This is Kira, aged 17 years and a newly qualified Level 1 Football coach with the Community Projects team with PITC.
Kira first appeared on our community based weekly sports sessions in 2009, aged 8 years old on our weekly Girls football session. Kira quickly gained the attention of the coaches for her talent at playing football and enthusiasm as a young person for our sporting activities. Kira and her older brother Paddy quickly became regular participants at many of our weekly sessions at Bransbury Park.
Kira progressed her talent for football with many different avenues in the city including AFC Portchester U14’s and Pompey Ladies youth development team and established herself as a well-respected young sports ambassador within the local community and secondary schools.
What made you get involved in volunteering with PITC?
I started firstly taking part in the PITC sessions and activities since about 8 years old. I also have an older brother who participated as well but as we got older he started to volunteer on a disability session which inspired me to volunteer and help out with him as well. From the age of 14 I started volunteering and ever since then I just wanted to help out and volunteer on other sessions like girls football, tennis, rugby and the disability sessions.
By age 14, Kira was regularly volunteering on many of our sessions helping and supporting younger participants namely on Girls Football and the weekly No Limits Afterschool Club. This afterschool club provision was for young people aged 7-18 years old with learning disabilities and additional needs. Kira was a fantastic asset to this afterschool club, set a high standard for other volunteers to follow who were often older than her and provided outstanding support to the young people. Many of whom loved and looked forward to Kira being with them each week.
What is the best experience so far you have had volunteering?
The best experience I’ve had while volunteering has to be working with the disability afterschool club this is because I really enjoyed helping them enjoy playing sports and activities. I was able to work with various individuals all different ages and I felt it was a good experience and has definitely helped to benefit for my current coaching career. It also was the best experience because the kids said they looked up to me like a role model which made me feel very special and honoured since I was so young at the time.
In June 2015 aged 15 years old, Kira won runner up in the ‘Star of the Community’ category of the Portsmouth News Youth Awards 2015. Nominated by PITC and voted for by the public, we wanted to reward and acknowledge the very many hours she had contributed and given to local young people.
How has volunteering helped you in other areas, such as studying, training and gaining employment?
Volunteering has helped me in various ways and one of them is gaining employment as I now work for Pompey in the Community as a casual coach. It has helped me to work in an environment that I enjoy and provided me amazing opportunities for my future and career.
Kira is an approachable, modest and kind young person who has been a pleasure to watch and grow for staff these many years. Kira has always seized every opportunity she has been offered and grateful for all support and help offered by the coaches and is an outstanding role model for young females looking to get into sport.
Kira now balances studying Btec Level 3 Diploma in Performance and Excellence Elite Football at Portsmouth College, volunteers with the University of Portsmouth, works with PITC and training for her football team.
What are your future plans?
To make a career out of sports and football coaching and hopefully to develop more and to be able to coach on more sessions. Hopefully one day I would like to become a head coach with PITC once I finish college and do my level 2 in football coaching.