Meet Toby Sanderson

Toby Sanderson blogs about his experience as a young volunteer in aquatics

Tell us a bit about your experience as a young volunteer in aquatics…

Hello everyone! My name is Toby Sanderson and I’m going to share a few of my experiences as a young volunteer in aquatics.

I’m a member of the National Youth Forum, an official working towards my J2S (Starter) qualification, and a Level 1 swimming teacher, so as I’m sure you can imagine, my schedule is quite busy!

Sometimes people ask me why I freely give so much time away when I could be doing ‘better things’, and the answer is always the same: the people!

Sure, the free food at Open Meets and the nice polo shirts for national events serve as additional motivation, but the primary reason is that it’s a great social experience, and I enjoy it!

Can you tell us about an event you’ve volunteered at?

I recently attended the National Short Course championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield as a Technical Official.

This four-day meet was a great event and was a fantastic opportunity for me to meet and work alongside other young officials, including a few that I met at the National Talent Camp which I attended back in December 2014.

Working with volunteers of a similar age was great and seeing a smooth and successful aquatic event that you assisted in, whether as an official, team manager, coach or a member of event staff, is hugely rewarding.

To round off the experience, all the officials and event management team got together on one of the evenings for a Christmas meal and social, which was a great night and a typical example of the camaraderie within aquatics volunteers as a whole.

Everyone was there for exactly the same reasons that I was, because they enjoy helping and giving their time to assist their sport.

Why would you recommend volunteering to others?

I’m also a swimmer myself, and my home club, Retford Swimming Club, is fortunate enough to have a large and knowledgeable bank of keen volunteers, but not all clubs are so lucky.

I’d urge everyone to get involved if you can, either by contacting a club directly, or getting in touch with the ASA.

It really is very rewarding to give your time for the benefit of a club and the sport, and will leave you feeling great as well!

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about becoming involved in aquatics either as an official, event volunteer or club helper, you can either email volunteering@swimming.org or complete an expression of interest form where you can complete your details and we can support you to find suitable opportunities.

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