Sunday, June 12, 2016

Volunteer Week 2016 – Saying thank you to Brian Hendry and all our Volunteers

"Young children do much better if a parent or guardian is also involved in the sport." Brian Hendry

Today is the final day of this year’s official ‘Volunteer Week, the annual campaign, established in 1984, which recognises the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. Volunteers are the heartbeat of our sport so we have used the past 12 days as an opportunity to say ‘thank you’.

We have focused on some individuals about why they volunteer, but 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.

On the last day of this campaign, we meet Brian Hendry of Stonehaven ASC, a British Swimming Licenced Referee and find out in which capacity he volunteers. We also open up the John Gunning Volunteer Awards for Nomination.

How are you involved in volunteering?

I am a British Swimming Licenced Referee and have been officiating as a Referee, Starter, Judge, AOE operator, Recorder and Timekeeper and since I qualified as a Referee in 2003 I’ve averaged some 30 Meets per year (approximately 100 sessions a year).  Out with Scotland I’ve Refereed in England, Wales and in the USA.

I wear a number of hats including AOE Operator (Quantum, ARES and Colorado), North District Delegate for Stonehaven, AOE Manager for SASA North District, Referee Trainer for SASA North District, Course Leader for Timekeeper and Judge Courses.

Previously I was SASA North District President for 2 years,  Member of SASA Council for 3 years, Minute Secretary for the SASA National STO Committee for 5 years,  Chair, National STO Committee for 4 years, Member of SASA National Swimming Committee for 4 years and Scottish Representative on the British Swimming, Swimming Officials Group for 4 years.  

What do you get out of being a volunteering?

Being able to see the progression of new swimmers within the sport and to see how they develop through the years (in some cases going on to represent Scotland and Britain at international events).  Meeting a huge variety of people who have become very good friends over the years.  Meeting every year with parents, coaches, technical officials and volunteers from Local Galas to National Events as well as at British Swimming Championships.  

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

“Go for it”.   It is so rewarding to be able to assist young athletes to meet their full potential.  Without volunteers any sport will suffer severely or it will become prohibitively expensive if people need to be paid to run it.  Also young children do much better if a parent or guardian is also involved in the sport so they can be there for them to celebrate when they do well or to console if things did not work out as they would have hoped.        

What is your volunteering highlight?

Being a Swimming Technical Official at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 in Glasgow.

Like all the other volunteers we have featured during this week Brian does not look for reward for all the hours he spends officiating and supporting his District. However the Scottish Swimming Awards Event does include an award for volunteers and the nominations are now open.

The John Gunning Award for Volunteer of the Year is presented in recognition of the contribution and dedication of individuals who give of their time so generously, and are committed to help make our sport the success it is today.  There will be one award for each district and they will be presented at the Scottish Swimming Awards Event 2016, on the evening of Saturday 1st October at the Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh.

The nomination form and criteria can be found here:

More information about Scottish Swimming Awards Event 2016 can be found here:

For more information about volunteering in clubs please click here:

For more information about volunteering in general please click here: