Young volunteers shine at Swim England National Summer Meet13 September 2019
Five young volunteers gained valuable experience at the busiest event on the Swim England calendar, joining the workforce for the National Summer Meet 2019 in Sheffield.
The participants, who are all part of the North East Regional Young Volunteer Development Programme, volunteered in the field of play at Ponds Forge, which provided a great opportunity to get involved in club and event aquatic volunteering.
The programme, which is comprised of several development days, provides young people with the opportunity to meet other young volunteers, gain experience and develop personal and aquatic specific skills.
As part of programme, the young volunteers have access to a number of workshops and qualifications including Young Aquatic Helper and Officials training.
A further ten young volunteers who undertook officials’ training as part of the programme went on to volunteer as timekeepers at the World Transplant Games in Sunderland last month.
For 2019, the Swim England Volunteering and Events teams worked with the North East region to introduce event volunteering into the programme.
Participants were given the opportunity to gain role specific experience at a number of regional events across the disciplines, before volunteering in a similar role at the National Summer Meet.
Benefits of volunteering
All five volunteers involved told Swim England they developed skills that will support them in their school work and prove beneficial in their club roles.
Hannah Mortimor, of Spenborough Swimming Club said: “I loved volunteering at the Summer Meet and the programme as a whole has helped me be seen as a valuable member of my club.”
Heather Hirst, of City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club, said: “What I enjoyed most about the programme was meeting new people, being involved in events I wouldn’t normally go to, and having the opportunity to learn new skills.
“Being given kit to wear was pretty cool too!”
Claire Coleman, Swim England’s Head of Volunteering and Pathways, said: “This is the first occasion that Swim England has offered a structured programme to young volunteers in partnership with the regions and the events team to support the delivery of a wide range of aquatic events.
“We are really pleased with how this programme has been delivered and the engagement from the young people involved.
“The feedback we have received from the event managers and senior volunteers has been very positive and is testament to the maturity and can-do attitude of the young volunteers involved in our sport.
“As a result of the success, we are continuing to working closely with the Events team and the regions to develop a young event volunteering pathway.”
The 2019-20 Regional Young Volunteer Development Programmes will be available for booking this autumn.
If you or your club would like to get involved, please get in touch with Swim England’s regional teams to find out what they have on offer.