Monday, September 12, 2016

Scott Milne Road to Rio Blog: It’s why we volunteer

Sorry for the radio silence on my end, I am not the best at keeping journals or blogs or anything of that sort. I know Susan has been doing a good job sending stuff in so thought after four days of competition and a few days of pre-comp paperwork and odd jobs that I should now chime in.

So refereeing at a Paralympic Games... it was extremely daunting when I was first told. My nerves aren't great at the best of times which doesn't help matters! But from the moment I lined up in the corridor to march onto poolside my brain switched into officiating mode and I was in familiar territory. I knew what I was doing as I had done it before. The venue, location and event might have been different, but ultimately we still do what we do at every meet we attend.

It was actually the same for the other roles too, day 1 I was on stroke and day 2 in the call room. Now just because I say it was familiar territory doesn't mean it didn't carry a sense of magnitude, in fact it was quite unlike any other competition I had been to. It is the Paralympics after all! Even when you do come to the realisation that what you are doing is what you have always done, you still have the atmosphere and all the behind the scenes staff making everything work to remind you it isn't just any old competition you are at. And while it can at times add a little pressure to you, it ultimately is a rewarding sensation. You get to partake in what may be an athlete’s greatest achievement in their sporting careers, and even if it's just as a background character in the grand scheme of their lives you will still get to be there when it happens to watch the smiles and the tears. I have always felt that those moments are why we as volunteers do what we do.