Whoever you support in the Premier, make the team


Here is a chance for Salut! Sunderland readers to get themselves, or younger relatives/acquaintances, involved in an project that could see them coaching kids, running teams for youngsters with learning disabilities … and maybe getting free Premier tickets from a prize draw. The Sky Sports commentators Chris Kamara – seen in the clip – Martin Taylor and Andy Gray, along with football figures such as Kieran Gibbs, Stuart Pearce and David Seaman, have given their blessing to the idea. Read on …


Almost every week
, Salut! Sunderland is asked to plug something. The list ranges from football-related social networking sites to betting organisations.

If there is clear mutual benefit, which often there is not, no objection is raised here.

And when charities and other good causes – the Billingham SAFC fans’ sponsored walks are a great example – come calling, we’re pretty much an open door provided there is some relevance to what this site is about.

Step forward William Benn, a voluntary marketing assistant who has been busy promoting the “Make the Team” campaign, organised by v, the National Young Volunteers Service.

The idea is to help 16-25 year olds volunteer and gain recognition for what they do through the vinspired awards scheme.

Vinspired? What’s that, you may be asking. Well William explains: vinspired.com is a NYVS project whose site attracts 90,000+ visits per month and which has provided more than 900,000 new youth volunteering opportunities in England. I wish they wouldn’t call themselves v, which looks awful when written down as the name of an organisation, but that is no reason to fall out with them.

Back to William, and allowing him his v:

v’s new national campaign, Make the Team, hopes to harness the passion and enthusiasm that young people have for football and their favourite club to encourage young football fans to volunteer in their local community.

In addition to helping communities volunteers will also benefit from the work they do. There are a wide range of opportunities covering a broad spectrum of interests and any work completed can help to develop their skills and enhance their CV. In some cases volunteering may also lead to other opportunities – such as the chance to complete the FA level 1 coaching badge – and new opportunities are being added all the time.

Examples of volunteering opportunities include:

• Coaching young children
• Stewarding at local matches
• Helping to run football groups for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems
• Delivering footballs to children in Africa
• Promoting Make the Team online

The “Make the Team” folk are no mugs. They know people like incentives and accordingly offer volunteers a chance to win tickets to see Premier League clubs.

This is the procedure for signing up – and trying your luck:

1 Go to http://vinspired.com
2 Sign up (it’s free)
3 Go to http://vinspired.com/make-the-team, select ‘click here’ and then ‘I’d like to do this’
4 Select your favourite Premier League club and state male/female
5 Volunteer for one of the opportunities on offer
6 Upload a photo of yourself volunteering for the chance to win tickets to see Premier League clubs

The two prize draws take place on Dec 1 – so get cracking – and Feb 1. The opportunity to enter the prize draws will end on Jan 31.

Monsieur Salut

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