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My daughter joined Hart SC at the age of 7 and very quickly I realised many hours would be spent on poolside watching the various training sessions and competitions. One evening I was persuaded to ‘help out’ at a club competition, and was ‘handed’ a stopwatch to time swimmers in lane 6. It came as a genuine surprise to me that I enjoyed taking part and little did I know that, three years on, I would be a licensed swimming official, assisting at most club and open meets. Currently I am a fully qualified swimming Referee and, in addition to my role at Hart Swimming Club, am Vice Chair of the National Arena League South,
The club cannot operate without the help of volunteers but with a daughter currently swimming in the P1 squad, it is also a great opportunity to involve myself in a sport that she loves. My first role for the club was as a Parent Squad Rep, providing the link between the parents and swimmers in a particular squad and the coaches. I briefly performed the role of Honorary Secretary and, after this year’s Annual General Meeting, have begun my fourth year as Chairman of Hart Swimming Club.
I came to swimming relatively late in life. Having never swum seriously in my younger years I briefly competed while in the Royal Air Force in my early 20s. I first got the real swimming ‘bug’ in the early 2000’s when I took up swimming purely to try and stay fit. I joined Hart SC in 2004 when my daughter, Imogen, also joined in what was then the newly formed Minnows squad. She quickly became very good and that’s when I first took up the stopwatch and volunteered as a Timekeeper. One thing leading to another this then progressed to Judge 1, quickly followed by Judge 2 and Judge 2 Starter and I have been officiating at Hart, County, Regional and open meets ever since. While my daughter progressed I quickly realised that the running of Hart SC was totally reliant on volunteers with there never being enough volunteering. Hart, at the time, was in danger of being without a Treasurer. As Imogen was benefiting so much from Hart SC I took the decision to volunteer as Treasurer, having never been a committee member for anything in the past. I served as Treasurer and a member of the exec-committee for 5 years. When it was time to hang up my quill and abacus I was offered the role as President, a great honour for me and I gladly accepted the role in 2011 which I still hold today. During my time as official and Hart SC committee member I also started to train with the Hart Masters and was ‘persuaded’ to compete in the Hampshire County Masters. I can recommend this to anyone – it is true the Masters are a diverse and enjoyable group to swim with. Although Imogen has now moved onto more serious swimming, representing Great Britain at senior level in Synchronised Swimming, my heart will always be with Hart and I shall continue to swim as long as my knees and shoulders will support it.
I am happy to admit that I know very little about swimming (“Why does Michael Phelps get ten chances to win an Olympic Gold and Mo Farah only two...”) and any athletic prowess in my two daughters at Hart SC (P1, P2) is clearly derived from my wife (GB athletics) and not me (good at Question of Sport). However, in my workplace I am known for motivating people to deliver against complex objectives and form teams. These are invaluable skills which are finding good use at Hart SC for the co-ordination of our most valuable asset at the club, namely the people. Our current success, and future plans, could not be achieved otherwise.
In joining the committee, seeing the level of care and attention paid to the most straightforward tasks has been an eye-opener. What we all see on a club night is very much the tip of the iceberg, and I am delighted to be part of a club that is friendly, inclusive and committed to developing high-achieving swimmers.
My son Ben joined Hart Swimming Club when he was about 8 years old and, preferring to help rather than get nervous when he was competing, I began timekeeping at our meets. I was encouraged to take this further and soon became an official and I am now a J2S and training to be a referee. I have been an official for about 5 years.
I was recently asked to become the gala secretary. As gala secretary I liaise with the Head Coach who selects the team for galas. It is then my job to send out emails to check everyone’s availability and ensure we have the strongest team available to us at each gala. I also coordinate transport to galas when we travel as a team on a coach.
I started my journey with Hart SC in 2009 and since then all of my daughters have swum for Hart SC – my two youngest currently swim in the P2 and J2 squads. I took over the role of webmaster in 2012. The website has now been revamped and aims to be a one-stop shop for all swimming-related information for both current and new swimmers and parents. As well as maintaining the website I update our Facebook page with pertinent Club information. Not having had any knowledge of web design, developing the new website was a massive challenge but on the plus side has taught me a new skill. Any news for the site is always appreciated as is your feedback.
I also now co-ordinate the logistics and smooth running of our extremely successful and popular Hart SC Autumn & Spring Open Meets. These are big fund raising events for our Club and rely on the support of our volunteers. I am often at poolside, so come and talk to me if you wan to get involved.
Social & Raffle Coordinator
My son Erik joined Hart two years ago at age 9 and started in Junior 3, he absolutely loves swimming, training and competing and steadily progressed through the squads to P3, competing regularly in club and open meets. Having watched a couple of club meets I was asked if I would help out with timekeeping. It was quite a lot of fun and 12 months later I had my Judge 1 qualification. It is only when volunteering that I really appreciated how important volunteers are for the success of any swimming club.
I encourage all parents to volunteer where they can, there are many roles required, particularly in running a successful swim meet, and it is also a great way to meet club members. In September, I was asked to consider taking on the Membership Secretary role, after brief reflection I jumped at the chance. This role has the privilege of organising trials, welcoming new members and managing all the movements between squads.
I’m Alison and my daughter Emily has been swimming with Hart for almost 3 years and is currently bridging to P1 squad. During that time we have both made many lovely friends which is a bonus to the many hours you can spend poolside.
The Club has a great team atmosphere and I feel that has contributed to its growing success.
Emily enjoys her commitment to training and attending various competitions/galas, and I have therefore become more involved with supporting the Club as Honorary Secretary and Social Organiser. This is one of the executive roles on the Committee with responsibility for taking minutes of meetings, dealing with external correspondence and maintaining records for the club.
I took up the role as Vice-Chair in 2015 to help support the club during the transition from the old leisure centre to the new and having enjoyed the role so much am still here. Although the role of Vice-Chair has no direct responsibility, hopefully my input as a parent of two swimmers (Nadia and Lily) and as club sponsor (Ecoculture) helps support the core committee in the work they do in running such a successful club.
Being part of an active club means having to spend a lot of time travelling to support our swimmers, so unsurprisingly I volunteered to become an official and last year I was very pleased to receive accreditation as a starter. So finally, for all parents of swimmers who wish to participate in the sport, please feel free to speak to me if you wish to help out as an official or contact me at email@example.com
I have been a parent with the club for 11 years, my youngest daughter swims in the EP squad. I have been a trained official for 8 years and have performed the role of Meet Secretary for the past 6. It was only after I got involved with volunteering for the club that I began to learn about the world of competitive swimming and how I could support my daughter. As Meet Secretary I liaise with the Head Coach to plan the calendar of meets the coaches wish to attend, advertise the meets, then collect and process entries. For information about or help with entering meets (internal club meets and open meets) contact mel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother of three Hart swimmers, I have been at the club since 2004 when Jenny was 8. She has now moved off to University but George and Edward swim for C1 and P2 respectively. I have been the Welfare Officer for about a year and primarily make sure that all Coaches and helpers have valid ‘CRB’ certificates. I also assist the coaches to resolve any problems that may occur with swimmers in their squads. I am an independent member of the committee, there to ensure the safety and well being of the swimmers is considered in all decisions.
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