Volunteer Profile : Rai

In today’s volunteer spotlight for National Volunteer Week, meet PCYC Ipswich Squash Coach Volunteer Rai!

An outstanding commitment of time and effort put into PCYC Ipswich Squash Clinic. Rai volunteers many hours a week for the Squash clinic, not only does he teach the necessary skills required to partake in the sport, but he Mentors them to become strong and well-equipped young people.

Rai Sinclair - National Volunteer Week 2024 PCYC Queensland

Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and how did you hear about the volunteering role at PCYC Queensland?

I’m retired, 75 years old, married with three children and five grandchildren. Worked in the coal industry. My interests include gardening, music, and squash. During my younger days, I was quite active, engaging in sports like basketball, cross-country running, and, also, a bit of squash. I also pursued my love for music by playing bass guitar and singing in various bands. It wasn’t until 2007 that I rediscovered my passion for squash and resumed playing.

What inspired you to become a volunteer at PCYC Queensland?

My involvement with PCYC Ipswich began as a gym member and then participating in evening squash. I realised there was a gap in coaching squash. I approached PCYC Ipswich, and in 2017, we began discussions to address this need. The inspiration came from a desire to use my skills and experience. I saw an opportunity to fill a void in coaching squash, especially for juniors and seniors, and felt compelled to contribute to bridging this gap.

What motivated you to choose PCYC Queensland for volunteering?

As an existing member of PCYC Ipswich, the decision to volunteer with PCYC Queensland was because I saw a need and an opportunity to contribute.

Can you describe your role as a volunteer and the activities you’re involved in?

My role as a volunteer revolves around teaching squash. Since 2018, I’ve been conducting Squash Clinics on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons. These sessions cater to both children and adults, developing their skills and hopefully a passion for the sport.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at PCYC Queensland?

The most rewarding aspect of volunteering at PCYC Queensland is witnessing the growth and development of individuals, both personally and athletically. Building connections, fostering camaraderie, and seeing the joy on the faces of those I teach is an immensely fulfilling experience.

Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your volunteer work?

A. There have been many memorable moments throughout my volunteer journey. Recently, when my students were competing in a tournament, they gave their best performance ever. Seeing their progress filled me with immense pride to be sharing their “squash journey.”  Another experience that stands out is witnessing a special needs child learn to hit the squash ball continuously. The sheer delight and sense of achievement displayed by the child brought tears to my eyes. A moment I treasure.

How has volunteering at PCYC Queensland impacted you personally?

Volunteering at PCYC Queensland has been an enriching experience for me. It has allowed me to stay connected with the community, use my skills productively, and find purpose in retirement. The relationships made and the positive impact on individuals’ lives have been invaluable.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience as a volunteer?

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve as a volunteer with PCYC Queensland. It’s been a privilege to be part of an organisation that values community and growth at both individual and collective levels. The refresher courses we receive are helpful and supportive and I look forward to continuing this journey of service.

Inspired by Rai’s story? You too can make a difference! We’re always looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join our volunteer team.

Find out more information about PCYC Ipswich and how to get involved with your local PCYC Queensland club today!