Anna Maguire (pictured), Ulidia Integrated College student and coach with Ulster Elks Junior Basketball Club.
What were the highlights of the year just past?
The highlight of 2014 in my volunteer work was seeing not only the children’s basketball progress but their comfort in finding the sessions like a second home and the other participants and coaches like a second family. For me personally it was my small club team being ranked third in the country and representing Ireland in the U16 Women’s European Basketball Championships in Estonia during summer.
What attracted you to the coaching role?
What attracted me to coaching for Ulster Elks Junior Basketball Club was firstly was my love and passion for the sport basketball. I’ve gotten so many opportunities through the sport as I’ve grown up surrounded by the game, so getting the opportunity to put even a small bit of this into other people’s lives was a dream come true.
What are your hopes for 2015?
2015 is a huge year for me as I’m advancing my life to the next level in all aspects; I’m doing my A-Levels which I’m hoping and praying will go well.
I’m also sitting my SATs as I hope to go to University in America on a basketball scholarship to study psychology, so taking this test and doing well in it is simply protocol.
I hope to have committed to a university by the end of the year which is obviously a huge step but I know I’m ready for it. I’m also on the panel for the U18 girls Ireland national basketball team and I hope to make it to the European Championships this summer again, although I am a year young I hope to make the team and be an effective member.
With my volunteer work I hope to continue with my current role and take on more roles also. I hope to use the sport of basketball to give the children opportunities that they may not have been able to experience otherwise; I hope for them to have happy experiences. I hope to be a role model for them and my little sisters.
What would you like to see from political/community leaders in 2015?
I would like to see political leaders thinking about the big picture and realise that the smallest of things can make the biggest difference.
Not one thing is going to change everything; change needs to start at the heart of communities, they need to use tools to get this change rather than making a statement or a threat to enforce change.
Change should be something people want rather than an obligation.
2015 will be an election year: do you think it is important young people vote?
I think it’s very important that young people get the opportunity to vote as every motion the government make or anything they change should be to make improvements; therefore to benefit the future and the bottom line is that we are the future. So should our opinions not be valid?
I feel as if the vast majority of young people have a completely different perspective on things, as we should, we’re a completely new generation, so use us… it’s our turn! We should be able to at least help dictate our futures.
Should the voting age be lowered?
I 100% think that the voting age should be lowered for all reasons above. Also if the voting age is lowered while we’re still classified as children and we’re still living at home it gives us more opportunities to be successful when we go out to the big bad world as it won’t be as big and bad anymore as we’ve experienced even a small bit of responsibility.