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Youth Volunteer of the Year Catherine's top tips to helping out

Swim England National Awards winner Catherine Banham has given her top tips to helping out after being crowned Youth Volunteer of the Year.

She was handed the accolade after putting all her efforts into helping two clubs following her retirement from swimming competitively.

Catherine teaches every Saturday morning at Linslade Crusaders and also supports Leighton Buzzard Otters Swimming Club.

She is also a qualified official and willingly officiates at internal club galas, open meets and county championships.

Catherine said: “It feels really good.

“When I found out I got nominated for the award, I was at University in my room and I thought it was just telling me that the awards were happening but then I saw I had been nominated and to win it is just amazing.

“I think I just enjoy it [teaching] so much. It keeps me busy as well and I just love doing it, seeing the swimmers improve and just helping to make them happy, I just love it.

“You don’t have to do much to help and volunteer. Start off small and you can grow to love it just like I have, and it can make so much of a difference.

“I definitely want to continue teaching swimming. I’m at university again now so I’m not at home all the time but it’s something I want to get into at university and I’m training to be a primary school teacher, too, so I’m hoping to continue teaching swimming as well.

“Thank you to my mum for taking me everywhere, including here. 

“And of course to everyone at Linslade Crusaders and Leighton Buzzard Otters for supporting me to help to get here and putting the nomination in because I didn’t know they had done it!”

I couldn’t have done this without my coaches

Ryan Sawyer Youth Champion of the Year

Youth Champion of the Year Ryan Sawyer praised his coaches after winning a Swim England National Award.

He has recently completed the Young Volunteer Award and is regularly on poolside at Beacon Swimming Club sessions, helping more than 150 swimmers every week.

His nomination said Ryan is a ‘real inspiration to everyone he meets’ and ‘it’s clear to see his passion for the sport in everything he does’.

Ryan said: “It’s really great to win this award but I couldn’t have done this without all my coaches.

“It was something I started because I thought it would look good on my CV but I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve kept on doing it every week and It’s just become fun and it seems to have a good effect on people.

“It’s good fun, they enjoy it and I do, too, so it’s a great to work with them.

“I’d like to thank everyone at the whole club and my mum and dad for taking me to all my coaching sessions so I could help out – and Swim England of course.”