Saturday, June 6, 2020

Volunteers Week 2020 – Volunteer in Water Polo

The sport of water polo is action packed and fiercely competitive. In Scotland, teams compete in both league and cup competitions - with events for men, women, mixed Under 18s and mixed Under 16s.  Our national squads compete in European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic events.

This of course results in a lot of training requirements and matches, all of which need volunteers. As part of Volunteers Week 2020 we meet with Tom Gebbie, newly appointed Chair of Scottish Water Polo, to find out more about his volunteering journey.

What is your role within water polo?

My role as Chair of Scottish Water Polo is responsible for the promotion and running of Water Polo in Scotland. This includes oversight on the planning and implementation of national events, selecting national squads and national squad training as well as developing an effective development plan for the growth of water polo in Scotland.

How did you end up in that role?

I ended up in this role as I was already heavily involved in volunteering within my own club and through coaching the local university teams for the past 3-4 years. Through this I saw an opportunity to volunteer at a higher level and make some positive changes to the sport nationally.

What do you get out of volunteering?

I enjoy volunteering at the various levels, as coach, club committee member and now as Chair of Scottish Water Polo because I want everyone within the sport to have the same, if not better, opportunities to get involved in the sport that I had and am so passionate about. Water Polo has been an integral part of my life so if I can give others the opportunities and experiences that I have had access to then I am happy to volunteer and contribute towards this.

Any highlights from what you do?

I have only been in the chair position for a week so there are no current highlights within this role yet, however during this time we have managed to secure a group of new volunteers for roles that were otherwise vacant and I am positive that we are going to make some positive highlights in the coming months that will help grow the sport of water polo.

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

The recruitment of volunteers is essential for the development of our sport. To encourage volunteers we need to find aspects of the sport that they are particularly interested and invested in and encourage them to lead on. I appreciate that everyone has various time commitments between work, families and socialising but the more volunteers we have, the more responsibility we can share which will in turn reduce the amount of time that is required for each role. I also think that volunteering opportunities should be advertised and explained clearly which then in turn will encourage more engagement.

To find out more about volunteering please click HERE.