Volunteering with Ulster Rugby | Emily Millar

Volunteering with Ulster Rugby | Emily Millar

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To mark International Volunteer Day, we spoke to Emily Millar about her experience as a young volunteer with Ulster Rugby and her club, Malone RFC.

"I've been volunteering for Ulster Rugby for about four years, but I've been volunteering with Malone RFC for longer than that, since about 2015.

"I am currently the Team Manager for the Deloitte Ulster Senior Women's team, as well as being a volunteer on match nights, so I help co-ordinate the half-time Minis' matches. I also volunteer throughout the year at different rugby summer camps, at summer tournaments and primary blitzes.

"I've also been involved with the Ulster Rugby Youth Forum for a few years, which is now the Young Persons' Advisory Group. Through that, I got involved with the Department for Communities' "Sport - A home for lifelong volunteering" programme, which has given me access to cross-community opportunities with the Ulster GAA and the IFA, working with young volunteers who are similar to me and interested in getting involved in their sport in a different way.

"I got the role of Team Manager as I had been volunteering for Ulster Rugby for a few years and had been doing half-time Mini matches with Neill Alcorn, the Head Coach of the Ulster Women's team. He contacted me in May and asked if it would be a role I was interested in, as he knew that I was Team Manager for Malone Women's team, and he knew it was a role I was used to and it would be something I would be interested in.

"The skills you need for that type of role would be mainly communication. There's a lot of liaising with a lot of different staff members from Ulster and the IRFU. A lot of patience is needed, team-work skills and collaboration, and being approachable and friendly with both players and staff who I'm working with.

"I got into volunteering as I started as a player for Malone and unfortunately got injured. My coach encouraged me to get involved in the sport in a different way, so I started coaching the U12s and moved my way through U14s up to U18s and then got the role of Team Manager for their senior women's team and I've been there ever since.

"I get so much out of volunteering. I get to meet so many people who are like-minded and who just have a passion for their sport. It allows me to see behind the scenes and work with people of all different levels in the sport, especially working with the IRFU and Ulster Rugby this year. It also encouraged me to love the game even more.

"I would definitely encourage more young people to get involved in volunteering. It gives you so many different opportunities. As well as playing the game, there are so many different aspects to rugby and so many different important roles that are needed to make rugby work every weekend, which is brilliant. It is so enjoyable and you can learn so my different skills."

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