Megan Higgins has been part of the Triathlon England Youth Forum since it began in 2018 and this has helped her in securing a job as a Sports Development Officer at Sefton Council.
The youth forum advises Triathlon England on how best to engage with young people to meet their needs within swim, bike, run, and wider physical activity. The forum plays a crucial role in deepening the involvement of young people in making decisions that affect their future in the sport.
“I remember seeing the advert for the role and thinking it was the perfect volunteer opportunity,” Higgins commented.
“I’d been wanting to have a sport specific volunteer role for a while and the fact that this one was linked to an NGB made it even more appealing. I think the best thing that I’ve taken away from being on the youth forum so far is a huge increase in my confidence.
“Being on the youth forum has actually helped me to start up my own small business. In January this year I started up a physical activity and sport psychology business called ‘Psyched Up’ and to sum up, we combine psychology interventions into physical sessions.”
Triathlon England is currently recruiting new members aged 14-25 years old for the forum on a two-year, voluntary basis to help shape strategies and activities for children and young people moving forwards.
Applicants will need to send a short, two-minute video introducing themselves and why they’d like to be part of the forum. Videos should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org before Sunday 26 September.
Higgins has now earned a job as a Sports Development Officer with Sefton Council to work within the local community delivering programmes and initiatives, with the experiences she’s had and skills she’s learned as part of the youth forum helping her to get it.
“The youth forum really did help me to secure a job like this,” she said. “Having something like that on my CV and on job applications makes you stand out from the crowd, as it’s something different that not a lot of other people can say they have.
“Working with an NGB is a great experience because doing events and taking up networking opportunities gives you a different kind of experience where you’re learning on the job and seeing how an organisation like that operates. It’s a completely different insight to what volunteers usually get.
“On the youth forum, we were guided by experienced staff members on how to set up and plan events. But the difference was that they didn’t take over and lead us as a group of volunteers. They allowed us to come up with our own ideas and plans and they had discussions with us, as if we were staff members at the same level as them.”
Reflecting on her time as part of the youth forum Higgins said: “I would say to someone who’s thinking of applying to absolutely just go for it.
“I actually almost didn’t apply as I felt like it was too far out of my comfort zone and it was too far away being based in Loughborough. But as soon as I got there and I met the people there, I immediately felt at ease and knew this would be an opportunity I’d regret not taking.
“If you’re wanting to be involved in sport in any capacity, it doesn’t just have to be triathlon specific, then please apply and just see what you can get out of it. It’s definitely surprised me with the opportunities it’s presented.”
“Within that team you’ll have your chance to shine and stand out and you just have to put your ideas out there and work together. That’s what makes the youth forum so great, it’s one big team.”
For more information about the Triathlon England Youth Forum and how to apply, click on the button below.