story 28.10.2021

Playing esports for his DofE has built Aaron’s communication skills

Gold DofE participant, Aaron struggled with social anxiety and struggling to speak out or to approach people he didn’t know. Playing esports has since improved his confidence and communication skills which has, he says, been ‘life-changing’.

“For my Gold Award I’m playing esports for my Skills section activity. I already volunteer at the afterschool club mentoring younger students and giving them tips and useful information to improve their game – mentoring is a really valuable way to learn.

“I’ve been surprised by the amount of skills you learn through esports and not just those relevant to gaming. The organisation and team work translates to your DofE, to school and to life in general. Working together to overcome problems and challenges will help in a work environment, along with problem solving and teamwork, I’ve learned a lot about speaking up but letting others speak too.

“I’ve always struggled speaking to other people, it was almost a social anxiety but now I can do and feel perfectly fine. That helps day-to-day but will be really helpful for university interviews. I’ve done interviews on stage at esports events and, it builds your courage, confidence and makes you feel ready to tackle anything that comes your way.

“For anyone hesitant to join esports I’d say it’s such a welcoming, inclusive environment and it’s great to meet new friends and tackle things together. It’s not a toxic or disrespectful environment, if we miss something we learn from it but we’re never mean, we help each other recover. That’s a valuable skill, being kind and supportive, learning from your mistakes and building determination to improve next time.

“That confidence has been life-changing, I’m so much happier now.”