Swim England

A nation swimming

Volunteer Ben is making a ‘valued contribution’ to key Swim England group

To celebrate Power of Youth Day as part of National Volunteers’ Week, Swim England highlights the work of its Youth Advisory Panel chairperson Ben Gregory – who has secured a place on the organisation’s sport decision-making committee.

He has played a leading role in driving the development of Swim England’s Youth Advisory Panel – and Ben Gregory is now making a ‘valued contribution’ to one of the national governing body’s key groups.

Ben has been chairperson of the National Youth Panel since 2019 having joined the group at the age of 17 two years previously.

Now he is also a non-voting member of the Swim England’s Sports Operation Committee (SOC) – the group the youth panel report into.

He is the first current member of the Youth Advisory Panell to be appointed to SOC – and his work is already gaining rave reviews.

Neil Booth, the chair of SOC, said: “Ben’s contributions to the meetings are always valued and they are always well considered.

“He reflects the opinions of the Youth Advisory Panel in an appropriate manner. It is working very well and I am pleased with the role on SOC.

“I am always keen to encourage individuals in to the critical role of governing and developing the sport.  

“It was great to see the enthusiasm the group had to engage in the governance process and with the support of the head of development, we made some necessary changes to their terms of reference before welcoming Ben to the group.”

Ben was officially appointed to SOC after a successful trial period and he believes the role has helped him grow in cofidence.

Grown in confidence

He is the third chairperson of the Youth Advisory Panel, following in the footsteps of Alex Harrison, who is now the London Region chairperson and a member of SOC, and Dr Oliver Hooper, who mentored Ben before he took on the role.

Ben said: “I have throughly enjoyed being part of SOC.

“It can be an overwhelming experience being in a virtual meeting room with senior people of the organisation.

“However, it’s not about having an opinion on every item on the agenda and I have been very well supported by Neil, Claire Coleman (Swim England head of development) and George Wood (Swim England sport development director) and have grown in confidence in this new addition to my volunteering role with Swim England.

“Being part of SOC has shown the exciting opportunities that can become available through volunteering.”

As a member of SOC, Ben has been able to align the Youth Advisory Panel even further to the work of Swim England by adopting projects for the panel to work on, such as the research in to lapsing members under the age of 18.

The Swim England Youth Advisory Panel has a leadership team of chairperson, two vice chairs and a media lead as it continues the work of establishing itself as an effective consultation body within Swim England.

It aims to support regions to introduce regional panels – and aims to create a pathway of young people who are interested in governance.

The panel is currently working on a multi-sport project in collaboration with England Netball and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

To find out ore about the work of the panel, click here.