Sunday, June 5, 2016

Volunteer Week 2016 – Saying thank you to Alan Scobie

"Volunteering is a great way to be directly involved with and to make a difference to those who live in your community." Alan Scobie

The annual campaign, established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. Volunteers are the heartbeat of our sport so we would like to use the next 12 days as an opportunity to say ‘thank you’.

While we will focus on some individuals about why they volunteer, our thanks are not just limited to them. We say thank you to everyone who gives of their time so freely to support the aquatics community across Scotland.

Today we meet Alan Scobie, head coach of Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth Swimming Club, to find out a bit more about how and why he became a volunteer.

How are you involved in swimming?

Inspired by the dedication of coaches from my youth, I became involved in swimming when my children joined our local swimming club.  I started coaching in the club more than seven years ago and became the head coach of Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth Swimming Club three years ago. Prior to my children joining KKASC, I had no experience of coaching swimming. Getting involved has been an extremely rewarding experience for me and has allowed me to give something back to the local community.

What do you get out of being a volunteering?

I get so much out of volunteering, including a chance to develop my own coaching skills. Through my work with KKASC, I’ve built on my 15 years of athletics coaching experience by attending courses and CPD from UKCC Level 1 teaching through to Level 3 coaching.

Volunteering has shown me that when people work together, anything is possible. With generous support from a forward-thinking committee; Scottish Swimming’s Paul Donald; local leisure trusts, EDLC and NL Leisure; sports hub and sports council, we have transformed KKASC from a traditional swimming club to include sustainable synchronized swimming and water polo.  And as a result, we’ve created more opportunities for everyone within the club and the local community.

Perhaps the best thing about volunteering, though, is the people, it is people who make clubs great!  I’ve met so many interesting people and made lots of new friends.  The spirit of working together and positively impacting others makes volunteering rewarding.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about volunteering?

Go for it! When you volunteer, you share your knowledge and skills with others and they do the same for you.  Everyone benefits and gets the chance to improve existing skills and develop new ones. Volunteering is a great way to be directly involved with and to make a difference to those who live in your community.  I recommend choosing an activity that you’re interested in and making a regular commitment to it.  And to keep it fresh and fun, remember not to overcommit and to always build in time off for yourself.

What is your volunteering highlight?

There have been so many.  Volunteering has taken me all over the world and to many exciting events, including the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Supporting and guiding athletes to meet their goals is incredibly fulfilling. A personal highlight for me coaching at Kirkintilloch & Kilsyth ASC was definitely seeing one of my seven-year-old swimmers take her first dive from the block after six weeks of looking down at the water in fear. It was a great moment because she overcame her fear, succeeded in her dive and diving is now one of her favourite parts of swimming training!

Thank you Alan and all volunteers who give their time so generously to our Clubs for your commitment and dedication.

For more information about volunteering in clubs please click here:

For more information about volunteering in general please click here: