And with the tenth week completed, my WSU Sport Management Internship is now finished! It is amazing to me that ten short weeks ago, I was just excited to start on my final semester for WSU. However, what I received and learned from my internship went far beyond the internship and classroom. Throughout ten short weeks here at the Coal Creek Family YMCA, I have introduced a new program concerning families and bicycles; Get in Gear bicycle clinics. These clinics allowed me to influence others through my passion of cycling. Cycling has always allowed me to be who I want, to go where I want. With working in direct correlation with the teen programs, I felt this independence through a bicycle would be a perfect fit for a teenager. Many of them accepted the idea with open arms, and others were excited for a possible future with bicycle programming with the Coal Creek Family YMCA. The teens have also taught me things about myself that I otherwise wouldn’t have learned in any other internship. That is to be yourself and believe in what makes you, you. Although young, I feel everyone can learn something from a teenager. They are filled with great ideas and often just want to express feelings they otherwise are unsure of how to possess. Through this internship, I feel it has made me more of an individual. Capable of speaking what I feel and most importantly, having the confidence in myself to say that dreaded word: no.
Club Tyee was another teen group that taught me something over my ten week internship at Coal Creek. When I first arrived, Club Tyee’s teen participants were just coming to terms with new rules and new leaders of the program. Over ten weeks, the kids went from unruly to well-mannered and understanding of formal structure. By the end of my time with Club Tyee, every Thursday became BINGO day. The kids loved this time to just relax and play BINGO. However, thanks to Jay, the kids also have a new favorite game: Ultimate Football Basketball. Through this game, played on a basketball court with a football, you utilize ultimate Frisbee rules. The kids loved this game and any chance to go outside was always followed with, “can we play that “Basketball Football Frisbee game?!”
Another group I was able to assist with during the duration of my internship was morning swim lessons. Swimming has always been near and dear to me following all four years of swimming in high school. Through teaching swim lessons, I came to realize how amazing it feels to show a four year old the fun of swimming. To have kids come in excited, and to have them walk out excited (and sometimes cold) was always a blast! I love my swim lessons and was happy to be asked to continue my education of swim, through a swim instructor’s position following my internship.
Finally, the group I saw change the most was our After the Bell program. When I first arrived, most of them were shy and unwilling to share about their day or even themselves. Unsettling to me at first, I realized it was teenagers gauging an understanding of their surroundings. Through time and some poking on the staffs’ part, we were able to get into some awesome ice-breaker type stories. The one that sticks out the most is picking one scar on your body and sharing (as long as appropriate) how you received the scar. Through this activity, I realized the group was all dare devils!
All of the kids I have had the opportunity to come in contact with, as well as the staff of the Coal Creek YMCA, I cannot thank you enough for making my last ten weeks of my internship so amazing and rewarding. I stepped in worried and concerned I would be shy and not very outgoing, to now being comfortable with who I am and being able to work with kids of all ages. Thanks to WSU for their requirement of an internship following my course work, I would have otherwise never thought to seek out such an opportunity. Thankfully, the Coal Creek YMCA opened their arms to me and allowed me to be ‘the intern’ for ten short weeks. Now I am proud to say that the title of ‘the intern’ has now been changed to ‘Teen Programs Coordinator’ for the Coal Creek Family YMCA. I hope I have the opportunity to meet all who have followed my journey through this blog, on-site at Coal Creek, as well as from the university. I hope I have made a lasting impression on you all, and I look forward to making the future bigger and brighter from here on out!
With that, I conclude my ten week internship… But one final thing, as Coal Creek Family YMCA has a large attendance of University of Washington Huskies: Go Cougs! :)
Thanks for all who have helped me along this path. It truly means a lot to me!
Former WSU Sport Management Intern for the Coal Creek YMCA/ Teen Programs Coordinator