Dedicated volunteers at School Games

Young officials take part as volunteers at the School Games 2015

This year’s Sainsbury’s School Games in Manchester took place last weekend, involving twelve different sports and with the success of the event largely down to its force of dedicated volunteers who helped in a number of roles.

The swimming competition took place at the home of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester Aquatics Centre, with aquatic volunteers at School Games carrying out an array of different roles, including officiating, team managing, front of house and various organisational roles.

Sam Watson, who is currently part of the ASA’s Event Volunteer Programme, was responsible for the biographies role, in which she inputted the successes of each athlete throughout the competition in to a database used by both the media and the commentary team. Of the event, Sam commented:

It was a fantastic experience being part of such an amazing event. As I’ve inputted data I am amazed by the athletes’ abilities, dreams and commitment. I’ve been able to work with a brilliant team who I have learned lots from. I’ve enjoyed the good team spirit, both at the swimming pool, and within the multi-sport environment of the School Games.

Nadine Barnard volunteered throughout the event as a team attaché, along with fellow attachés Jo Purkiss and Keith Paul Moret, assisting teams and staff from the four nations and eight teams involved, and using her expertise in organising events to assist ASA staff in the smooth running of the swimming competition. Nadine commented:

I volunteered as I wanted to be involved in the action of an exciting national event and the whole experience has been great. I’ve loved being a part of such a good team and having the opportunity to get a taste of the operational side of such a big competition.

Young officials from the 2014-2015 National Talent Camp were also involved in the event, with Helen St John-Mosse, Chris Stray, Bethanie Dennis, Toby Sanderson and Robert Nesbitt all taking on the challenge of officiating at this battle of the home nations.

Of the event, Helen St John-Mosse said “I found the UK School Games an amazing experience and a really exciting competition to officiate. Going to watch some of the other sports such as the cycling was also a great highlight from the weekend. I had a fab. time and will be applying to volunteer again next year!'”

Youth Forum member Joe West took up a role away from the pool for the duration of the Games, as an Athlete Village Leader. Joe’s main responsibility was coordinating the Athletes’ Lounge, where he provided support and guidance to the athletes, while encouraging them to fully embrace the Games experience. Joe commented:

My experience was truly one of a kind. The satisfaction at the end of each and every day, of knowing I have fulfilled my role to an exceptional standard and proved not only to myself, but also to my leaders my suitability as an AVL, felt like I have won my own Gold Medal.

A huge thank you to all volunteers at School Games this year who helped make such a successful and memorable event.

If you’re interested in volunteering at aquatics events, please contact us at volunteering@swimming.org or see the Volunteering Opportunities section of this hub.

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