Over the course of the next few months we are planning to bring you excerpts of a ‘Diary of a Season’, as told by the Wolves Foundation!
We are keeping in regular touch with four separate diarists with a connection to the Foundation, a mixture of staff and participants, to catch up with how they are doing and their contacts with Wolves’ official charity.
Today we have Kurran Kullar, currently in his second year on the Foundation’s degree course which is run in conjunction with the University of South Wales.
So I’m Kurran, a fairly normal (I like to think!) 21-year-old lad, from Dudley, but just moved to Wolverhampton to help with travelling for the Foundation’s degree course.
When we are allowed to travel of course!
I like all the normal sort of stuff that a lot of 21-year-olds like - going out, meeting friends, playing FIFA on the Playstation.
Obviously the going out bit has struggled a bit lately, although all eight of us on the course did manage to meet up in the summer, away from the zoom calls and online lectures.
I also have a bit of a confession to make as well.
I am a West Bromwich Albion fan who used to go home and away before the lockdown.
Probably not the best thing to admit but it shows how welcoming Wolves Foundation are doesn’t it?
It has been so long since we last played each other, and I fear I might be crying my eyes out when we eventually do!
Anyway, how did I get involved with Wolves Foundation and the degree course?
My story is a bit different I suppose.
I did my GCSEs at the Ace Academy in Tipton, now called the Q3 Academy, and did a year studying at Sixth Form before deciding it wasn’t really for me.
I think since doing my GCSEs I had always wanted to get involved in some form of sports coaching, and I completed some Youth Development courses when I was around 16 or 17.
I was then working at The Way Youth Zone, and the PL Kicks team from the Foundation were coming in to help us deliver sessions to the young people there.
One of the staff recommended the Foundation’s degree programme to me, and said if I wanted to become a coach it would be the perfect course. I am now into my second year, and it has gone really well so far.
The course teaches you everything there is to know about becoming a coach, what it is going to be like and all the challenges involved, and sets you up for what you are trying to achieve.
Obviously the first year was different in itself as when Covid arrived things had to change.
It all turned to online, with meetings over Zoom calls, and it was strange because when you are learning to become a coach you want to be out there working on the grass as much as possible.
Instead we were looking at screens all day and trying to figure out what we would be doing if we were able to be outside, taking sessions.
It was frustrating but at the same time I think it was another part of the learning process as just another experience we have to go through to get where we want to be.
I had to learn how to adapt to a new situation and come to terms with what was happening – it’s a bump in the road but I still have to take the benefits from that and be flexible to deal with change which can always happen in work and in life.
I must also way that the support we have had from staff on the course has been amazing.
As soon as we went into lockdown, they have been ringing us, making sure we have been o-k and aren’t going through anything bad - it really has been fantastic.
As part of the course you also carry out some hours on a placement picking up real experience within the Foundation which last year for me was Kicks, and this year is in health.
I have been working on the Head 4 Health project which is one which targets males over the age 18 across Wolverhampton who may be suffering from anxiety, depression or any issues to do with their mental health.
For some it may just be dealing with problems associated with loneliness, which can be particularly serious during times such as lockdown.
When we were able to, this involved having Walk & Talk sessions in West Park where people can meet up and get together and get things off their chest if they need to talk.
When restrictions mean that we can’t do this, then it becomes a case of keeping in touch in other ways such as the Zoom calls, just helping them out in any way that we can.
I did also have to undergo an eye operation just before the second lockdown.
I am recovering from that now and I should be fit and ready to coach again come the New Year. Fingers crossed!
Looking further ahead I am still pretty open about what the future might hold.
I want to coach, definitely that is the long term ambition, but I am also interested in perhaps getting involved in youth work involving health, and that is why I am particularly enjoying this year’s placement.
Well thanks for reading, and I look forward to providing more updates over the coming months. And please go easy on me about the Albion thing!!!