Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Volunteers Week 2020 – Volunteer in Synchronised Swimming

Synchronised Swimming may be relatively small in numbers in Scotland, but it is a tough discipline with huge personality.  As a combination of swimming, dance and gymnastics, Synchronised Swimming offers a real variety of activity, all of which requires volunteers to support its growing following.

As part of Volunteers Week 2020, we caught up with former synchronised swimmer turned judge, Linda Atkinson, about her volunteering journey, and what makes Synchronised Swimming so special.

What’s your role within Artistic Synchronised Swimming? 

​I currently wear a few volunteering hats within Artistic Synchronised Swimming. I am a club coach and a National and International Judge on the FINA list.

How did you end up in that role?  

My Mum was a synchronised swimmer when she was young and then coached at our local club.  I used to go along to training from a young age and get plopped into the water in my arm bands while the athletes trained.  The natural progression was for me to become a synchronised swimmer myself which I did and swam for my club, district and for Synchro Caledonia for many, many years.  When it was time to hang up my noseclip, I knew I still wanted to be involved in the sport that had given me so much over the years so transferred myself from the pool to poolside to coach.  

What do you get out of volunteering?  

Coaching - I love choreographing routines and working with my swimmers to create something exciting that they bring to life in the water.  I love seeing my swimmers progress in the sport and see their love for it grow. 

Judging - with being on the FINA list, I feel so lucky to travel the world and see the best artistic swimmers in the world up close.  Their talent is breath-taking.  

Any highlights from what you do? 

​I love seeing my swimmers develop their synchro skills through the years.  I love seeing my swimmers across all age groups bond and look out for one another.  We have a real team spirit.  And seeing them achieve their goals makes it all worthwhile.  From a judging perspective, travelling to the FINA World Series in Tokyo last year was awesome - an amazing country with fantastic people and judging some of the world's best athletes - perfect!  

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

Synchro is such a small community and survives on the time and efforts of volunteers.  Any additional help we can get is essential to keeping the sport alive in Scotland.  Although it can be a commitment, seeing how the swimmers benefit from the sport and progress makes it worthwhile.  

To find out more about volunteering please click HERE.