Volunteering pays off for Branagan
Back in November 2009 Hull FC community coach Courtney Branagan was on job seekers allowance and desperate to find appropriate employment before a volunteering placement in Rugby League changed his life around.
Finding it hard to get employment opportunities within his chosen field of sport Courtney signed up to a government scheme which offered opportunities and skills that could benefit his employability levels.
In June 2010 Courtney was sent to city works via the job centre, who had agreed funding for four people to work with Hull FC in a voluntary capacity for six months.
To obtain this placement Courtney successfully passed two interviews, one with the agency and the other with Hull FC Community Director Jon Flatman and began a six month placement with Hull FC the following week.
Like many volunteers Courtney faced numerous challenges. Before his placement he had no experience in Rugby League so it was a learning curve from the start especially when coaching.
Courtney Branagan said: “I quickly came to realise I had a lot to learn and was far behind the other two who were higher in the pecking order should a job become available at the end of the contract.
“I pushed myself to get involved in Rugby League more within work time e.g. watching training sessions, past matches of Super League and also taking my own sessions to school children in Year 4.
“I also did some background research and out of hours work such as going to watch amateur games on a week nights and weekends, the Hull FC scholarship training and also taking the time to take my Level 2 Coaching Course in Rugby League.
“At the end of my six month contract it came about that one of the other volunteers had got offered an opportunity to work for Hull FC.
“To increase my employability levels once my contract finished, I carried on as a volunteer for 5 months to keep my foot in the door and kept myself available if any opportunities came up.”
This paid off, as in May 2011 Courtney was offered a contract to work as a community coach for Hull FC, demonstrating the opportunities which can present themselves to Rugby League volunteers.
To learn more about volunteering in Rugby League visit http://www.therfl.co.uk/volunteer