my time being a Yorkie has been invaluable. The Yorkie scheme has taught me the inner workings of the YCF volunteer scheme which has set me up well for my new role as volunteer assistant with the important foundational knowledge I have.
If I did not become a Yorkie I certainly would not be in my current position as volunteer assistant at the foundation. It made me realise that the work I was doing as a Yorkie was something I would like to do more frequently, even as a job. I was lucky enough to know some people within the foundation and pushed hard to get a role and was successful – I am very proud to be recognised for my hard-work.