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ASA National Volunteer Forum

The ASA National Volunteer Forum is a group of proactive volunteers aged 26+ from across the country who come together to feed into the ASA Volunteer Engagement Team.

Meet the members of the National Volunteer Forum

The National Volunteer Forum is a group of proactive ASA volunteers who strive to promote positive change within aquatics. The members of the Forum work together as a committee to support the ASA to look at ways of encouraging volunteers to become involved in all aspects of aquatic sport, but also ways to keep them actively involved.

Click here to see the minutes from the latest Volunteer Forum meeting.The Forum aims to have a positive impact on everyone involved in the aquatics community, from athletes to officials and volunteers; their voice will be heard. You can contact the Forum with any ideas, suggestions, proposals or queries by emailing volunteerforum@swimming.org


Chair - Russell GardnerRuss Gardner

Russ is a Masters swimmer at Louth SC, a swimming teacher and coach, qualified official and is the Duty Manager at the Meridian Leisure Centre. Russ has just graduated from our Event Volunteer Programme and continues to volunteer at our national events. As chair, Russ would like the forum to inspire those that don’t currently get involved to volunteer, and get the buzz of helping the sport and its competitors!

Vice chair - Sue DorsSue Dors

Sue is currently Chair of Weston-super-Mare SC and has recently been appointed a Trustee of The West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) which is a County Sport Partnership and Charity. She was the Chair of the ASA South West Region Regional Management Board for eight years and is now Trophy and Awards co-ordinator for the Region and also serves on its Open Water committee. Sue was a poolside official for almost twenty years and has been a teacher and coach in her club. She feels that the recognition, personal development and retention of volunteers is vital to our sport. She would like to see communication between volunteers across the aquatic disciplines to be encouraged and also experiences shared with volunteers from other sports.

Secretary - Trevor KnightTrevor Knight

Trevor was until recently the Secretary of the City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club, and prior to that was a committee member at Leeds Kingfishers SC.  He is also an assistant coach and qualified scorer. Trevor would like the forum to identify, reward and recognise volunteers in the sport, and to provide assistance to support clubs and competitions by drawing upon the talents of volunteers across all aquatic disciplines.

Forum Members

Roy CramptonRoy Campton

Roy has done just about every role going in the Nottinghamshire area! From poolside helper, swimming teacher, judge, chairperson, through to mentoring officials and sitting on the Nottinghamshire ASA board. Roy has a wealth of knowledge to bring to the forum. Roy would like the see all volunteers within the sport given a chance to air their views at a regional and national level.

Susan DewarSue Dewar

Sue is the Secretary of Waterlooville SC and swims in the Masters squad. Sue is also a qualified official and Level 1 Swimming Teacher. Sue would like the forum to allow volunteers to be able to easily understand the roles and structure of the ASA, allowing them to develop a greater affinity with their governing body.

Alyson Bashford

Alyson got involved in synchro over ten years ago as a result of her daughter taking part in the sport. Alyson is now a volunteer lead coach for Alyson BashfordTaunton Synchro, has completed national scoring and judging courses and has also volunteered at several synchronised swimming events including National Age Groups. Alyson enjoys the opportunities offered by volunteering, where she is able to meet lots of other like-minded people, who want to keep aquatic sports going for all those involved.

Alyson: “By joining the National Volunteer Forum I hope to make a difference by supporting positive changes, acting as an ambassador and encouraging more people to get involved. Volunteering is not as daunting as it looks and the rewards are many, and without volunteers there would be no events!”

Sarah SummerSarah Summer

27 year old Sarah, originally from Gateshead, works as a pharmacist alongside GPs in surgery in Manchester.  Sarah has coached synchronised swimming for ten years, starting out at Gateshead Synchronised Swimming Club as a swimmer before moving into coaching at 18, going on to take positions as assistant head coach and committee member aged just 20. Sarah moved to Manchester five years ago, where she began coaching at Trafford Synchronised Swimming Club and helping with the club’s fundraising events.  

Sarah: “One of my main aims for the Forum is to ensure that people are aware of the ease of getting involved, the opportunities available to them and ensure people are aware of the benefits of volunteering to all areas of their life - including mental and physical wellbeing, social support, not to mention job prospects or career progression.  If you want me to discuss any ideas or suggestions at the Forum please contact me.”

Kelly Podbury Kelly Podbury

Kelly was literally thrown in to the deep end by her Dad at a very young age and it was a case of sink or swim: guess what, she swam and began her love of the sport. Kelly qualified as Preliminary Teacher in 1991 whilst on the Royal Navy Physical Training course, later qualifying as a Level 1 & 2 Teacher; also a qualified TA for the RLSS, Level 2 Judge and Level 1 Judge Open Water. Kelly now teaches at Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset and sits on their committee as the Club Secretary, swim21 Co-ordinator, Teacher and Volunteer Co-ordinator, as well as recently taking on Somerset ASA where she volunteered to be the Competition Secretary and Volunteer Co-ordinator.  A wealth of swimming, committee and organisational experience coupled with a passion for the sport has brought Kelly to both the Forum and the ASA Event Volunteer Programme to help make a difference, to get the news out there and hopefully inspire others to volunteer and love volunteering as much as she does.

Martin PearceMartin Pearce

Martin is a National Recorder and National Scorer for Synchronised Swimming. Martin works well in high pressure situations and constantly strives to learn and further himself. Martin has helped out with various roles in aquatic sport for a number of years and has been scorer at National Synchro events since 2014.

Martin: “My motivation for the Forum is to inspire volunteers within all disciplines of aquatic sports to work together and to progress as far as they can within the sport, to push their own boundaries forward and assist other volunteers to progress themselves and offer advice and support to others."

Adam LaceAdam Lace

Adam, a full time training co-ordinator from Whitehaven, Cumbria, is the youngest member of the forum at just 25 years old. Adam has coached swimming for six years and was previously a competitive swimmer at club, county and regional level. Adam coaches at Workington Amateur Swimming Club and where he also sits on the committee and attends Cumbria’s ASA executive meetings as a club representative.

Adam: “By joining the forum I hope to spread the word about the vital role that volunteers play in all disciplines within aquatics, with the hope that this can encourage more volunteers into our sport. Also, I’d like to let people know that volunteering doesn’t have to involve a big commitment and that you can help a club in any way as part of a bigger picture; without all the volunteers our swimmers wouldn’t be able to achieve what they do.”

Paula DurrantPaula Durrant

Paula got involved in swimming over ten years ago when her daughter Meaghan joined a competitive swimming club. Although her daughter no longer competes Paula remains extremely involved in the sport as a swimming official; undertaking club, county, regional, national and this year her first international  duty at the IPC Worlds. She is also County Secretary for Cambridgeshire and represented her County in 2013/2014 as President and in 2012/2014 as County Welfare Officer.

Paula: ‘’Being an ASA volunteer for me has been like joining a huge family and I am so proud of the work we all do as a team to pull off high quality competitive events.’’

Paula’s motivation for joining the forum is to inspire others to come on board as volunteers and for them to see that it is anything but a chore.

Have your say

If you have any ideas of how the Forum may be able to help volunteers in your area, would like to utilise the expertise of the Volunteer Forum or are interested in becoming a member, please get in touch by emailing volunteering@swimming.org.

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