Monday, June 6, 2022

Les Rodger: From Timekeeper to Open Water Chair - Volunteer Week Scotland

As part of Volunteer Week Scotland, we caught up with aquatic volunteer Les Rodger, who sits as Chair of the National Open Water Committee.

Here is his volunteering story:

What is your volunteer role at Scottish Swimming?

As is the case with so many Volunteers, I have more than one role.  I’m qualified as a Referee in the pool.  I presently sit on the Executive Committee of East District.  However, my biggest time-commitment is as Chair of the National Committee which runs the Open Water Discipline on behalf of Scottish Swimming.

What do you enjoy in your spare time outside volunteering?

My day-job is as a geologist, so was very outdoor when I was younger. Nowadays, unfortunately, I operate a desk most of the time.  However, I do take the chance to go for a 60 minute walk almost every day.  It fairly clears the mind.

How long have you been volunteering for Scottish Swimming?

Like many people, I was drawn into volunteering as a timekeeper when my children were swimming, in my case over twenty years ago and gradually got more and more deeply involved.  I became a Referee in 2008.

I was elected to the Open Water Committee in 2011 and have been on it ever since. I chaired it from 2013 to 2018 and again since the last AGM in 2021.

What do you like about volunteering?

I get an enormous buzz out of being part of a team that successfully delivers events that benefit athletes of all ages, whether in the pool or in open water and allows everyone, volunteers included, to be the best they can possibly be.

What new and useful skills have you learned?

Working with people. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who feels they are not very good at things just hasn’t yet discovered what they are good at.  By working together as a team, we can deliver something absolutely outstanding.

What has been your most memorable moment?

I’ve met several Olympians and Paralympians over the years but to be honest my most memorable moments tend to be the small ones, such as the grin on the faces of the swimmers taking part in the East District Open Water Mini Meet the last time it ran in 2019, or the seven year old who was at a novice meet  who, when I held out my hand to stop him walking in front of the referee during the start of the next heat, took it as a “high five”.  To be fair, his swim was worth a high five!

If you are interested in volunteering within Aquatic Sport click here for more details