'Shining light' of volunteering honoured by Community Games

York St John Multi-sports Club volunteer Jack Bennett, left, with department boss Martin Bond

York St John Multi-sports Club volunteer Jack Bennett, left, with department boss Martin Bond

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A YOUNG athlete who has become a golden boy of volunteering has measured up in a national scheme to reward the Olympic spirit.

York St John University student Jack Bennett, 21, masterminds the the Multi-sports Club run on campus every Saturday for people with learning difficulties.

He is one of the "shining lights" of volunteering honoured by the Community Games programme to build on the legacy of the London 2012.

Jack, who is studying Sports Science and Exercise Practice at York, was aged ten when he started coaching younger children in tag rugby at his primary school in Berkshire.

He said: “I came to university and found the York St John

Multi-sports Club,.

"I was hooked from the beginning and loved waking up every Saturday morning to put on my uniform and be a part of the sessions."

The highlight of his volunteering journey was last summer. "I went to Zambia to teach tag rugby. This was a massive eye opener and made you appreciate everything you had," he added.

“I can't explain how rewarding volunteering is. So why not give it a go?”

Jack works with students and members of the local community with various disabilities.

He recently organised a 24-hour baton relay, which raised £375 for York SNAPPY (Special Needs Activities and Play Provision).

Jack also volunteers with the RFU and the Sports Special Partnership, and helped out at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

He hopes to volunteer at next year’s Rugby World Cup which will be held at venues across England and Wales.

His deparment boss at York St John Active, Martin Bond, said: “It is an absolute pleasure working with Jack.

"His drive, passion, energy and enthusiasm is a shining example for aspiring volunteers.

"This is an excellent accolade and is fully deserved.”

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