Friday, June 03, 2016

Volunteer Week 2016 – Saying thank you to Jean King

"Swimming as a sport runs on volunteers and that makes it all the more rewarding because you know you are really needed." Jean King

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 Jean King, a member of our fantastic army of Technical Officials, to find out a bit more about how and why she became a volunteer.

How did you get involved in volunteering?

I got involved in swimming after my daughters Samantha and Jennifer took the sport up.  I became an official after I was at a meet where they did not have enough officials.  I remember thinking that looks very complicated I will not be able to manage it. Quickly I discovered how much I enjoyed the work and found it very rewarding. That was 10 years ago and I still enjoy it as much.

What do you get out of being a volunteering?

I have learned a lot of new skills and have worked my way up from being a Timekeeper to a Referee.  You meet and work with people from all walks of life as most people will have a job during the week.  At a gala you can spend over 6 hours with people so you get to know them very well and I have made a lot of wonderful friends through this. When I started out I worked full time and my children were young that was over 10 years ago and now they are grown up I do more volunteering as I have more spare time.  Swimming as a sport runs on volunteers and that makes it all the more rewarding because you know you are really needed.

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

I would say to anyone who is thinking about it please volunteer - it is very rewarding and you can give the amount of time that you can spare to it.  You don't have to worry about coping with the roles as you are trained to do them and you choose how far you want to train.  One thing I enjoy is because we are volunteers people come from all different kinds of jobs and it can be really interesting meeting and finding out about the people you work with.  It also does not matter how old you are there will always be a job for you to do.

What is your volunteering highlight?

When I learned I had passed my Referee exam I would say that was the main highlight of being a volunteer.  I also worked as a medal chaperone at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the memories of that will stay with me.

We see Jean regularly on poolside at our National Championships and we know she’s there on poolside at club events and District events too. Thank you Jean and all our Technical Officials for the fantastic job you do.

For more information about volunteering in clubs please click here: http://www.scottishswimming.com/members/volunteers.aspx

For more information about volunteering in general please click here:

http://www.volunteerscotland.net/

#volunteersweekscot

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