‘Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming’ at DSE Juniors.
1 March 2011
Last weekend 15 volunteers from the Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming programme volunteered at their first major national event – DSE Juniors.
Held at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, young volunteers had the opportunity to participate in a number of event areas across the two days including assisting Team Managers, shadowing the Announcers, chaperoning swimmers, basket marshalling, stewarding, acting as front of house and volunteering on the medal table.
‘Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming’, powered by v, aims to increase the number of young disabled people volunteering in the swimming community.
Volunteers are currently undertaking training opportunities in their local communities and this was the first time volunteers had come together to volunteer as a team.
The young volunteers made a real impact at the event, bringing smiles to the faces of officials, swimmers, and all involved. The event announcing team were so impressed with the young people they worked with they presented signed programmes urging the young people to stay involved in the sport.
Through volunteering, young people are able to get real life experience and will feel empowered to tackle any difficult situation in the future.
Keeley Spooner, who was stewarding at the event, feels that the ASA volunteer programme has helped make her future goals to become a judge and a coach a reality as they have provided the much needed funding for her to succeed.
The volunteers are being encouraged to become role models themselves, with a number of other young people on the programme across the regions already training to become coaches and working with young swimmers.
Guillermo Romero, based in London, is also receiving support with his Channel 4 application to become a volunteer presenter for the Paralympics Games after already participating at national swimming events himself.
North East programme Mentors Lee Dalzell and Jan Papadopoulos were supporting the young people at the event and they both agreed it was fantastic to see the young volunteers enjoying themselves; their confidence is developing day by day and the volunteers are now jumping at the chance to get involved.
The young volunteers received fantastic feedback all round for their hard work at the event and are now looking forward to volunteering at the next big event in their calendars - the British International Disability Swimming Championship in April.