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Young Volunteers in Action at Ponds Forge

The British International Disability Swimming Championships, held at Ponds Forge Sheffield, from the 8th – 10th of April provided another fantastic opportunity for 20 young volunteers to showcase their skills and demonstrate their abilities. It was a great event rifled by the sheer involvement and excitement brought by the volunteers. Over the three days the young people had the opportunity to officiate, volunteer on poolside and shadow the announcers.

Through Young Disabled Volunteers Back Swimming (powered by v), volunteers have had the opportunity to develop skills in the area that is most attractive to them. Michael Harris, 23, a volunteer from the North East, indicated that through volunteering at events such as this he was able to improve his social and verbal interaction, which he felt had not previously been developed due to his learning disability. His passion for volunteering within swimming has aided Michael’s application to become a London ambassador for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Jonathan Aldridge, 22 from the South East, who is working towards his Judge 1 officiating award had the opportunity to shadow time keep at this event – a fantastic opportunity for any up and coming young official. 

Trainee announcer Guillermo Romero, 18, said, “Young people can be confident that they will not only be getting the best experience, but they will remember this experience for quite some time.” Being involved in an event of this stature allows young people to experience an international event and see what goes on behind the scenes to understand what it takes to run an event.

First time volunteer Emma Wilson, 17, North West, believes that after this event she will continue to volunteer further because she enjoyed the experience and meeting new people.

All volunteers involved had a fantastic experience and received great feedback. In the voices of the young volunteers such as Johan Francis, 21 and Kirsty McDonald, 22, both from London, the finals today were ‘fantastic, fun and inspirational’, and the young people cannot wait to attend their next event. 

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