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Lewis lands Swim England Inspirational Young Volunteer National Award

Inspirational Young Volunteer Award winner Lewis Baybutt said a desire to help make things better for his club was the driving force behind his dedicated efforts which landed him a national honour.

Lewis was announced as the winner of the Swim England National Award during a virtual live ceremony by Olympian Leon Taylor.

Throughout the coronavirus lockdowns, Lewis worked tirelessly to redesign Maxwell Swim Club’s website as well as designing an app that swimmers use as a training tool.

He also passed his Level 1 Teacher qualification and created a simple process for potential new swimmers joining the club.

Lewis said after being announced as the winner: “Some of the stuff I started in the summer lockdown was quite fun for me really as I have a keen interest in technology.

“I had volunteered on poolside with the club before lockdown but during the pandemic it was what could I do now with not being on poolside.

“It’s given me a bit of perspective from different sides of the club and how it was run and I found that quite fun really.

“It’s just about making things better all the time and the club has given me a fantastic start to a career in technology.”

Proud David wins Inspirational Volunteer prize


Halifax Swimming Club’s David Culf said he felt ‘extremely proud’ after being announced as the winner of the Swim England Inspirational Volunteer Award.

David said others at the club, including chairperson May McClung and president Elaine Shaw, had given him the motivation to help out.

He stepped up for his club during the pandemic after volunteering to be the Covid-19 lead, writing risk assessments and planning for reopening after lockdown to ensure the club was ready to ‘hit the ground running’.

David said: “The inspiration around why I went out to volunteer was two fold.

“When you’re part of a club where you have got a raft of volunteers that put themselves out there for free every week – led brilliantly by Mary and Elaine who again are in their 70s and doing a fantastic job leading one of the oldest clubs in the country – throwing your hat in the ring is not a hard thing to do.

“The other inspiration came from our three young daughters and it was how can we keep them fit, how can we keep them going. 

“We went to the Pennine hills open water swimming and there were another dozen kids from the club there doing it all off their own back and parents putting themselves out which is fantastic.

“I’ve been at the county championships today and 10 of those swimmers were there competing 18 months down the line. 

“It’s day likes today that make you feel extremely proud.”