Volunteers Week - Water Polo VolunteersJune 3, 2022 Volunteer
Like all our disciplines Water Polo is reliant on its committed volunteers to keep its clubs up and running and its events happening. Jim Lafferty tells us how he got into volunteering following his own successful Water Polo career.
I became a volunteer after spending 30 years in water polo with 21 years in the Men’s National Leagues – many coaches, match officials and volunteers had given up their own time which allowed me and my teammates to play a highly enjoyable and social sport, so it seemed only fair that I give my time back to the sport I enjoyed so much.
I coached Sheffield University Mens and Women’s teams for 6 years in the 1990s, and refereed locally, regionally and nationally. The demands of a growing family and career development meant priorities changed, so there was a long hiatus.
Having dragged my children into water polo, I’ve been drawn back into volunteering again. I coach at City of Sheffield Water Polo Club Junior section and with the North Eastern Counties boys 07-08 and 09-10 teams. I recently added Team Manager Level 1 and 2 qualifications to my palmares, and acted as TM for City of Sheffield ‘07 Boys at the National Age Group Championships. Our club are planning an overseas trip this year, so the TM Level 2 will be essential for the club to be permitted by Swim England to travel.
Looking after junior athletes is very rewarding, whether that is coaching or in the Team Manager role.
You have the privileged position of seeing the athletes and people of tomorrow develop. Whilst coaching there can be very quick results (sometimes!) we also see our protégés mature and acquire skills that transfer into real-life too: long-term planning, resilience, understanding delayed gratification and the teamwork, amongst others.
Check out how to train as a Water Polo referee or Team Manager like Jim Volunteer Training and Development