Swimming and finance issues have been covered elsewhere so I’ve decided to focus on the role of the volunteer.
It is becoming apparent that the running of clubs such as this one, is becoming increasingly complex. The need to produce documents and policies and to comply with the legal requirements of Swim Wales, is a very time consuming process for committee members. It is also a substantial responsibility which cannot be undertaken lightly.
These requirements are virtually the same as those demanded of public bodies with paid employees. The major difference in this club is that the personnel who carry out these tasks are unpaid. This fact seems to be largely forgotten by many people who benefit from the existence of clubs such as this one.
The club owes its continuing existence to the work done by the volunteers. The coaches, teachers, poolside helpers and administrators are unpaid. The head coach is also a volunteer as he works many additional, unpaid hours, including weekend work, on numerous occasions. The club is very fortunate in having a full complement of qualified personnel on the pool side. All this training has been undertaken in their own time. That has meant giving up their evenings and weekends in order to complete the courses.
Do these volunteers always get everything right? Of course not! No one, that I am aware of, claims to achieve perfection 100% of the time.
Do these volunteers give of their best and always have the best interests of the club at the forefront of their actions? It is my belief that the answer is an overwhelming ‘yes’.
Sometimes things will go wrong and something will happen that is not to the liking of all. Personally I would like to see a far greater appreciation of the time, expertise and effort that is put in to this club by its volunteers, and less of an emphasis on the few, unintended mistakes that sometimes are made.
The contribution of the club’s volunteers is substantial and necessary to the continued existence of the club. More help is often needed, more people need to train as officials if the swimmers are to be in a position to enter certain galas, so leave the sidelines and join this committed group of people who give so much to this club.