BLOG: Lauren's Wicketz Placement Journey
Lauren originally started working with the YCF on a voluntary basis to complete a 150 hour placement for her University studies. Since then, she’s decided to carry on working with the YCF on a new project we have running called Wicketz.
I’m currently a student in my second year studying Sports Development at Leeds Beckett University.
One of my modules ‘employability in sport and recreation’ required us to complete a minimum of 150 volunteer-based work placement anywhere of our choice, related to sport. I found out about Wicketz through one of my course tutors and then contacted Ben, YCF’s Wicketz Development Officer. I created myself some smart targets that I wanted to achieve before I left placement and following this I created a placement work programme with Ben to ensure I would have different opportunities to be able to achieve smart targets.
What I have done and learnt
I’ve loved helping out with the Wicketz project. I’ve been helping out with the development side of the project, by networking, going to school presentations and generally promoting the project by sparking an interest for children that might want to attend the sessions. I have also produced weekly sessions for each different Wicketz hub.
I have attended and coached Wicketz sessions; it’s been great to see the participants develop over the first few weeks, with not just their cricket skills, but also developing as individuals and seeing friendships form. Each group have learned a lot about working together as a team.
New Challenges and experiences
I have never stood in front of a hall full of primary school children and presented on something I am new to, so that was a scary task but also very beneficial to helping me develop my self-confidence. Putting yourself in these situations and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone by trying something new is a great way to learn.
I’ve also never gone out on my own to promote anything. I spent the whole day, with the helping hand of a 3rd year doing his MIS, in Bradford going to two community groups and two secondary schools to promote Wicketz. I have never gone to places on my own to inform people about a project that is going on. It was a successful day talking to people and it aided the promotion of the project.
I also faced the challenge of planning and developing sessions, I found it more difficult to plan sessions as the weeks went on because it was difficult to differentiate, as some activities were too easy for some and too hard for others, so getting the balance right for everyone was a good challenge. Actually delivering the sessions was also challenging because it helped me enhance my coaching skills.
My personal development and what I have achieved on my placement
I achieved a lot whilst being on placement with Wicketz and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and I have developed myself as an individual.
Being in an office environment, shadowing coaches and being given responsibility of my own workload has allowed my to constantly challenge myself and learn new skills.I think the biggest thing I have improved is my confidence and also belief in my own work ability.
The whole experience of my Wicketz placement couldn’t have been any better, it is great working in an environment where everyone gets on so well as a team and getting the support from everyone has been fantastic.
I’ve had the opportunity to help out on other projects within the foundation and have been put on some courses, which has aided in my personal development. I plan to continue working with Ben on the Wicketz project and also help out with the foundation on their other projects.
Click here to find out more about Wicketz or contact Ben.Fraser@yorkshireccc.com
To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, visit the News section of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation website or contact Beth.Cook@yorkshirecricketfoundation.com.