Sarah first became involved in volunteering whilst still a swimmer herself at Trinity Synchro Club in Carlisle, where she began coaching at the age of 15.
Sarah’s love of synchro and all aquatic disciplines, along with being inspired by her own coaches, gave her the desire to give back to other swimmers. Sarah started volunteering at competitions too, knowing that these events can’t run without volunteers and her involvement in the sport flourished from there.
PE teacher Sarah now volunteers in a huge variety of roles, including coaching at Trafford Synchro Club and Warrington Warriors Synchro, volunteering at different ASA and British Swimming events in all disciplines and has recently began team managing the Synchro England Talent Squad.
In addition to this, Sarah is a national and LEN judge, a senior skills assessor, a member of both North West and National Synchro committees and was even a Games Maker in a field of play role at the Synchro event at the London 2012 Olympics.
Sarah coaches for over eight hours a week, as well as carrying out various administrative tasks for her different roles, such as sending emails, cutting music and planning sessions.
Sarah currently spends a lot of her weekends and all of her school holidays helping out with the England Talent Squad, or at competitions, enthused by her love of her swimmers and for seeing them achieve and develop their potential.
When asked about the impact she has, Sarah answered: “I know that clubs don’t run without the commitment of a network of volunteers.
“I feel I am definitely helping the aquatic community by spreading the word about the great sport of Synchronised Swimming and trying to make it possible for as many people as possible to take part. I know the impact Synchro has had on my life and I hope that I have brought some of that to others around the country.”
Karen Thorpe – Talent Development Officer for Synchro:
“I would love to see Sarah Clarke receive recognition for her volunteer work. She is a judge, coach and is stepping in to Team Manage the England Talent Age Group Team. She dedicates a lot of time to Synchro and although she is a school teacher by profession, she coaches, judges at local, national and international level and is also Team Managing this year – all as a volunteer.
“She is a great volunteer role model in terms of dedication, motivation and attitude. She never complains, finds solutions to problems and acts in a professional manner upholding the best interests of the sport and the athletes she is working with. She works well with others, listening to and understanding their points of view whilst maintaining a clear perspective of her own values.”