Friday, June 5, 2020

Volunteers Week 2020 – Volunteer in Swimming

Aside from their weekly training, many of our swimmers will spend their weekend competing at a local, district or national events. These events are put on and managed by a dedicated army of volunteers from across Scotland and the rest of the UK, from referees to stewards, officials to front of house. Without these individuals, events simply could not and would not take place.

As part of Volunteers Week, we caught up with Allan Fletcher, Past President of SASA and Presentation Coordinator at our National Championships.

 What is your role within swimming?

Currently my role as a volunteer is part of a team that organises and runs regional and national swimming events. I am mainly involved in the presentation of awards to the swimmers, setting out when and where the presentations fit into the overall running of the competition. It is primarily a role that seeks to coordinate the non-swimming activities at these events to maximise the time available for competitive swimming.

How did you end up in that role?

I, like most parents of a child who takes up a sporting activity respond to give some level of organisational support. I have now been actively involved for forty years and have in that time had a number of rolls from technical official, competition organiser and committee member. My current role suits the time I am able to commit while allowing me to retain some level of involvement and enjoyment.

What do you get out of volunteering?

Swimming is heavily dependent upon a large number of volunteers and events at regional and national level are run over many days so the commitment in time can be quite high. I enjoy seeing swimmers develop over time to become good athletes within an environment that is disciplined and supported by many individuals who have become good friends and have added to my quality of life over a long number of years.

Any highlights from what you do?

Any highlights are obviously personal to my own involvement and they are mainly associated with being at the higher level of competition as a culmination of the swimmers achievements. We have be fortunate in Scotland to have hosted three Commonwealth Games, Multiple European Championships, Special Olympics and FINA World events. I have been there and enjoyed every minute.

How would you encourage more people to volunteer in our sport?

I think the key to recruitment of volunteers is to identify the need or activity that is require. While some individuals will themselves perceive the need and their ability to contribute, they are in the minority. Most people need some for of recruitment by advertising or direct contact, defining the requirement, their potential contribution and the support they will be given Thereafter it is their own enjoyment that will determine the level of activity and the time they will contribute.

To find out more about volunteering please click HERE.