A sport volunteer from Aberdeen has earned praise for his commitment and dedication to supporting additional support schools and their pupils.
Sport Aberdeen volunteer Alex Soaris has given up well over 1,000 hours using sport to inspire others. His work is having a massive impact and is credited with helping to shape the future for additional support schools in the area.
@sportscotland— Sport Aberdeen (@Sportaberdeen) November 2, 2020
Q3. How can an inclusive approach encourage more people to experience the benefits of volunteering?
Read more about Alex achievement 👇https://t.co/xCkmbG3WKj pic.twitter.com/3mwyrJu18N
He was recognised for his role with Sport Aberdeen’s Active Schools programme in August 2020 when he was named as a finalist in the Outstanding Volunteer category at the 2020 Community Leisure UK Awards.
A former pupil at Orchard Brae School, Alex started as a lunchtime helper before progressing and then successfully going through the coach recruitment process.
He secured a role as a holiday camp leader with Sport Aberdeen, the first pupil from an additional support needs (ASN) school to take on a coaching role with the charity. Alex also helped Sport Aberdeen develop an ASN programme which has created new and exciting pathways into participation and future employment
Now his work with the pupils at Orchard Brae has been recognised by sportscotland. Chief executive Stewart Harris said: “Across Scotland thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to afford others the chance to take part in sport, and experience all the benefits that come with sport participation.
“Alex’s commitment and dedication to helping others is inspirational and the impact his work with the Sport Aberdeen Active Schools programme has had on the pupils at Orchard Brae is immeasurable.
“People like Alex are the bedrock of Scottish sport and I’d like to thank him on behalf of sportscotland for everything he is doing, and I look forward to seeing how his career in sport progresses.”
Alex commented: “I was very proud to be chosen as a finalist for the CLUK award and now to be recognised by sportscotland.
"The support that everyone at Sport Aberdeen has given me has allowed me to become more confident with my leadership skills and specifically my coaching with young children.
"I hope to be able to continue to improve my coaching and give more opportunities for children to be active.”
Graeme Dale, Sport Aberdeen head of sport and active communities, said: “Alex is a trailblazer, not only due to his volunteering but also in helping us develop an additional support needs programme which has created new and exciting pathways into participation and future employment.
"His hard work, dedication and enthusiasm has allowed him to overcome barriers and excel in this role.
“For the pupils of Orchard Brae Alex is a fantastic role model. His energy and enthusiasm have helped to shape the clubs, encouraging the children and their families to return again and again.
“Being recognised by sportscotland is something Alex can be very proud of and I hope this will encourage more people to take up volunteering and see where it can take them.”
Introducing COV Champions
We couldn’t let the current restrictions stop us from recognising the great work that coaches, officials and volunteers have done over the past year, and that’s why we are committed to celebrating as many COV Champions as we can. Maybe you know someone who has gone above and beyond to help keep people connected to sport in these challenging times?
To do this, please get involved in the #COVChampions campaign. Tell us all about the outstanding achievements by coaches, officials and volunteers you have seen this year. They can be any age, from any sport, or in any local area.
Perhaps someone close to you has kept you active during the pandemic? Or promoted an inclusive and welcoming sporting environment? Let us know!
How to get involved
The campaign will be active throughout November with the hashtag #COVChampions and getting involved is easy. Just follow the steps below:
- Choose a coach, official or volunteer that you feel deserves a little recognition for their work this year
- On social media, tell us about their work and why it has been important to you or others
- Remember to include a photo or a link for more information where possible
- Don’t forget to use the hashtag #COVChampions and tag @sportscotland.
Find out more
If you need any more advice or have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the sportscotland communications team.