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Ripple Effect’s Jasmine Stagg shares her Manchester 2023 volunteering experience

Ripple Effect Volunteer Jasmine Stagg has shared her experiences of volunteering at the 2023 World Para Swimming Championships in Manchester.

The Championships – that were held back in August – saw 67 nations compete with more than 300 volunteers giving up their time to support with the running of the weeklong competition.

Swim England’s Ripple Effect project is funded by Spirit of 2012 and was created to bring more people with disabilities into volunteering roles.

The national governing body has worked with the seven National Disability Sports Organisations to get a range of individuals with different disabilities to join up and become part of the project.

Swim England Ripple Effect Project Officer, Nicola Hughes, was also volunteering in Manchester and spoke with the organisers about Jasmine, who is local to the area, and wanted to get help out at the event.

Jasmine has intellectual disabilities so wears a sunflower lanyard to let those around her aware that she has an invisible disability.

She was invited to be a kit carrier and enjoyed her experience at the Manchester Aquatic Centre saying: “It was very exciting!

“It was difficult to remember all the instructions at first, but I just couldn’t stop smiling!

“It was incredible to be there and see all the amazing swimmers, including Ellie Challis! I loved meeting Mani the mascot and being able to buy souvenirs to remind me of the event.”

Having fun with the team

Before the event Abbie Roberts, Senior Events and Partnerships Officer at British Swimming, took time to discuss with Jasmine and her family what support she would need and welcomed Jasmine’s mum Liz to also become a kit carrier so that she was always on hand to support her daughter.

The whole team welcomed Jasmine and explained everything to her on a 1:1 basis after the main training session. They took her poolside to walk her around so that she knew the area that she would be using and would be comfortable once the event got underway.

It was something that meant a lot to Mum Liz who was delighted to see Jasmine enjoy herself at the Championships.

She said: “Jasmine was so happy that she had the support of the other volunteers on her team, they were friendly, very patient with her and really helpful.

“Naomi Harvey, Athlete Kit Manager, was really clear when explaining our role to us and when to get ready with the crates for the athletes. Abbie was a very busy woman, but helped answer all our questions to reassure Jasmine’s anxiety ahead of the event.

“Most importantly she met some lovely people and had fun with her team!”

When asked if she would volunteer again Jasmine added: “Yes, yes, yes please! I would really like to meet more people who are so friendly and helpful.”

You can find out more about Swim England’s Ripple Effect Project here and if you would like to get involved in volunteering please contact: [email protected].