The Personal Best Arena was created as an extra event for our Shropshire Homes School Sport Summer 2019 Festival, as part of School Games to give more children across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin the opportunity to be involved in a School Games county final. The arena was focused on personal challenge and comprised of a series of mini challenges for the children to be involved in. We also wanted the arena to support sixth form students looking to develop their CV skills. The group were responsible for the organisation, delivery and management of the Personal Best Arena.

Why:    

We have struggled with engagement with our volunteer academy in the past year so decided to develop a pilot project to gain more insight around what we could do to enhance our volunteer programme.

We met with a group of local sixth form students who told us what they would like to gain from volunteering and what they would like a volunteer programme to look like. There was a focus on developing skills and experiences that would benefit their CVs and university applications. The group also talked about having ownership of an activity and being able to lead an activity.

“I would like to have something to talk about in my university application, something that will help me stand out.”

What:

After gaining an understanding of what the young volunteers wanted, we developed the Personal Best Arena idea so that it included volunteers organising and managing the activity. The Personal Best Arena was explained to our volunteer group and they started planning what it would involve and how it would work. The group decided what challenges would be in the arena, the certificate design, the score card design, and the timings and structure of the activity.

Personal best arena at school games 2019 Personal best arena at school games 2019

Outcomes:

The group really enjoyed managing the Personal Best Arena and valued the experience. They were responsible for helping get more than 100 children active and involved with School Games.

All of the volunteers said they were likely to volunteer again in the future.

“I enjoyed it, not just doing the leadership side of things but being able to manage it and organise it as well. I felt like we had a lot of control which really developed our organisational and teamwork skills and could be really useful.”