PhD, Associate Professor L.A. Parfenova1
1Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kazan
Keywords: volunteer sport service, pupils with health limitations, volunteers, adaptive physical education, professional competences.
Background. The national physical education and sport universities strive to meet the growing social demand for the skilled and knowledgeable physical education and sport specialists for communal progress initiatives and solutions in the modern open, diverse, dynamic and uncertain environments. With this purpose in mind, the traditional academic education models are increasingly complemented by modern self-reliant off-class professional training models including a variety of special volunteer services. Such volunteer service experience is known to facilitate the personality socializing process by its focus on every key social quality for the professional service success . Physical education and sport university students volunteering for different social projects are given a great opportunity to acquire new knowledge, skills and professional competences critical for success in their future professional careers, with the physical education and sport universities widely recognizing benefits of the volunteer service viewed nowadays as one of the key constituents of the modern academic education process.
Shortage of a high-quality human resource for the adaptive physical education system in the Tatarstan Republic urges the republican education authorities to advance the volunteer service component in the academic Adaptive Physical Education curriculum. The above issues were addressed in the new project (that won the Russian Contest of Academic Projects by the national universities under the auspices of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs) geared to encourage the physical education and sport university students’ commitment for teaching, refereeing, coaching, athletic and volunteer service activity, including the volunteer service to people with health limitations.
Objective of the study was to offer a physical education and sport volunteer service model for the physical education and sport university students to facilitate their personality growth and academic progress.
Study findings and discussion. The physical education and sport volunteer service is interpreted herein as the practical multisided help by the student volunteers to the young people with health disorders, with the service geared to establish progress-facilitating inclusive physical education and sport environments for them. The physical education and sport volunteer service model of our design implies a sequence of logical steps or stages to attain the desired goal i.e. an algorithm of successive pursposeful operations categorized into the relevant components.
The first stage of the model (tested by the ongoing project) implies due motivation and selection of students for the physical education and sport volunteer service by the following actions: advocacy group meetings; thematic workshops with handout materials; social networking campaigns to involve friends and acquaintances into the project activity; familiarization with the volunteer service via mass physical education and sport events; public awareness materials including posters and stands; practical probation services to the interested students etc. Candidates for the physical education and sport volunteer service have been found via special opinion polls, discussions, surveys, interviews, tests and questionnaire forms.
In the next stage of the model implementing project, we have trained the selected candidate volunteers’ group to give them necessary background knowledge, skills and competences at a Volunteer School course. The training curriculum is designed to help them master the following: physical education and sport volunteer service basics; most efficient modern physical education and sport service project formats for children with health limitations; mass physical education and sport events for people with health limitations; progress tests of the people with health limitations/ disabilities and the communication ethics/ code. The Volunteer School graduates are offered individual long-term volunteer service programs to complement the services provided by the Sport Express system of education establishments for children with health limitations. Services of the beginner physical education and sport volunteers to the Sport Express programs are supervised and assisted by the volunteer team leaders (having the necessary management qualities and practical service experiences) and the relevant university supervisors.
Practical experience showed that the physical education and sport volunteer service is most efficient and effective when designed and managed to prioritize the following methods : social visiting services to the boarding schools; individual education service to the children and adolescents with health limitations, with an emphasis on the intellectual development aspects, events and sessions; mass sport and cultural events and celebrations; and inclusive leisure-time service to secure progress of the children and adolescents with health limitations.
The final stage of the physical education and sport volunteer service model implies analyses of the project accomlishments together with the university experts/ academicians to weight benefits and drawbacks of the practical project experience for further progress, including benefits for the future professional careers. The analytical and reflective process is viewed as critical for the new competences and experiences being thought out and put in system. Such reflective process may by facilitated by a wide variety of tools including daybooks, focus group meetings, round-table discussions, role games, dialogues and special experience-sharing reports.
The above described physical education and sport volunteer service model helped us recruit for the volunteer service projects 218 students of Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism majoring in the adaptive and regular physical education service; plus 23 senior school students from Kazan city hoping to enter the Academy.
The would-be student volunteers were surveyed to analyze their drivers and motivations for the physical education and sport volunteer service. The questioning survey found 32.1% (70 people out of 218) of the candidate sample being uncertain if they are prepared for 2+ times-a-week volunteer service, with the rest of the sample being clearly positive, and nobody negative. The candidate sample motivations for the service were the following: ‘greeting letters’ mentioned by 29.8% (n=65) of the sample; ‘teachers’ appreciation’ mentioned by 13.8% (n=30); ‘stipend benefits’ mentioned by 31.6% (n=69); and immaterial/ altruistic benefits mentioned by 24.8% (n=54) of the sample.
A physical education and sport volunteer service motivations ranking analyses  put altruistic motivations on top of the motivations list; followed by the personality development and self-fulfillment agenda in the second and third places; ranked fourth was the communication need; fifth the social responsibility; and sixth the leisure time management agenda. Upon completion of the ongoing physical education and sport volunteer service project, we will probe once again the student volunteers’ motivations for the service by a final questionnaire survey.
Conclusion. The physical education and sport volunteer service project activity has helped develop a network of mobile volunteer groups united in the Volunteer Center by their joint mission – that is to effectively serve the children with health limitations to facilitate their inclusion in the national physical education and sports on equal terms with their healthy peers. It should be emphasized that the physical education and sport university students’ volunteer sport service offers a unique opportunity for their personality progress, management skills mastering and the social and life experience accumulation goals to contribute to their socializing and professional growth process.
- Parfenova L.A., Timoshina I.N. Integratsiya lits s ogranichennymi vozmozhnostyami zdorovya v sotsiokulturnoe prostranstvo sredstvami fizkulturno-sportivnoy deyatelnosti [Integration of persons with impairments into socio-cultural space via physical education and sports activities]. Pedagogiko-psikhologicheskie i mediko-biologicheskie problemy fizicheskoy kultury i sporta, 2014, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 110-113.
- Parfenova L.A., Glazkova G.B., Makarova E.V. Soderzhanie i organizatsiya fizicheskogo vospitaniya mladshikh shkolknikov spetsialknoy meditsinskoy gruppy [Content and organization of physical education of primary pupils of special health group]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2016, no. 10, pp. 24-26
- Faizullin I.F. Vospitatelny potentsial volonterskoy deyatelnosti na krupnykh sportivnykh meropriyatiyakh [Educational potential of volunteering at major sporting events]. Sovremennye problemy nauki i obrazovaniya, 2017, no. 4; Available at: http://www.science-education.ru/article/view?id=26698
- Faizullin I.F. Motivy volonterskoy deyatelnosti na sportivnykh meropriyatiyakh [Motives for volunteering at sporting events]. Fundamentalnye issledovaniya, 2015, no 2-7, pp. 1499-1503.
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
As reported by the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan Republic and our own studies, presently the inclusive school physical education and sport services to pupils with health limitations are still very limited due to the shortage of professional physical education and sport trainers; and this is the reason why the local education system gives a high priority to the sport volunteer service under leadership of the physical education and sport university students. The initiative to have involved the physical education and sport university students in the volunteer sport service offers a unique opportunity for the personality progress, management skills mastering and the social and life experience accumulation goals, plus the ethical and communicational progress with an emphasis on the responsibility, tolerance, compassion and support fostering aspects plus due motivations for and success in the volunteer movement.