Volunteers’ Week from 1-7 June gives us a chance to say thank you and recognise volunteers on the front line and behind the scenes.
On day four of Volunteers week Debbie shares her experience of volunteering as a Triathlon Coach.
"Before I qualified as a Level 1 Tri coach I voluntarily led a swim session for the "Sunday Swimming Babes" group of open water swimmers. I used to teach swimming, having qualified as a 16 year-old for my local swimming pool, then I travelled around Australia in my twenties and taught swimming to children and adults when based in Melbourne. I helped set up Keswick Tri Club in 2015 as my love of outdoor swimming had grown, and I had met like-minded individuals who enjoyed swim, bike and run. There was no local club in Keswick, so we decided to set up ourselves.
My pathway to a volunteer coach was through Swim teaching in 2014, to Level 1 coaching - both adults and juniors in 2016, to Level 2 Tri Coach in 2017, resulting in me taking on the role of Head Coach! I now Tri coach weekly for Juniors, write session plans, lead adult cycle rides weekly, coordinate swim coaching for adults weekly, organise club events, GO TRI events, book venues for training and create reward schemes for participation for all club members.
British Triathlon have supported my development through the Coaches Learning Hub, updates through the coaches’ newsletter, CPD opportunities, allowing me to organise a Women's Only Tri coaching day and Skills School days for providing suitable session plans for the older juniors. We will soon hold a Tri Activators Award course for the older juniors to becomes the young leaders in our club.
The greatest reward of being a volunteer coach in Triathlon is the enthusiasm, motivation and "crack" from all Tri Club members, young or older. A sense of belonging for being a part of the club, and no matter what ability our members have, the sense of achievement to complete a triathlon, aquathlon, duathlon or aquabike.
I would absolutely recommend being a volunteer coach. I understand everyone's time is precious, but for just a short 1-hour session a week you can make a real difference to so many people. As head coach, I ensure the coaches are fully supported so they just need to turn up to coach, having prepped the session plan in advance and communicated this through the technology we now have available to use. You don't have to be an elite triathlete to coach Triathlon, a sense of humour and lots of motivation, as well as a little knowledge go a long way to get the best out of club triathletes."
Thank you Debbie for all you do for our sport!
As everybody within sport knows, the help given by volunteers is invaluable. Take a look at our Volunteers and Technical Officials pages where you can find out more about how to get involved in volunteering and the responsibilities of your role, keep up to date with any important issues concerning volunteers and hear about any new initiatives of which you should be aware.