What do some of the Swim Englands most passionate volunteers say are their favourite things about being an aquatics volunteer:
- Learning new skills and gaining qualifications
- Putting existing skills to good use
- Helping to make a difference
- ‘Giving back’ to your club and wider community
- Gaining ‘work’ experience
- Being a part of exciting events
- Making new friends and have fun!
People are often put off volunteering because of untrue stories about who can and can’t become a volunteer. Well, let us bust a few of those myths right now.
I want to help out, but I can’t because I don’t know anything about the sport!
You can volunteer regardless of how much you know about aquatics – suitable roles can be found depending on your level of experience and your existing skills.
If I want to be involved I have to commit to volunteering every week
There will be roles to suit different levels of time commitment. Some roles will require a weekly commitment, whereas some could be for a single event. Clubs will be grateful for any help you can offer, no matter how little or how much time you can contribute, and will help to find a role suited to your availability.
Volunteering is just for older people
Volunteering is for all ages, and we would encourage you to get involved no matter what your age or level of experience. Young volunteers can bring fresh new perspectives, energy and enthusiasm and have a positive influence on a club’s dynamics.
It is healthy for a club to bring in new volunteers and it is important to consider who will be keeping the club running in the future. Combining volunteers of differing ages and levels of experience ensures that an effective club workforce is created. This also helps to bridge the gap between the younger swimmers and the older volunteers; a gap often perceived to be the cause for communication barriers between club members.
I don’t know anyone at the club.
From the outside it may seem difficult to penetrate what appears to be a cohesive group running a club. However, just ask how you can help and become involved – no club is going to turn away a willing volunteer and you will see that you will be welcomed with open arms.
I need to have loads of experience.
Not at all! Everyone has to start somewhere and often a fresh perspective on things without the politics of having been involved for a long time helps to look at things in a new way and start to make positive changes.