8 Places to Volunteer Around the Pool

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Photo Courtesy: Ryan Jonhson

by Mariana de Paula, Swimming World College Intern

Volunteers are people who are willing to use their times to help others without any form of remuneration. They are the unknown heroes. Their rewards are nothing but to watch the consequences of their efforts unfold.

In swimming, volunteers are always needed. Being actively involved in the swimming world brings experience and learning that no other opportunity provides. As a volunteer, you meet new people, network and support your local clubs in a big way. Even though sometimes it may seem hard to find time to do so, the benefits are immeasurable. A volunteer makes a huge impact on the youth’s athletic environment and encourages each child’s love for swimming.

There are unlimited opportunities to get involved to help in many capacities. Here are some areas to consider volunteering in around the pool…

1. SWIM LESSONS

Some institutions offer pro bono lessons and are in constant need of volunteer (qualified) teachers. While this may not be a permanent position, it’s an opportunity to give back to your community occasionally. Sharing the love for swimming and allowing other kids to feel the same way is priceless. It’s a gift and a learning experience. Your lessons could save a child’s life.

2. PUBLIC RELATIONS PERSON

The image of a team is very important. To become recognized, teams need to promote themselves. Your local area should be aware of your team, and there are many ways to spread the word nowadays. You can be the manager of your team’s social networks, publishing the latest results and news frequently, or you can be a spokesperson for the team. If you possess public speaking skills and are good at writing, this is where you can make a huge difference. You can help grow your team by singing its praises on public platforms!

3. HOSPITALITY

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Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

To guarantee the success of sporting events, these volunteers arrive early and depart late. They are the ones who provide food for coaches and officials and help organize and implement a timeline. If you love organizing events, such as pool parties, team dinners, seasonal/themed celebrations and award ceremonies, then you should consider the hospitality department.

4. FUNDRAISING

Every swim program needs fundraising events. Raising funds is a priority, and it can be done in many different ways on many different levels. If you are a creative person and tend to be super organized, then this is the perfect position for you. The ideas can go from small bake sales to huge events, where all the proceeds are donated to the team. This is the lifeblood of a club team– help keep your team afloat!

5. TIMING

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Photo Courtesy: Barbara Bresnahan

Timing is an easy way to volunteer and be right in the heart of every race’s excitement. A timer insures that every swimmer has a time, even when technology fails.

6. BOARD MEMBER

At the club level, volunteers are needed to serve on the club’s board of directors or booster clubs. In this field, it’s important to have previous club infrastructure knowledge and full dedication. The most experienced, pragmatic volunteers are needed here.

7. COMMITTEE CHAIR

Clubs need representatives in order to arrange events and schedules. If you have a good leadership skill and are willing to learn, there are always open slots as a committee chair. Here you can help with planning, managing, and delegating duties for specific events.

8. CONCESSIONS

The snack bar. Parents’ and swimmers’ saving grace during a marathon session. During swim meets, the snack bar can generate tremendous income, especially if the sold items were donated by the parents or local businesses. Some baked goods, packed snacks and fruits are always popular. Manning the concession stand will allow you to interact with every type of person and bring a smile to their face with a satisfying product.

Behind well-run events are willing, uncomplaining volunteers. Dive into volunteering and learn to enjoy a whole new side of the sport. Thank you, volunteers, for all you do to make this sport fun, safe, and successful.

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Photo Courtesy: Terren, flickr

You can learn more about volunteering opportunities on the USA Swimming website.

USA Swimming has launched a campaign to recognize our terrific volunteers all month long! Honor all of the volunteers in your life this March by snapping their photo and posting with #1VolunTeam on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Tag @usaswimming and @swimmingworldmag too!