By Swimming World Intern Natasha Mascarenhas
Check out all of the 2013 CeraVe Invitational race videos, features and daily recaps on the 2013 CeraVe Invitational Event Landing Page.
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 11. ALTHOUGH the swimmers are just starting to dip their toes into the Sonny Werblin Recreation Pools, people have been working to set up this meet since last night. From setting up chairs and stations for the audience, to working the hospitality center the CeraVe invitational meet's set up is nothing short of nerve racking. However, with the help of people like volunteer manager, Jaqueline Dardis these three days will go just as planned: great.
Dardis got here this morning at about six am, two and a half hours prior to the beginning of the meet. Her plan is to stay till about 10 pm, to help clean up and tie loose ends. As volunteer manager, the helpful worker's aim is to see that all jobs are being fulfilled and to help set up for todays large meet.
"It's not an easy task to set up such a large meet," Dardis explained, "I myself took about 4 hours in total to prepare and see that everything is working smoothly."
As mentioned before, people working at meet are at most part volunteers. The course of action is that people will each get assigned to a different position that they are most qualified for (Safety Marshall, Hospitality help, Referees, etc). Volunteers are all split up into groups so each position is filled to its capacity, and so all stations are being worked at all times.
One of these stations that volunteers offer their time is in the hospitality center. Throughout the day the hospitality center will offer a variety of hot and cold foods to coaches, officials, and volunteers. For example, in the morning hours, an array of pastries and bagels are laid out for all to enjoy. The point of this center is to provide a place where coaches and participants can grab something quick to eat, and is a rewarding offer for stressed people.
One of the head volunteers at the hospitality station is Christine Pearson. Without Pearson, there would be no food to serve to begin with. She helps to buy nutritional food, which is funded by the Berkeley Aquatic Club (Better known as BAC).
"Basically the whole point of this area is to help recharge coaches and anyone who has been putting in long hours. These people have been working long hours, and nutritional food will help give them energy and strength to keep on going throughout the day," Pearson explained.
Pearson went on to explain that a full coach makes a happy coach, and happy coaches bring an optimistic feel to the day.
With contributions from Dardis and Pearson, the 2013 CeraVe Invitational meet will surely go swimmingly.