In an overview of her Bronze Duke of Ed Award, Rachel Manderson gives back to the sport she loves and ignites the fire for other young people.
To complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award you have to commit to Physical Recreation, a Skill, and Adventurous Journey and community Service.
I chose hockey as my sport; I was already playing copious amounts of hockey and felt that it would be easy to complete 6 months of a hour of activity a week. I completed the hours and achieved my goal of improving not only my individual skills but my overall team play.
Given how much hockey I play, it made sense that my community service centred around it. The idea was to enjoy doing this and what better way than giving back to the sport I love. I took up coaching – the Year 7s at Warrnambool College as well as an U14s team in the local competition.
My aim was to get more juniors involved in hockey and as passionate about it as I am. It was definitely a challenge; trying to figure out what to teach, how to teach, and most importantly, making it enjoyable and beneficial to the players.
The skill I chose to pursue was football boundary umpiring. I had to start with the basics as I knew barely any rules and next to nothing about the game. Gradually, my goals were met as I learnt what to signal and when to do it. For me, the skill was in gaining sufficient fitness to run out the game, learning enough rules to enforce them as well as the various positioning elements and ball work involved.
For our Adventurous Journey, our first hike was…interesting. Heavy backpacks, wet tents and snow. My group might say it was pretty but the truth was – it was wet and cold. We trudged along and enjoyed every bit and most importantly, we got to the end.
By the time out test hike came up we were all very keen to get going. This time we walked without teachers, only meeting them at various checkpoints along the way. We were lost before we even started walking, but with a MASSIVE team effort we actually made it. We had a great time walking through the bush but we were glad to get home for a shower.
Overall, I think we learnt a lot from the experiences and had an amazing time!