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Volleyball player scoops national volunteer award

The good will of a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) volleyball player to volunteer in local communities has been recognised by a national governing body.

Sarah Booth, a third year Criminology and Criminal Justice student and Health and Safety Officer for the DMU Dragons Volleyball Team, won the coveted Young Volunteer of the Year Award from Volleyball England after being nominated for her outstanding efforts by the DMU Sports Department.

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Sarah Booth (far right) has been given recognition for her volunteering by govering body Volleyball England

The award nominations, judged by a panel of committee members from Volleyball England across nine categories were presented at the Super 8’s National Finals on Saturday 1 April at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering.

Unfortunately, 21-year-old Sarah couldn’t attend the ceremony, but had this to say: “Its feel great to be recognised for my efforts.

“I volunteer my time for coaching and set up opportunities in Leicester because I enjoy what I do and enjoy working with the people I coach.

“I try as much as I can to create more and more opportunities for people to be involved with volleyball and it’s nice to have those efforts recognised by someone else.”

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Sarah’s volunteer work has seen her coach internally with the DMU Dragons Mixed Volleyball team, but also coach local teams: the Loughborough Panthers and Leicester Athena.

The latter she helped set up with the coach whilst balancing her studies with playing for DMU Women’s Team and captaining the Regional League team at Leicester Athena.

Working with Sports Project Officer at DMU, Jake Betts, Sarah has also helped two students complete their Level 1 coaching course as well as set up a refereeing course that DMU is hosting in May in which sixteen club members will learn how to referee BUCS fixtures.

Jake said: “Sarah is in her final year at DMU and has been ‘Miss Volleyball’ during her time here.

“In her position as Higher Education Volleyball Officer (HEVO), Sarah has coached sessions for beginners, umpired matches, hosted a ultra-violet Tournament for charity and has entered a team into the Local Leicestershire Volleyball League.

“Sarah is an excellent role model to all students at DMU and deserves the accolades for Volunteer of the Year.”

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Sarah in action for the DMU Dragons Women's Volleyball team in Varsity at Leicester Arena last month

Sarah narrowly missed out on a Varsity win with the DMU Women’s Volleyball team at Leicester Arena in March, but helped the side to a respectable fourth place finish in British University and College Sports (BUCS) Division 2A.

Speaking about how she feels this season has gone, Sarah said: “All three teams in our club have developed a lot over the past year, especially with the help of our coaches.

“The players in the teams have all developed a lot and this year in particular our men’s team have done fantastically well, winning their Varsity for the first time and coming close to winning their BUCS league, coming second only by match points difference.”

Sarah will graduate this summer and begin a job as a full-time Custodial Officer at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in Rugby working with juvenile offenders, but her award-winning work and influence at DMU will definitely be missed by all who had the pleasure of working with her.

Posted on Friday 7th April 2017

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