Student Story: Jamie Mcdonald - Sport & Fitness

Introducing Sport & Fitness student Jamie Mcdonald, whose passion for boxing led to him pursuing sports coaching and being awarded Student Volunteer of the Year at the 2024 Dundee Sports Awards.

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you came to D&A?

I am a very enthusiastic and passionate individual who is striving to progress within the coaching industry. I have always been exposed to sport from a young age and I've been brought up around it with my family members and peers being involved in it. From this, I have grown a massive liking for sports. Finding the sport for me wasn’t easy, as there are many out there. When I found boxing, my life completely turned around, and my love for coaching skyrocketed. With experience in many sports, mainly boxing, I wanted to take this further, and I knew that coaching was what I wanted to do for my future career. Seeing an individual grow and develop their performance within sports is amazing - you're not only contributing to their physical performance but their mental wellbeing too.  This is why I joined D&A, to become a coach. But the end goal is always the same, to inspire others and help them in any way I can that will contribute to their performance within their chosen sport.

What's the scoop on your volunteer work?

Since December 2023 I have been volunteering at Eastern Primary School, coaching children through boxing. This voluntary work consisted of me leading sessions and creating session plans that were appropriate for the age and stage of the individuals that I was working with. As I mentioned before, I am very passionate about boxing, so to be able to share my knowledge and help children get fitter and healthier through this was a privilege. Seeing the children progress each week with smiles on their faces motivated me more and more. Sessions would consist of fun competitive team games, technical pad work and fitness-based activities around themes within boxing such as footwork, speed and strength. Teaching the children the basics of boxing was amazing as I was not only helping them get fitter, but I was sharing fundamental knowledge on self-defence. This voluntary work has also expanded my coaching knowledge as I was challenged with different ages and stages which made me problem-solve and adapt sessions when needed. Overall, this has made me a better coach in many ways in terms of communication, session design and adaptations, confidence, and experience with handling and using equipment. It has been an amazing experience.

How do you balance coming to College with your personal interests and home life?

College has set days for coming in, so I can balance my work with my hobbies by making a schedule throughout the week. This keeps me in check and lets me know what I need to do and how long I have to do it. I find it easy to balance my life outside of College as I am mainly in the gym or boxing. This contributes to my College work in terms of coaching and knowledge on strength and conditioning and any other work.

What are the highlights of your College journey so far?

The highlights of College so far are meeting and networking with many people, ranging from peers, lecturers and coaches. These people have made my time here fun and exciting and through this, I have built relationships that I never thought I would have. Another highlight would be winning the Dundee Sports Awards. I was nominated for Volunteer of the Year - all the hard work this year finally paid off as I had the privilege of being presented with this award. This has further motivated me to work harder and to stay on top of my work. Seeing the progress of my coaching career so far has been an amazing process and something I never expected to happen. Overall, the whole College year has been a highlight, as I have grown as an individual and a coach. I have met new people and made friends and connections through this and been able to attend placements and athletic festivals that involve helping others.

What’s next for you, what are your goals?

My goals are to progress to the HND Sports and Coaching course, gain more experience within coaching and boxing, and to continue helping and inspiring others to be the best version of themselves.

If Jamie has inspired you, browse our Sport & Fitness courses.

Look out for more student stories coming soon!